Carrots offer you a host of health benefits as it is rich in a number of vital nutrients. Some of the most important health benefits that carrots provide are reduced cholesterol, reduces risk of heart attacks, prevents cancer, improves vision and reduces signs of immature aging. In addition to these, carrots also have the ability to improve the health of your skin, boost the immune system, improves digestion and cardiovascular health, detoxifies the body and boosts oral health in a number of ways.
Carrots are scientifically classified as Daucus carota and they are categorized as a root vegetable. This vegetable is usually orange in colour although purple, black, red, white and yellow variations also exist. The most commonly eaten part is the taproot but the green part is sometimes eaten as well. The most commonly eaten variety of carrot is the domesticated variation of the wild species and is native to Europe and Southwestern Asia.
Carrots are mainly composed of water and carbohydrates and carbohydrates consist of starch and sugar like sucrose and glucose. Carrots derive their nutritional benefits from beta-carotene and fiber that are present in them. They are also rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C. Vitamin K, Vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper and manganese. Lastly, they are rich in anti-oxidants as well.
Beta-carotenoids present in carrots help to fight different types of cancer. Studies have shown that smokers who do not consume carrots have 3 times the risk of acquiring lung cancer compared to those who eat carrots. Consumption of beta-carotene also helps to inverse the development of colon cancer. Carrot juice extract may be used to kill leukemia cells and inhibit their progression. Diets rich in beta-carotene also protect you against prostate cancer.
Deficiency of Vitamin A causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate and causes damage to your eyes. Carrot contains high content of beta-carotenes and this helps to overcome the Vitamin A deficiencies. However, studies have shown that it is unlikely that people will experience any positive changes in their vision unless they already suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.
Macular degeneration is a common disease which affects the elderly and impairs the function of the macula. People who consume greater amounts of beta-carotene (found in carrots) have a significantly lower risk of macular degeneration compared to those who consume less. Provitamin-A, which is formed when beta-carotene splits via an enzymatic reaction, also helps to improve vision.
People susceptible to Type-2 diabetes may be able to reduce the risk of developing the condition by consuming beta-carotene (found in carrots). Carrots have carotenoids which inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar and help diabetic patients to lead a happy and healthy life. Carotenoids also help to regulate the amount of insulin and glucose that is being used and metabolized by the body and thus provides a more even and healthy fluctuation for diabetic patients.
Carrots have a healthy amount of dietary fiber in their roots and, thus, its consumption will surely improve your digestive processes. The movement of stool becomes smooth as fiber adds bulk to it. Fiber also enhances peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices. This entire process helps to reduce the severity of conditions like constipation and protects your stomach and colon from various serious illnesses like colorectal cancer. Fiber also helps to excessive LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels and so improves your heart health.
Carrots are rich in Vitamin C which helps to stimulate the activities of white blood cells. White blood cells are primarily responsible for protecting our body from harmful diseases and other foreign objects. In addition, they also have a number of antiseptic and antibacterial properties which help to strengthen our immunity system.
Carrots are a rich source of potassium which is a vasodilator. This means that potassium helps to decrease or relax the blood pressure in your arteries and veins and increases blood flow and circulation. This, in turn, boosts organ function throughout the body and reduces stress on the cardiovascular system. When the cardiovascular system is stress-free, the chances of health disorders like atherosclerosis, strokes and heart attacks are significantly reduced.
Carrots are found to reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood. High cholesterol is a major cause for most of the heart diseases. A research report shows that cholesterol level drops by an average of 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots are consumed daily for a period of three weeks.
Not only are the organic products present in carrot are good by themselves for mineral antioxidants, but carrots also stimulate gums and induce excess saliva. Saliva is alkaline in nature and fights the bacteria and foreign bodies that cause cavities, halitosis and other oral problems.
Carrots can be used as laxatives, vermicides and also as a remedy for liver conditions as they have antiseptic properties. Carrot oil is good for dry skin as it makes skin smoother, softer and firmer. Carrot juice also improves stomach and gastrointestinal health.
Carrot is beneficial to the health in a number of ways. It improves eyesight, prevents macular degeneration and takes care of your eyes as a whole. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, prevents heart diseases, reduces high blood pressure and also takes care of your digestive system. It even reduces the risks of cancer and stroke.
Inspite of all the nutritional benefits that carrots provide, consuming carrots has a number of side effects as well. Carrots may be unsafe for infants and it is advisable to feed them only small portions. Some individuals may be allergic to carrots and they may experience skin rashes, diarrhea, anaphylactic reactions, hives and swelling. Carrots are not good for breastfeeding women. Regular consumption of carrots may lead to compulsive consuming in some people. When these people stop eating carrots, they may fall prey to insomnia, irritability, nervousness and water brash. When taken in large quantities, carrots leave the skin abnormally yellow to orange in colour.
Carrot is one of the most important root vegetables grown in temperate regions of the world. It has derived from the wild carrot which has ivory or white coloured roots. The orange rooted carrot is derived from yellow rooted domestic varieties. The earliest vegetable known to be a carrot dates from the 10th century in Persia and Asia Minor and was quite unlike the orange-rooted variety of today. The center of diversity for the carrot is in Central Asia and the first cultivation of carrot for it storage roots is reported to be in Afghanistan region, about 1100 years ago.
Carrots are grown from seed and it takes 4 months to mature. Carrots require full sun and sandy soil for its proper growth. They can however tolerate a moderate amount of shade. It is best to plant seeds 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date.