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5 Health Benefits of Eating Carrots

11/21/2011 2:30:00 PM

Tags: natural health, eye health, heart health, carrots, detox, antioxidants, alpha carotene, beta carotene, vitamin A, lutein

As the temperature starts to dip, the time for root vegetables is upon us. Crispy, crunchy and delicious on its own, carrots are one of the most popular vegetables and can be enjoyed year-round. Colorful and packed with antioxidants, this crunchy vegetable superstar has a lot to offer. Check out these five health benefits of carrots!

Antioxidants 

Like other vibrant fruits and vegetables, carrots are rich in antioxidants such as alpha- and beta-carotene, vitamin C, cyanidins and lutein. Different varieties of carrots carry differing amounts of specific antioxidants. Orange carrots are rich in beta-carotene, yellow carrots contain more lutein, and red and purple carrots have higher levels of anthocyanins.

carrots in a wooden box 

Healthy Eyes 

Sometimes stereotypes are true—such as the stereotype about carrots being good for our eyes. While eating lots of carrots won’t improve your vision, carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the liver converts to vitamin A—an important nutrient for maintaining healthy eyes. Lack of vitamin A can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eyes and, in extreme cases, blindness. Carrots also contain lutein, an antioxidant that helps prevent macular degeneration. 

Cancer Prevention 

Eating carrots has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer by up to one-third. Falcarinol, a natural pesticide found in carrots that prevents the growth of fungal diseases, is responsible for the root vegetable’s anti-cancer benefits.

Heart Health 

Thanks to their high antioxidant content, carrots can help prevent cardiovascular disease. A ten-year study from the Netherlands found that eating dark orange/yellow foods offer more protection for our hearts than does eating green, red/purple and white foods, and that of the orange/yellow foods available, carrots offered the most protection from cardiovascular disease. Falcarinol and other polyacetylenes (a type of phytonutrient) also have anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent red blood cells from clumping together, helping to promote heart health.

Natural Detox 

Vitamin A helps the liver secrete bile and flush toxins from the body, aiding a natural detox regime. The high fiber content of carrots also helps to regulate the digestive system.

Carrot Recipes 

Try these recipes for carrots:

Applesauce, Carrot and Walnut Mini Muffins
Carrot Soup
Honey-Ginger Carrots
Baked Carrots with Horseradish
Glazed Carrots with Mint Sauce
Carrot and Beet Slaw 

(And for something a little sweet, try this homemade carrot cake recipe.)

Image: Photo By Chiot's Run/Courtesy Flickr 


Susan Melgren is the Web Editor of
Mother Earth Living. Find her on .


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Post a comment below.

 

healthbenefit11
1/16/2013 12:05:10 PM
Carrots are awesome, even my dog loves them! I cut them up into pieces and then dip them into hummus for a snack, especially when I'm studying - it's good to know that they have all these health benefits :) Health Benefits Of

Ndaka Neh
11/10/2012 10:25:45 AM
thanks for making me know the importance of carrot to my health. i discover the miracle in taking carrot especially to my eyes.



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