Carrots are one of the most popular health foods out there! They are easy to pack as a snack and stave away bad-food cravings, helping to reinforce our weight loss goals. They are abnormally high in immune-boosting beta carotene and contain B vitamins, Vitamins K, C, A and E, and are a wonderful source of manganese, copper, folate, and potassium.
Want to incorporate more carrots into your diet? This crunchy superfood can help you fight cardiovascular disease, ward off cancerous growths and help improve your vision among many other body-boosting benefits.
7 Health Benefits of Carrots
1. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)
A new 10-year study from the Netherlands found that individuals who consumed 50- to 75-grams of carrots daily (about 1 cup) had a greatly reduced risk of developing CVD! Participants who consumed the least amount of carrots (about 1/4 cup) still received CVD reducing benefits (although not as much as those who consumed higher amounts).
2. Inhibit Cancer Cell Growth
Recent research on carrots has discovered a new group of phytonutrients called polyacetylenes. Several studies have shown that polyacetylenes in carrots help to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells when in a non-oxidized state. The really interesting thing here, is that carrots also contain antioxidants known as carotenoids, and these carotenoids not only protect against oxidative damage inside the body, but they also prevent these polyacetylenes from becoming oxidized too, meaning a double benefit for our body (and extra protection against cancer)!
3. Boost Male Fertility
Researchers from the University of Harvard found that carrots help to boost the quantity and quality of sperm in men (this goes for other yellow and orange hued fruit and vegetables, with carrots ranking highest in sperm improving properties). The high levels of beta-carotene in carrots (a powerful antioxidant) was found to improve sperm motility by 6.5-8%!
4. Promote Cellular Growth and Regeneration
Carrots are a good source of folic acid (folate) which is important for many cellular processes such as DNA synthesis and repair, red blood cell creation, nucleotide biosynthesis in cells, and prevention of anemia. Folic acid, otherwise known as Vitamin B9 helps prevent mental disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as prevents fetal abnormalities and several types of cancer.
5. Protect and Nourish The Skin
Carrots are a fantastic way to help heal and improve the quality, tone, and health of your skin! The carotenoids in carrots will give your skin a natural glow, and help to even out the skin tone – think of carrots like natural concealer; instead of lathering on harmful chemicals, just juice a bunch of carrots every day and watch the health of your skin improve! Carrots are also rich in vitamin E, a vitamin essential in the prevention of premature aging of the skin, especially with respect to helping protect from UVB radiation from the sun.
6. Improve Our Vision
Want stellar vision? Eat carrots! The beta-carotene in carrots gets converted to vitamin A in the body, which helps protect our eyes from age-related macular degeneration and reduces your risk of developing glaucoma. Vitamin A also significantly helps improve night vision (for all of those night owls out there!). Make sure you scope out carrots that are darkly pigmented, especially carrots that are dark red or even purple.
How does vitamin A help you see in the dark? This vitamin helps to activate a photo sensitive chemical in the retina called Rhodopsin, which regulates your vision depending on the light levels. Rhodopsin is particularly important for night vision because it helps detect low light levels, helping the eyes adjust better to the darkness.
7. Act As a Powerful Antiseptic
Carrots have amazing antiseptic properties. In fact, juicing some carrots and letting the carrot juice soak in a cloth which can then be applied to wounds is a great way to speed wound healing.
This root has also been used for many centuries as a diuretic, helping to eliminate excess water retention and relieve edema. Due to these diuretic qualities, carrots act as a wonderful kidney flush, helping to relieve bladder and urinary infections including cystitis.