Carrots are among the most useful vegetables on the planet. It contains a lot of biologically active substances and has been recognized in folk and evidence-based medicine. However, unfortunately, not everyone is aware of all the benefits. Some people cannot even answer the question “Is a carrot a fruit or a vegetable?”
According to research, carrots bring tangible benefits to the human body. With regular use, there is an improvement in the health of the cardiovascular and digestive systems, prevention of osteoporosis, and improved vision. There is also a belief that it improves life expectancy.
10 Carrot Health Benefits
Carrots are 90% water and have a fairly low caloric content (about 41 calories per 100 grams), which makes it a dietary product.
Carrot nutritional contents for 100g:
Carbohydrates are mostly represented by glucose and sucrose. At the same time, according to experts from the United States, carrots have a low glycemic index, therefore, it can be eaten by people with diabetes. During heat treatment (cooking, stewing), the glycemic index increases. Carrots are a source of fiber, which is extremely important for the proper functioning of the digestive system. The basis of dietary fiber is soluble fiber. It slows down the absorption of glucose and starch from the lumen of the digestive tract, maintains an adequate composition of microflora. Also, soluble fiber reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood and prevents the development of constipation. Carrots are also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants:
- Beta-carotene. This substance is converted in the body to vitamin A, which supports the immune system and improves visual function.
- Biotin. Responsible for the metabolism of fat and protein.
- Vitamin K2. Increases bone mineral density.
- Potassium. It lowers blood pressure and is responsible for myocardial contractility.
- Vitamin B6. It is necessary for the course of redox processes, obtaining energy from food entering the body. Lutein. It is the most common antioxidant that normalizes the metabolism in the eyeball.
- Lycopene. Reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular and malignant neoplasms.
- Polyacetylenes. Prevent the appearance of leukemias and other cancers.
Prevention of cancer
Any diet rich in carotenoids reduces the risk of developing malignancies. Studies by American scientists have shown that carrots can significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men, even with a burdened family history. It is also effective against colon and stomach cancer. It was found that regular use of carrots is associated with a decrease in the incidence of breast cancer (the main role is assigned to alpha – and beta-carotene, lutein) and lung.
High cholesterol in the blood leads to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the walls of arteries and subsequent thrombosis, leading to many fatal complications: myocardial infarction, stroke, etc. Multiple studies show that carrots can normalize cholesterol levels in the blood and prevent the development of dangerous pathologies. The vegetable reduces the amount of TAG in the blood, reduces the rate of reverse absorption of cholesterol from the intestine. One study showed that eating 200 grams of carrots 1 time a day for 3 weeks, leads to a decrease in total cholesterol in the blood by 11%, an increase in the release of bile acids from the body by 50%.
Carrot for weight loss
Overweight people are most susceptible to cardiovascular and endocrine diseases and have a shorter life expectancy. According to scientists from the UK, eating carrots leads to the rapid development of a feeling of satiety, which persists for several hours. As a result, people eat less food, and the energy value of the daily diet decreases.
Carrot improves eyesight.
Vitamin A, which the body receives from carrots, supports the health of the vascular and photosensitive membranes of the eyeball. It is proved that the vegetable protects the visual organ from the development of many degenerative diseases. There was a decrease in the frequency of age-related neovascular atrophy of the yellow heel, which is responsible for color perception.
Prevention of anemia
Carrots contain vitamin C (about 6 mg per 100 grams). This substance, according to scientists, increases the bioavailability of iron coming from food. A significant role is given to antioxidant substances, which also prevent the appearance of anemia. Carrots are an effective means of preventing anemia associated with chronic blood loss (menstruation, uterine bleeding, and gastrointestinal anemia), as well as primary bone marrow damage (aplastic anemia).
Promotes gut health
The abundance of dietary fiber contained in carrots supports an adequate composition of microflora. Fiber increases the number of useful microorganisms, inhibits the growth and reproduction of pathogenic and opportunistic forms.
According to Italian experts, carrots increase the production of butyrate in the intestinal lumen, which protects the cells of the large intestine from malignant transformation, as well as from toxic and infectious agents.
There is also a link between a low frequency of constipation (regular and healthy stools) and frequent use of carrots.
Reduced blood pressure
High blood pressure leads to the development of chronic and acute heart failure, which increases the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction. According to the data provided by the American Heart Association, carrots are a product with an ideal ratio of fiber and potassium, which protect the heart muscle from any damage and contribute to the relaxation of vascular smooth muscle, which leads to a decrease in blood pressure.
Increasing bone strength
Carrots contain vitamin K2, which normalizes the metabolism in the bone tissue, prevents the leaching of calcium from the bones. As a result, it provides prevention of osteoporosis (especially important for older people and women after menopause) and reduces the risk of pathological fractures. Belgian scientists have found that the systematic inclusion of carrots in the diet increases the absorption of calcium from food, increases the mineral density of bones. The action is associated with a high level of fiber in the food.
Increases life expectancy
Studies have found that beta-carotene consumption is associated with a decrease in overall mortality from all causes and an increase in life expectancy. Also, do not forget that carrots, due to the abundance of other valuable substances, are a means of preventing a large range of common and deadly diseases from the cardiovascular and endocrine systems, and malignant neoplasms.
It is proven that carrot has numerous health benefits. If you are having difficulties consuming enough carrot, you can always add carrot juice to your diet. Raw carrot juice nutrition facts per one cup: 94 kcal, 2.24g protein, 22g carbs, 0.35g fat, 1.89g fiber. You can also get baby carrots, as baby carrots calorie amount is slightly less than normal ones. Another option is to use more of a carrot in cooking, you can find a lot of different recipes, such as the recipe of healthy carrot cupcakes which will bring more variety to the table.