Carrots are one of the most eaten vegetables in the world. They are quite easy to grow and are used in a number of dishes and cultural cuisines. It is a root vegetable, orange in color. Well, purple, black, red, white, and yellow varieties are also found, but they are not that common.
Fresh carrots have a crisp texture. The most consumed part of the carrot is taproot. Carrots are basically the domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota. It is native to Europe and southwestern Asia.
China is the major cultivator of carrots today. They are exported throughout the world as it has become a common ingredient in salads and soups, as well as in other dishes. The medicinal and health benefits of carrots, along with its yummy taste, makes it an important vegetable in different cuisines across the globe. The most popular carrot dessert in north India is the Gajar Ka Halwa , which has grated carrots and cooked in milk until the whole mixture is solid, with the addition of nuts and butter.
Most of the benefits of carrots are because of the presence of beta carotene and fiber content. Carrots are a good source of antioxidants. They are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, potassium, iron, copper, folate, and manganese.
Carrots help to reduce cholesterol, lower risk of heart diseases, preventing certain cancers, better vision, maintain the health of your skin, boost the immune system, aids digestive problems, improves cardiovascular health, detoxifier, and maintains oral health.
Nutritional value per 100g
- Energy 173KJ
- Carbohydrates 1.6g
- Sugars 4.7g
- Dietary fibers 2.8g
- Protein 0.93g
- Vitamin A 835 μg
- Niacin 0.983 μg
- Pantothenic acid 0.273mg
- Beta carotene 8285 μg
- Zeaxanthin 256 μg
- Folate 19 μg
- Vitamin C 5.9mg
- Vitamin E 0.66mg
- Vitamin K 13.2 μg
- Calcium 33mg
- Iron 0.3mg
- Magnesium 12mg
- Phosphorus 35mg
- Potassium 320mg
- Sodium 69mg
- Zinc 0.24mg
- Fluoride 3.4 μg
- Water 88g
Health benefits of carrots
1. Proper vision
Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene. It gets converted into vitamin A in the liver. This is transformed to rhodopsin in the retina. Rhodopsin is a purple pigment, necessary for night vision. Beta carotene also reduces the risk of macular degeneration and glaucoma, thus improving vision.
2. Reduce cancer risks
Consuming carrots on a regular basis is helpful in decreasing the risk of lung and colon cancer. In women’s, it decreases the risk of breast cancer. Beta-carotene can reduce the risk of cancers, mainly lung cancer.
The antioxidants and falcarinol found in carrots destroy the pre-cancerous cells in the tumor before they can develop. Falcarinol is a natural pesticide and it helps to prevent fungal diseases. Carrots are one of the rare natural sources of falcarinol.
3. Lower risk of heart diseases
High cholesterol leads to heart diseases. Regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol levels because of the soluble fibers in carrots that bind with bile acids.
4. Balancing your blood pressure
Potassium, is a vasodilator, can relax the tension in blood vessels and arteries, and increase blood flow and circulation. Carrots are a rich source of potassium. Daily intake of carrots boosts the body and reduce stress in the cardiovascular system. This also reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Coumarin present in carrots helps to reduce hypertension.
Vitamin A present in carrots assists the liver in flushing out the toxins. The accumulation of bile and fat in the liver is also prevented by carrots. Carrots are rich in fiber, which facilitates the waste elimination and keeps the digestive system healthy.
6. Healthy teeth and gums
Calcium content in carrots makes teeth strong and healthy. Mineral content prevents tooth decay. Carrots also stimulate the gums and promotes excess saliva. Saliva, being alkaline, combats the bacteria and foreign bodies that can cause cavities, and other oral health risks.
7. Diabetic control
Carotenoids in Carrots regulate the blood sugar levels. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar. They also regulate the amount of insulin and glucose that is being used and metabolized by the body.
8. Safe pregnancy
Carrots are quite beneficial during pregnancy. They help in the growth and development of the baby and also protects the fetus from infections and miscarriage. Consuming carrots on a regular basis improves the production and quality of breast milk in women which is good for the baby.
9. Antiageing property
Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant, fights the free radicals responsible for aging. Vitamin C in carrots boosts the collagen production. Collagen prevents wrinkles and maintains the elasticity of the skin. Beta carotene keeps a check on the cell damage that might be caused due to the regular metabolism of the body.
10. Strengthen the bones
Calcium is important for growing children and older adults. It helps in growth and development of bones. Carrots are rich in calcium. Carrots are helpful for women because they generally suffer from problems of weaker ones. It also prevents the narrowing of blood vessels. You should also Drink Milk & Eat Eggs for Healthy Bones!
11. Helps in menstrual problems
During menstruation, pain, excessive bleeding are common problems. Carrots have phytoestrogen, which regularizes the menstrual cycle, relieves from pain and controls excessive bleeding.
12. Protecting from sun rays
Beta-carotene in carrots is a skin-friendly chemical. It is kind of vitamin A, helps in healing tissues and protecting the skin tissues from the sun’s harmful UV rays. The antioxidants and carotene are helpful in improving the skin immunity against sun rays.
13. Treating dry skin
Potassium deficiency in the body makes the skin dry. Carrots are rich in potassium and also have a good amount of water content. Therefore, consuming carrot juice helps skin to remain hydrated and prevent dryness. You can use Coconut Oil as well for Quick as well as long term relief from dry skin!
14. Beautiful hairs
Carrots make the hair shinier and stronger and reduce hair fall, by providing the vital vitamins and minerals to hairs.
Vitamin E and C present in carrots improve the blood circulation in the scalp, which promotes hair growth. It also prevents premature graying of strands.
15. Boosts immunity
Carrots have antiseptic and antibacterial abilities that help to boost the immune system. Carrots are a rich in vitamin C, which promotes the activity of white blood cells. WBC are one of the most important elements in the human immune system. Carrots are also one of the best healing agents.
Tips to incorporate carrots into your diet
It’s not only the Gajar ka Halwa or the soups you can make with carrots. There are plenty of dishes which can make with it. Let’s introduce you to some interesting recipes-
- You can make a carrot smoothie by blending carrots with pineapple juice, yogurt, and honey; making a bright orange concoction.
- You can also try carrot casserole. Mix your grated carrots with low-fat cheese and a small amount of margarine, topping it with whole wheat crackers. Bake it for at least 45 min and enjoy the dish.
- Carrot is itself a snack as Just peel it off and eat it all. It keeps you full.
- If you are not a carrot lover then you can add grated carrot as topping over your dishes. May it be a soup, salad or noodles.
- You can also try out carrot muffins, by mixing carrots, apples and flax seed.
- You can also try out carrot pickle. Make pickle the same way as you go with other ones. Enjoy the spicy flavor.
- Carotenes in carrots are stored in adipose tissue, the liver, and other organs of the body. Consuming large quantities of carrots can lead to a yellowing of the skin known as carotenoderma.
- Overconsumption of vitamin A can be toxic to humans, but it is said that is unlikely to be achieved through diet alone. Researchers say that most vitamin overconsumption occurs by supplementation.
It is better to consume everything in a limited amount. Consuming high doses of carrots won’t make you strong instantly. Eat only 2-4 carrots a day, and enjoy the benefits.
Eat healthy, be healthy.