Carrots are a vegetable that has many health benefits such as improving eyesight, strengthening teeth and bones, and promoting good digestion.
This vegetable is very good for your health as it provides different nutrients such as fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin K and antioxidants.
Carrots get their orange color from their content of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A upon entering the body.
In this article, you will find out more about the health benefits of carrots.
Carrots contain a water range of 86% -95% and each serving has about 10% carbohydrates.
They also contain little fat and protein.
In 100 grams of raw carrot there are:
- Fat: 0.2 grams.
- Calories: 41.
- Fiber: 2.8 grams.
- Water: 88%.
- Sugar: 4.7 grams.
- Proteins: 0.9 grams.
- Carbohydrates: 9.6 grams.
Carrots are composed mainly of water and carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates consist mainly of starch and sugars (such as glucose and sucrose).
However, they have a low glycemic index (GI). In fact, their GI ranges from 16 to 60: lower for raw carrots, a little for cooked carrots, and higher for purée.
Eating low-GI foods is especially beneficial for people with diabetes.
Carrots have a soluble fiber called pectin.
Soluble fibers are beneficial because they lower blood sugar levels, feed healthy bacteria in the gut, and lower blood cholesterol levels.
Carrots also have insoluble fibers which are beneficial for fighting constipation and promoting regular bowel movements.
Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to the aforementioned, carrots are a rich source of vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A: carrots contain beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A upon entering the body. This nutrient is good for eye health and improves the immune system.
- Vitamin B6: helps convert food into energy.
- Vitamin K1: helps blood clotting and promotes healthy bones.
- Biotin: helps metabolize fats and proteins.
- Potassium: helps control blood pressure.
Other Plant Compounds
The main plant compounds in carrots are:
- Anthocyanins: It is an antioxidant found in dark-colored carrots.
- Beta carotene: it is better absorbed when carrots are cooked.
- Polyacetylenes: reduces the risk of developing leukemia and other types of cancer.
- Alpha-carotene: This antioxidant is converted to vitamin A once it enters the body.
- Lycopene: helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Lutein: This antioxidant is good for improving eyesight.
Health Benefits of Carrots
Research focuses on the main benefits of carotenoids.
1. May Reduce Risk of Cancer
In addition, it helps reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.
2. May Help Lower Blood Cholesterol
High cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease.
It is advisable to eat carrots because they help reduce blood cholesterol levels.
3. May Support Weight Loss
Carrots are a low-calorie food that prolongs the feeling of fullness.
This helps to consume less salty in the following meals and, consequently, to lose weight.
4. Can Promote Eye Health
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which reduces the risk of night blindness.
In addition, carotenoids help fight degenerative damage to the macula related to aging.
Organic vs. Conventionally Grown Carrots
According to studies, organic carrots and carrots that were planted conventionally do not present a significant difference in their content of antioxidants or carotenoids.
However, commercial carrots contain pesticides that could lead to health problems in the long run.
Baby carrots are a very popular snack.
Baby carrots are those that are harvested before growing, while baby-cut carrots are pieces of a large carrot that is peeled and cut before packaging.
There are no significant differences in nutrient content between regular carrots and baby carrots.
While carrots are generally considered safe, they can have adverse effects in certain people.
Also, consuming too many carrots can make your skin turn a little orange, which is not harmful.
One study found that carrots can cause allergic reactions similar to pollen.
The allergy to carrots comes from a cross-reactivity by which the proteins of certain vegetables or fruits cause an allergic reaction due to their similarity with proteins present in pollen.
The symptoms are tingling and itching in the mouth. In some cases, it can cause swelling in the throat or anaphylaxis.
Carrots that are planted in contaminated soil or are exposed to contaminated water, can cause excess heavy metals in the body, which affects their quality and safety.
The Bottom Line
Carrots are a perfect snack that can be consumed at any time.
They are crunchy, sweet, low in calories, and packed with nutrients.
Thanks to their compounds, carrots support heart and eye health, improve digestion, and are beneficial for weight loss.
This vegetable comes in different colors, sizes, and shapes, and all of them are good for the health of the body.