Carrots are crunchy power food, packed with beta-carotene and can be eaten cooked (boiled, steamed, roasted) or raw. They are low in fat and high in fiber (1). Besides improving vision, carrots have got much more to offer. They are not just beneficial for the health but also provide many beauty benefits. In addition to vitamin A and antioxidants, carrots are also excellent source of zinc, manganese, copper, and iron (2,3). Whether consumed as a snack, juice, or salad, carrots do good for your body. Let’s dig deep and know what health and beauty benefits you can reap by including carrots in your daily diet.
Health Benefits of Carrots
1. Improve Vision
Carrots are a good source of carotenoids (precursors of vitamin A), which are helpful in improving your eyesight (4). Since carrots are also packed with beta-carotene, their regular consumption enhances color vision and low light vision (scotopic vision) (5).
2. Prevent Cancer
In a research, it has been found that the damage of free radicals results in cancer, and it can be prevented by antioxidants (6). Carrots contain a high amount of antioxidants and reduce the risk of gastric cancer and lung cancer (8). Vitamin A in carrots prevents breast cancer (10). Its daily intake also minimizes the possibilities of prostate cancer and leukemia (11, 12).
3. Keep a Check on Heart Diseases
A Dutch study (published in the British Journal of Nutrition, in 2011) reveals the fact that carrots contain bioactive polyacetylenes like falcarindiol and falcarinol. Both the compounds are anti-inflammatory in nature and are associated with lowering the cardiovascular ailments (13, 14). The abundance of carotenoids makes them effective in reducing the risk of stroke (15).
Pectin in carrots decreases the level of cholesterol in the body. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cholesterol level can be reduced by 10-20% by eating two carrots a day (17).
4. Improve Dental Health
Being abundant in beta-carotene, carrots keep your tooth enamel in good health (18). This crunchy food also helps cleanse your teeth and decreases tooth decay by stimulating the saliva production, which further keeps the bacteria at bay.
5. Maintain Blood Pressure
The high amount of sodium in the food raises the blood pressure, which can be counterbalanced by including potassium-rich foods in your diet (20). 3/4th cup of carrot juice contains 517 milligrams of potassium and fulfills 14% of your daily potassium requirements (21). Carrots, when eaten raw, also help lower the high blood pressure (22).
6. Boost Immunity
Vitamin A and antioxidants are crucial for enhancing the immunity. Since carrot is rich in both the compounds, it can do wonders in strengthening your immune system (23).
Vitamin A has antiviral properties, and it increases the function of the WBCs (White Blood Cells) by stimulating the growth of the thymus gland. It also aids in the proper functioning of the mucosal and epithelial tissues (these tissues are considered as the first line of defense) of the GI tract and lungs (24).
Antioxidants reverse the vandalizing effects of oxidation in the tissues, thus, boosting the immunity.
7. Reduce the Risk of Cataract and Macular Degeneration
Lack of lutein is the main reason for macular degeneration in elderly (26). Yellow carrots are profuse in lutein, thus, their consumption keeps this eye disease at bay (27). The antioxidant vitamins in carrot safeguard the eyes from cataract (28).
8. Control Diabetes
Carrots are non-starchy and low in carbohydrates (29). They also have a low GI (Glycemic Index), which slows down their digestion and absorption process, reducing the risk of a sudden spike in the blood glucose level. The whole mechanism further helps fight diabetes. (30, 31).
9. Strengthen the Bones
It has been found that ½ a cup of carrots contain 25mg of calcium (32). Intake of calcium makes your bones stronger and reduces the risk of osteoporosis (33, 34). So, keep your bones in the pink by simply including carrots in your diet.
10. Help in Weight Loss
Carrots may be the best snacking option if you want to lose weight. They are low in calories (Only 52 calories are provided by 1 cup of chopped carrots) (35). Moreover, carrots do not contain fats, which further assist you in your weight management program (36).
11. Improve Cognitive Performance
As per research studies, carrots are found to have a positive effect on the cognitive performance of the elderly (37).
Since carrots are packed with complex carbohydrates and fiber, they provide constant energy and enhance the flow of blood to your brain, which in turn improves your memory, concentration, and alertness.
12. Alleviate Stomach Ailments
This crunchy food keeps your digestive system in good health. Cooked carrots are beneficial in curing diarrhea, upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting (39, 40). Since carrots have a high amount of insoluble fiber, they cure constipation, gas, and bloating (41, 42). Raw carrots also cure constipation in children under the age of 4 (43).
13. Detoxify the Body
Carrots are included in the detox diet due to their high nutritional value (44). They cleanse the intestines and purify the blood. This vegetable also maintains the acid-alkaline balance in the body (45).
14. Good for Liver Health
The juice of carrot is energetic and beneficial for the liver (46). Carrots are loaded with carotenoids that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and help prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (47,48). They also decrease oxidative stress and inflammation in the liver and other parts of the body.
15. Treat Skin Disorders
Being a good source of beta-carotene, carrots are effective against several skin diseases including vitiligo and psoriasis (49). The presence of vitamin A in carrots makes them useful for alleviating warts and acne (50).
16. Heal Wounds Quickly
Vitamin A is associated with repairing of tissues and wound healing (51). It is an important component for immune function, cellular differentiation, and bone & epithelial formation (52). Carrots, being rich in vitamin A, help cure ulcers, burns, and wounds (53).
17. Helpful During Pregnancy
If your doctor has suggested you to put on weight during pregnancy, you can drink carrot juice for it’s rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C (54). For a speedy recovery from childbirth and to gain more energy, breastfeeding moms must eat vitamin-A rich foods, such as carrots (55).
18. Provide Relief in Painful Menstruation
Increasing the intake of carrots and other roughage at least one week prior to the onset of periods will give you relief from the menstruation pain . Drinking carrot juice or eating raw carrots will make you feel less fatigued during those days.
Beauty Benefits of Carrots
19. Reduce Aging of the Skin
The carotenoids in carrots slow down the process of aging (57). Beta-carotene and retinoids are equally beneficial in down turning the premature aging of cells (58, 59). So, in order to prevent wrinkles and fine lines, eat carrots daily.
20. Protect Skin from Sunburn/Photodermatitis
Consumption of carrot protects your skin from scaly patches, blisters, and rashes resulting due to the exposure to the UV rays (60). Beta-carotene reduces the sensitivity of the skin to the sunlight (61). Apart from safeguarding the skin from sunburn, carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein) alleviate the roughness and scaling of the skin (62,63).
21. Prevent Hair Loss
Beta-carotene in carrots promotes the hair growth. Vitamin A helps cure a dry scalp by stimulating the production of sebum (64). You can have carrot soup, carrot juice, steamed or fresh carrots, as a snack to get long and strong hair.
22. Safeguard Nails from Damage
Deficiency of vitamin A leads to a damage to the nails (65). Since carrots are loaded with vitamin A, they keep the nails in good health. Another important component in carrots that fortifies the brittle nails is biotin (66).
23. Bring Glow to Your Skin
Along with making your skin healthy internally, carrot also makes it glowing externally when used in the form of face mask or pack. Beta-carotene in this crunchy food is responsible for giving you the flawless skin (67).
- Carrot seed soups induce abortion, so their intake must be avoided during pregnancy.
- Excessive consumption of carrots (carotene-rich food) may result in carotenemia (68).
- You have to be careful while buying carrots. Always buy organic ones; otherwise, you won’t get the real benefits of the vegetable.
We hope you found the information useful, and now, you all are aware of the carrot health benefits. Do share and express your views in the comments section below.