I have spent my entire lifetime of eating carrots without actually eating the most important part of all – the leafy greens! I only started eating carrot leaves this year (and no, I didn’t die!), and aside from supercharging my body with even more health benefits, I also helped reduce waste (reduce, re-use, recycle, folks!).
Most people assume that carrot tops are inedible, but this is in fact, very un-true! Carrot tops have been confused with being poisonous because they contain alkaloids, however, all garden greenery contain alkaloids, but not in amounts that are actually dangerous to the human body (unless consumed in ridiculous quantities). Rotating your greens frequently, and not going crazy with juicing exorbitant amounts of one green type in green juices is your best bet to maintaining a healthy body.
I like to add carrot greens to my smoothies and juices, especially when combined with the actual carrot itself. For example, a juice made of carrots, carrot tops, beets, apple, celery, lemon and ginger will provide you with a host of vitamins and minerals, and it will make you feel great, too!
Here are 8 reasons why you should probably start eating carrot leaves!
1. The leaves are highly antiseptic
Carrot leaves help clean wounds and can be used as mouthwash to heal injuries of the mouth, bad breath, bleeding gums and mouth ulcers.
2. High in chlorophyll
It is no doubt that these greens are rich in chlorophyll – just look at their dense, dark, green hue! Chlorophyll is a phytochemical that has a very close similarity to human blood, with the exception of the central atom in blood (human) being iron, and in chlorophyll (plants) being magnesium. Chlorophyll acts like a physiological stimulant of red blood cells in bone marrow and helps to purify not only the blood, but our lymph nodes and adrenal glands.
3. Halts growth of cancerous tumours
The Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides who carefully studied over 600 medicinal plant species said that the Greeks used carrot leaves to help combat cancerous tumours. In fact, some researchers have found that carrot leaves have an inhibitory effect on tumour cell growth by stopping cell division. How’s that for a green you thought you couldn’t eat?
4. Higher mineral & vitamin content than the root
It is safe to assume that carrot greens would have a similar nutrient profile as the carrot itself (and this in fact is true). However, carrot greens contain an even better nutrient profile than carrots, loaded with minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as vitamin K and vitamin C, which, might I add, contains levels 6 times higher than that of the root.
5. Compounds that stimulate the pituitary gland
Carrot leaves, particularly wild carrot leaves, contain high concentrations of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and thus encourages the release of higher levels of sex hormones. This also encourages stimulation of the uterus, which can delay menstruation and induce uterine contractions, so should not be used by pregnant women.
6. Helps treat kidney disease
Carrot leaves are a bitter green, and so they act as a powerful diuretic to help stimulate urine flow and filter out the kidneys. This means better kidney health and relief from complications such as edema (fluid build-up). Carrot tops have also been used to help counter kidney stone formation, and to dissolve stones that have already formed.
7. Relief from migraine headaches
Because of their high vitamin and mineral content, carrot tops are efficient in battling migraine headaches. A majority of the time, migraines are the result of a deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals that normally help prevent headaches from happening in the first place. Drinking a cup of carrot green, celery, and cucumber juice may just be the perfect remedy for your migraine headache.
8. Digestive support
If you want a healthy digestive tract, then you need to eat your fibre, and your greens too! These are two things that carrot leaves have plenty of. The chlorophyll (the stuff that makes the leaves green) helps aid in loosening and cleansing the colon, while the fibre pushes out the accumulated toxic waste matter to promote better nutrient absorption and higher energy levels.