Whether you love to crunch on them, dice them into your salad or coleslaw, or make them into juice, carrots are a healthy source of Beta carotene, among other vital health uses. Carrots are one of the most widely used and enjoyed vegetables in the world, partly because they grow relatively easily and are very versatile in a number of dishes and cultural cuisines.
Scientifically classified as “Daucuscarota”, carrots are an edible root vegetable. Obviously in this part of the world (Nigeria), it is the time of year; one is likely to see carts full of bright orange carrots. The carrots are young, fresh and are kept hydrated throughout the day with sprays of water.
It is typically orange in colour, but purple, white, yellow, and red carrots are out there – just not as common.The many medicinal and health benefits of carrots, along with its delicious taste, are what make this such an important vegetable.
Immune Booster: Carrots contain a number of antiseptic and antibacterial abilities that make it ideal for boosting the immune system. Not only that, carrots are a rich source of vitamin C, which stimulates the activity of white blood cells and is one of the most important elements in the human immune system.
Antioxidant Benefits of Carrots
All varieties of carrots contain valuable amounts of antioxidant nutrients. Included here are traditional antioxidants like vitamin C, as well as phytonutrient antioxidants like beta-carotene. The list of carrot phytonutrient antioxidants is by no means limited to beta-carotene. Different varieties of carrots contain differing amounts of these antioxidant phytonutrients. Red and purple carrots, for example, are best known for the rich anthocyanin content.
Vitamin A and antioxidants protect the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A protects the skin from sun damage and even prevents premature pigmentation, wrinkling, dry skin, acne and uneven skin tone. An inexpensive and convenient facial mask, made from mixing grated carrot with a bit of honey, ensures a beautiful skin.
Cleanses the body
Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibre present in carrots helps clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.
Low risk of heart diseases
Eating more deep-orange-coloured fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). In particular, research shows that carrots are associated with a 32 percent ability to lower risk of CHD. The consumption of carrots has also been associated with a lower risk of heart attacks in women.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision. Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat large amounts of beta-carotene had a 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.
In a Harvard University study, it was revealed that people who ate five or more carrots a week were less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less.
Oral Health: The organic compounds in carrots all by themselves are good for mineral antioxidants, but carrots also stimulate the gums and induce excess saliva. Saliva is an alkaline substance and combats the bacteria and foreign bodies that can often result in cavities, halitosis, and other oral health risks.
Carrots contain α and β carotenoids, which are powerful antioxidants that fight cancer. A high intake of carotenoids is found to reduce the risk of a variety of cancers that include oesophageal, laryngeal, cervical, colon, prostrate and post-menopausal breast cancers. Researchers at Japan’s KP University of Medicine opine that α-carotene may be actually stronger than β carotene in inhibiting tumour prosperity in the human body.
Carrots can be a better option thaAn expensive anti-ageing creams for you. Unlike anti-ageing creams that work superficially on your skin, when you eat carrots, its beta carotene works internally on each and every cell of yours to combat the effects of cellular damage caused due to ageing. The antioxidants of carrots reverse the adverse effects of cellular metabolism that bring about ageing.