Carrots are used by many people across the world. It has numerous uses and way of preparation for diet varies from culture to culture. Carrots have a lot of nutrients in them. The vegetable is popularly attributed to improving eyesigh but its benefits go much beyond.
Ancient records reveal that carrots were cultivated in Persia and Afghanistan in the 10th century. However, in those days, this root vegetable had a little likeness to what we eat today. Carrots come in different colours. It ranges from purple to yellow to red, and white. It is said that the Dutch developed the carrots that we eat today. There are many types of carrots with varying sizes, flavours, and tastes.
However, when it comes to health benefits, all varieties of carrots are equally healthy and full of essential nutrients. Below are the nutrients composition of carrot and their health benefits.
Raw carrots (1 medium-sized carrot) – 29 calories
1. Protein – 0.6g
2. Carbohydrates – 5.8g
3. Dietary fibre – 1.7g
4. Fat – 0.1g
5. Sugars: 9 gram
6. Vitamin A (as provitamin A): 255% of the Daily Value
7. Vitamin C: 23% of the Daily Value
8. Vitamin K: 31% of the Daily Value
9. Potassium: 15% of the Daily Value
(The fact about carrots is that their nutritional value changes for the better when cooked. Other vegetables tend to lose their nutritional value after they are cooked. Research shows that more beta-carotene is absorbed by the body when carrots are eaten cooked rather than the raw form.)
Health Benefits Of Carrot To The Human Body:
1. Boosts The Immune System:
Our immune system is made up of organs and specialized cells, such as White Blood Cells (WBC’s). One type of WBCs called lymphocytes (T and B lymphocytes) recognize harmful invaders and produce antibodies to destroy them. Other types of WBCs, called phagocytes, protect the body by ingesting harmful bacteria and viruses. Many studies show beta-carotene, which comes from carrots, protects phagocytic cells from getting damaged and boosts the response of T and B lymphocytes.
2. Protects Skin:
Common skin problems are dullness, dryness, scars, and wrinkles. Beta-carotene present in carrots is transformed into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A and it’s derivative called retinoids are known to play a key role in many cellular processes, including the growth and differentiation of cells. Studies demonstrate that retinoids stimulate the growth of new cells thereby promoting firmer, healthier, and younger-looking skin.
3. Promotes Digestion:
Carrots are a fair source of dietary fibre providing about five grams in each. Fibre encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria that promote digestion, apart from preventing constipation.
4. Improve Eye Health:
Carrot juice contains high amounts of nutrients that benefit your eyes.
Specifically, 1 cup (250 ml) of carrot juice packs over 250% of the Daily Value for vitamin A. It is usually in the form of provitamin A carotenoids like beta carotene.
Vitamin A is vital for eye health. Several studies relate the intake of fruits and vegetables that contain provitamin A with a decreased risk of blindness and age-related eye diseases.
What’s more, carrot juice is an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two other carotenoids that accumulate in your eyes and shield them from damaging light. A high dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin may lower your risk of eye issues, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One analysis of 6 studies linked a high dietary intake of these compounds to a 26% lower risk of late AMD, compared with a low intake.
5. Boost Heart Health:
Carrot juice may help reduce risk factors for heart disease.
First, carrot juice is a good source of potassium, a mineral that plays an important role in proper blood pressure regulation. A high potassium diet has been shown to protect against high blood pressure and stroke. Antioxidant compounds in carrot juice may also benefit your heart.
Kindly share your thoughts on the topic for the sake of update.