Health Benefits of Carrots – Carrot (Daucus carota) is a powerful vegetable that makes diets healthy when added to our meals. It’s very crunchy, tasty and nutritious. Carrots play a very vital role in our lives. Research on carrots mostly focused on carotenoids which produce bright yellow, red, and orange colours in plants, vegetables, and fruits.
The nutrition facts for two small-to-medium raw carrots (100 grams) are:
- Calories: 41
- Water: 88%
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Carbs: 9.6 grams
- Sugar: 4.7 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
Carrots are mainly composed of water and carbs. The carbs consist of starch and sugars, such as sucrose and glucose (1Trusted Source).
Pectin is the main form of soluble fiber in carrots. Soluble fibers can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down your digestion of sugar and starch.
Why Should I eat Carrots
They can lower your risk of cancer. Antioxidants have been proven to fight off harmful free radicals in your body, and that can make you less likely to have cancer. The two main types of antioxidants in carrots are carotenoids and anthocyanins. Carotenoids give carrots their orange and yellow colors, while anthocyanins are responsible for red and purple coloring. Reduced risk/prevention of cancer: Studies have proven that regular intake of carrots or diets rich in carotenoids can help protect against several types of cancer eg, lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer.
Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Beta carotene has been shown to protect against macular degeneration. People with low vitamin A levels are more likely to experience night blindness, a condition that can diminish just by eating carrots or adding them to your diet. People who eat carrots have about a 40% lower risk of muscular degeneration. This is probably the best-known carrot superpower. They’re rich in beta-carotene, a compound your body changes into vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes healthy. And beta-carotene helps protect your eyes from the sun and lowers your chances of cataracts and other eye problems.
They can help with constipation. If you’re having trouble going to the bathroom, try munching on some raw carrots. With their high fiber content, they can help ease constipation and keep you regular.
They can help control diabetes. People with diabetes are advised to load up on non-starchy vegetables, including carrots. The fiber in carrots can help keep blood sugar levels under control. And they’re loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, which there’s evidence to suggest can lower your diabetes risk.
They can strengthen your bones. Carrots have calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health.
Main plant compounds in carrots are:
- Beta carotene: Orange carrots are very high in beta carotene. The absorption is better (up to 6.5-fold) if the carrots are cooked (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).
- Alpha-carotene: An antioxidant that, like beta carotene, is partly converted into vitamin A in your body.
- Lutein: One of the most common antioxidants in carrots, lutein is predominantly found in yellow and orange carrots and is important for eye health (23Trusted Source).
- Lycopene: A bright red antioxidant found in many red fruits and vegetables, including red and purple carrots, lycopene may decrease your risk of cancer and heart disease (24Trusted Source).
- Polyacetylenes: Recent research has identified bioactive compounds in carrots that may help protect against leukemia and other cancers (1Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).
- Anthocyanins: These are powerful antioxidants found in dark-colored carrots.
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