Carrots are a powerhouse of vitamins with a tremendous amount of beta carotene, six different B-vitamins, Vitamin C and E. It is also rich in minerals and contains manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
With such an impressive list of nutrients in it, carrot consumption benefits human health in many ways. Drinking carrot juice is a healthy option as the nutrient content in the juice is very concentrated and it is easily digestible.
1. Anti-Oxidant Benefits:
Our body contains molecules called free radicals that cause damage to body cells in certain circumstances. Free radicals have been associated with grim diseases like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, and much more. Anti-oxidants are compounds that can donate electrons and counteract the free radicals.
Natural antioxidants can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Other than the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, carrots contain valuable amounts of antioxidant phytonutrients such as carotenoids [alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein], Hydroxycinnamic acids [caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid] and Anthocyanindins. [cyanidins, malvidins]
The combination of antioxidants in carrots acts synergistically to provide us with various health benefits, especially for the heart. This synergistic effect of carrot antioxidants is what makes this vegetable a unique and incredible source of nourishment as the same effect cannot be achieved by consuming these same antioxidants from separate sources.
2. Detox your Liver
Carrot juice is highly recommended for liver detoxification as it is believed to help in breaking down the accumulated toxins. More than a liter of fresh raw carrot juice is recommended on a daily basis for detoxing your liver, blood and intestinal tract.
Excessive intake of carotene-rich foods often leads to an orange tint in the skin. This results from carotenemia, excessive levels of carotene in the blood and this medical condition is known as Carotoderma. This skin discoloration is believed to be harmless and it usually disappears when consumption of offending food item is reduced.
There is also another theory that says this skin color change is due to the liver detoxification effects of carrot juice. High doses of carrot juice purge large amounts of toxins from the body and the bloodstream gets overwhelmed with these toxins. When the kidneys are not able to handle this overload, these toxins are eliminated through the pores of the skin. This causes the skin to turn yellow or orange and is considered to be a good sign that the liver is getting cleansed. This pigmentation is said to be harmless and it will eventually vanish when the body is cleared of toxins. It is believed that once the liver is detoxified, further consumption of high doses of carrot juice will not turn the skin orange again.
3. Improve your Vision
According to researchers from the Jules Stein Institute in Los Angeles, women who consume carrots at least twice per week have significantly lower rates of glaucoma in comparison to women who consume carrots less than once per week. High eye pressure called intraocular pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve which transmits images to the brain; this medical condition is known as Glaucoma. If untreated, glaucoma will result in permanent loss of vision.
Geranyl acetate, a photo-nutrient found in carrot seeds is associated with reduced risk of cataracts. The beta-carotene and lutein found in carrots play a major role in improving our eye sight. Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night blindness. The liver transforms beta-carotene into vitamin A. Retinol is produced in the retina from Vitamin A and this compound is necessary for the formation of rhodopsin, a pigment which is required for healthy night vision.
4. Anti-Cancer Effects
The polyacetylenes, especially falcarinol, found in carrots have shown the ability to inhibit the grown of colon cancer cells during lab studies. Small, but noteworthy effects on colon cell health were seen in study participants who drank about 1.5 cups of fresh carrot juice daily. Since carrots are such a rich source of antioxidants, digestive tract-supporting fiber and unique phytonutrients like falcarinol, it is believed to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
The presence of Vitamin E in carrots is also believed to inhibit the spread of cancer. During lab experiments, when cancer tissue was placed in a vitamin-E-rich blood serum, the cancer tissue was unable to grow. Other studies in which certain animals were fed high vitamin E diets, they developed better cancer resistance in comparison to animals who were given foods lacking this particular vitamin.
The high levels of carotenoids in carrot juice are associated with reduced risks for postmenopausal breast cancer. The presence of alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene, xanthophylls, lycopene and lutein in carrots are believed to help reduce the risk of larynx, colon, prostate, cervix, and bladder cancer by about 50%.
5. Skin and Hair Benefits
The abundance of vitamins and the high antioxidant content in carrots can do wonders for your skin and hair. The antioxidants in carrots help to delay ageing, reduces wrinkles, pigmentation and uneven skin tones. They also aid in the treatment of various skin ailments like acne, rashes, dermatitis, etc. The vitamin C aids in the production of collagen which maintains the elasticity of your skin. Lack of potassium in your diet causes your skin to dry out and flake. Carrots are a good source of potassium and help to keep your skin hydrated.
Applying carrot pulp externally on the skin also helps to clear acne and blemishes. You can make inexpensive face masks at home with ground carrots and honey to make your skin glow. It helps to revitalize and tone your skin. Carrots have anti-inflammatory properties; grated carrot can be applied to wounds to aid the healing process.
Carrots are well known for their promotion of hair growth, making them stronger, thicker and shinier. Vitamin A assists the production of natural hair oil in your scalp which keeps the hair lustrous and reduces breakage. Vitamin C and the various antioxidants reduce hair loss and premature greying; they also improve blood circulation in the scalp which helps stimulate hair growth. Vitamins B6 and B12 also have a role in maintaining the vitality of your hair.
The Golden Glow: Carrot Juice Recipe
- Carrots – 3 large ones
- Apple – 1 medium
- Lemon – ½
- Ginger – ½ inch piece
- Honey – ½ tsp. [optional]
If the produce is organic, you don’t have to peel them. Otherwise it is advisable to peel the skin from the apple and carrots. Juice them together with the piece of ginger. Squeeze and add the lemon juice. Mix well and taste to see if the sweetness of honey is required.
Enjoy it freshly made. Make it a part of your daily routine, just one glass a day. In a matter of just days, you will notice the difference: the incredible health changes, the glow in your skin, the spring in your step…
With a Masters in Food Science and Nutrition, Tilottama has carved a niche for herself in the Health Writing Industry. She is passionate about helping her readers make informed decisions about the food they eat. She believes in the healing power of food and in food as medicine. Tilottama is an editor and writer at Fitnesshacks.org.