The carrot is a root vegetable, highly famous for its health benefits and comparatively cheaper price. The word carrot came from the Greek word “karoton” which refers to anything of a shape like horn. It is mostly of orange color, though purple, black, red, white, yellow color carrots exist. Many cuisines use carrots, mainly in preparation of salads. However, many people aren’t aware of the various health benefits of the carrot.
Source of vitamin A, vitamin k and vitamin B6, carrots are also rich in energy, having 9% of carbohydrates. The dietary fiber of carrot helps in digestion system. From preventing early aging to strokes and other heart diseases, it has an abundance of health benefits.
Carrots are truly a splendid veggie just because they are not healthy. You can eat them in many ways, which makes it very special. Steam them, eat them raw or even cook them if you like. Carrots are surely the most multifaceted food out there.
Some Must-Known Facts About Carrots:
Though carrots have several health benefits that come along with it, here are some must-known facts about this nutritious vegetable –
- Consuming carrots regularly can solve hair fall problems
- The antioxidants present is carrots help to build immunity in human body, which means, less possibility of getting sick
- Carrots are proved highly nutritious, especially for pregnant women and infants
- People dealing with overweight can have carrots as it will satisfy their appetite with a low consumption of carbohydrates
- Have carrots raw, make carrot juice or use it on salad, people can have carrots in multiple ways.
- There are evidences that this root plant was originated in Afghanistan about 5000 years back.
Now it is a famous vegetable all around the world.
Top 10 health benefits of Carrot:
It is clear now that carrot is very useful for your health. Here are some pointers that will give idea on what ways carrots are beneficial to your health-
- Prevention of cancer: Various researchers have agreed on the fact that carrots fight cancerous cells of the human body. It has carotenoid antioxidant powder, which helps to reduce free radicals on the body. Also, the phytonutrients called polyacetylene of carrot hinders the cancer growth.
- Protector of vision: It is normal that people lose eyesight because of aging. Lutein of carrot helps to fight that. Also, beta-carotene present on carrots protect eye disorders such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and blindness. However, it contains an exorbitant amount of Vitamin A, which increases the eyesight.
- Skin care: Vitamin A and other antioxidants of carrot make the skin glow. Also, it protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. The high beta-carotene of carrots can be the best remedy to treat skin infections. The potassium present on carrots helps to carve out dryness from the skin. You can make a face mask on home and enjoy the benefits easily.
- Strengthening the bones: The Vitamin K of the carrot helps to process the Calcium, which results into stronger bones. But it is the beta-carotene, which doctors consider as a useful nutrient to hold the bone mass.
- Fights heart diseases: Carrots contain beta-carotene, lutein and antioxidants, which fight cholesterol and mitigates the risk of heart attack. The potassium present on carrots relax tension of the blood vessels. It also reduces the stress on the whole cardiovascular system, which keeps the heart sound and healthy.
- Oral health improvement: Daily consumption of carrot can keep the mouth healthy. It helps in inducing excess saliva and stimulates the gums. It prevents halitosis; it is also known as bad breath. Carrots fight bacteria inside the mouth, remove stains and plaque on the teeth.
- Improves digestion: As you already know carrots contain a vast amount of dietary fibers, it helps on digestion as the body cannot expel waste materials without it. The lack of fiber can result into constipation. Daily consumption of carrot can make the bowel movement regular.
- Anti-aging ability: The Vitamin A and C present in carrots can help to hold a younger looking skin. As it helps to produce collagen (a protein that is highly significant for skin elasticity) in the body. It naturally protects the skin from the wrinkles, which ultimately controls aging.
- Controls the sugar level: Carrots have a low glycemic index which helps to maintain the sugar level. Regular consumption of beta-carotene can help in preventing the type-2 diabetes. Also, diabetes patients can have raw carrots and juice, as their blood sugar level will rise slowly and they will feel less hungry.
- Prevents stroke: Known as a rich source of potassium, carrots relax the blood vessels and helps to prevent high blood pressure, which could have gradually led to a stroke. A research team from Harvard University has shown that 68% people are less likely to get a stroke if they have a habit of consuming carrots regularly. So, if you don’t want to get a stroke in the future, grow the habit of eating carrots and carrot juice from today.
Nutrition fact: One or Two Small to Medium-Size Carrot (100gm)
- Protein: 0.93g
- Fats: 0.24g
- Carbs: 9.58g
- Calories: 41kcal
- Starch: 1.43g
- Fructose: 0.55g
- Sugars: 4.74g
- Fibre: 2.8g
- Calcium: 33mg
- Potassium: 320mg
- Vitamin A: 16706 IU
- Vitamin E: 0.66mg
- Vitamin k: 13.2 µg
Various Types of Carrots:
There are various types of carrots spotted by humans. People cultivatethem all around the world upon the demand of the consumer. Some famous types are-
- Nantes: Mostly grown on rocky and heavy soils, Nantes carrots have a subtle sweetness in taste and a smooth crunch
- Imperator: length of this type varies from 10-12inches.The core of these types are sweet in taste and has a very pleasant aroma. These carrots need a light, loamy and sandy soil for better growth.
- Chantenay: Short and stout, these carrots are hard and can easily grow on harsh conditions as well
- Mini carrot: These carrots are usually harvested when they are small. Suitable for a kitchen garden, these baby carrots are to be sweeter than the other types.
- Danvers: These carrots are a bit larger on size, usually 10-12 inches. They are orange and have a tapered ending.
Risk Factors of Carrots:
Too much consumption of anything is never good. So, it you are someone who wants to enjoy the benefits of carrots at the same time consider the risks too, these facts are for you-
- Carrots contain a tremendous amount of beta-carotene, which is good for skin, but consumption of too much beta-carotene can make your skin turn orange. This is known as carotenemia.
- If you are suffering from hypothyroidism, it is risky to eat too much of carrots.
- Oral allergy syndrome is common for some people because of consumption of too much carrot. It makes their mouth itch.
- Over consumption of vitamin A can be harmful for some people. Especially people who are on treatment of isotretinoin (Accutane) or psoriasis.
- You should always check the recommended dietary changes if you are starting any new medication.
Best ways to Eat Carrot:
One of the best things about carrot is its versatility. It can not only be eaten raw, but also steamed, boiled and roasted. Also, a famous way of eating carrots is as ingredients on the salad. Here are some simple ways –
- Add shredded carrots to rice pilaf about 5 minutes before the rice is done
- Toss shredded carrots into your favorite soup recipes
- Add shredded carrots on chicken. This will also increase the taste in case of potato salad.
- Make carrot juice easily at home. You can add ginger, sugar or honey to increase the taste. Also, you can use carrot as side ingredient on orange juice or even on apple juice. It will enhance the taste of your juice and provide the health benefits at the same time.
- Baked carrot fries is an easy recipe of carrot, by just adding virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
- Carrots also works very well in savory dishes. For example – beef stew, chicken pot pie or stir fry.
The best way to consume the total health benefits of carrot is to eat it raw. You can have baby carrots as snacks every afternoon with hummus or a yogurt-based dip. But wash them thoroughly with water and scrub off if there are any dirt.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) About Carrots:
Though carrot is a very famous vegetable, people have some common questions on their mind about storing, benefits and risks of carrot. Here are few of them-
Q. How should we eat carrots to get the most benefit?
Answer: Eating carrots raw is the best way to have it unless you have chewing problems. But if you don’t want to have it raw, just cook them at low temperature for a short period. It will maximize flavor and nutrient content. However, cooking decreases the phytonutrients in carrots
Q. What is the proper amount of carrot to have in a day?
Answer: You can keep one baby carrot in your daily food chart. As it is low in fat, an excellent source of fiber, antioxidant, vitamin C, beta-carotene and has a very less amount of sugar.
Q. Is eating carrots on empty stomach safe?
Answer: Eating carrots on empty stomach is not a problem unless you have diverticulitis, IBS, Crohns Disease, etc.
Q. Which carrots have the most beta-carotene?
Answer: Orange carrots contain the highest amount of beta-carotene, purple carrots contain anthocyanin, and red ones contain lycopene. But if you peel off the skin of the carrot, you won’t enjoy the particular nutritional benefits.
Q. What are the best ways to preserve carrots on home?
Answer: If the post-harvest storage conditions are poor, your carrot might become slimy after keeping in the refrigerator. There is a risk of food poisoning in that case. Try to buy fresh ones from reliable stores. The best way to store carrot is a plastic bag and keep them on the coolest side of the refrigerator.