Carrot is a highly nutritious vegetable with well-known health benefits that have been exploited by humans for over 5000 years. Origin of the vegetable can be traced to the Middle East and Afghanistan. While carrot now comes in several cool colours to make it more appealing to people, it was initially available in purple and yellow colours with the orange colour variety developed in the 1600s. In this post, we explore some of the health benefits associated with consuming carrots.
- Improved Eyesight
The eyes remain one of the key organs of the human body to which special care must be given. Vitamin A is important for maintaining good vision and carrots contain a healthy dose of this. A single serving of carrot provides 210% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A. Carrots contain beta-carotene which on getting to the liver is converted to vitamin A. The Vitamin A then combines with opsin, a form of protein to form rhodopsin. This rhodopsin helps with night and colour vision. Apart from helping with night and colour vision, regularly consuming carrots may help to protect your eyes from age-related issues and cataract.
- Reduced Risk Of Cancer
Cancer remains a major health challenge globally. The health benefit of carrot in reducing the growth of certain cancers is known due to its antioxidant content. Beta-carotene also found in carrots has been observed to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Generally, the phytochemicals contained in carrot seem to have very good anti-cancer properties.
- Blood Pressure Regulation & Diabetes Treatment
High blood pressure is fairly common amongst the human population today with many unaware they are suffering from this condition. Carrots may help to reduce systolic blood pressure by up to 5% according to some studies. Likewise, its impact on the health of people suffering from diabetes has been documented.
- Immunity Boost
The Immune-boosting function of Vitamin A is well known and carrots are an excellent source of this important vitamin. Also, carrots contain Vitamin C, another essential vitamin that helps in the production of collagen that is useful for wound healing.
- Improved Liver Function
The liver is charged with the responsibility of dealing with toxins in the body but its efficiency may reduce over time. Carrots contain nutrients that can help reduce fat and bile in the liver, thereby increasing its ability to flush out toxins from the body. Carrots may be combined with leafy vegetables such as spinach to improve liver function.
- Improved Oral Cleanliness
One of the dental benefits of consuming carrot is that it acts as a natural abrasive, scrubbing away plaque and leftover food particles in the mouth. It can also help to reduce teeth discolouration. Carrots are also known to stimulate saliva production which helps to prevent the formation of plaque. Some believe that carrots also freshen breath but this claim is yet to be substantiated.
- Skin Care
Carotenoids found in carrots are believed to have a good impact on the skin, helping to improve appearance. A downside to this is that consuming too much of carrots or other foods high in carotenoid may lead to carotenemia, a condition that makes your skin to appear orange or yellow. Carrots also contain retinoic acid which may be useful in helping the body to maintain healthy skin. Apart from eating carrots, they can also be applied directly aa carrot juice or pulp to your face or any part of your body to treat skin such as dryness and acne. Carrots contain healthy doses of Vitamin A and antioxidants that can help protect your skin from harmful solar radiation and free radicals.
- Enhanced Hair Growth
Carrots contain a lot of essential vitamins such as vitamins A & C, carotenoids, potassium, and other antioxidants that may help to improve hair health and lead to better hair growth.
- May Strengthen Bones
While a direct link between improved bone health and consuming carrots is yet to be established, it is beloved that Vitamin A and the carotenoids found in carrots may help in this regard.
- Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
Carrots can significantly help lower your risk of developing heart disease. It is no news that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death around the world, especially in the US. Consuming a few carrots daily can help lower your risk of developing heart disease.
Carrot remains a healthy vegetable that is recommended for daily consumption by everyone. The health benefits of consuming this vegetable are numerous as can be seen from the few listed in the body of this post. While it is good to consume carrots, ensure you do not overdo it as there may be negative effects from eating too much of carrots.