Carrots - Health Benefits of Carrot – Carrot Juice
Carrots are easily identified by their unique deep orange color which indicates that they contain high amounts of beta carotene. Beta carotene is a key anti-oxidant found in carrots and has many potent benefits.
Nutrients found in Carrots
Carrots are an excellent source of carotenoids, especially beta carotene. Beta carotene is also known as vegetable vitamin A because it is converted to Vitamin A by the enzymes in the body.
These orange vegetables are also a good source of vitamins and minerals like:
Best known for maintaining healthy vision and normal cellular functions
helps in converting food into energy and production of red blood cells
a natural immunity booster
helps in blood clotting.
which is a natural remedy against stroke,
for development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth
for energy production and normalizing potassium levels.
Promotes regular bowel movement. Helps expel out toxins and waste in the body. Lowers LDL cholesterol levels. Prevents constipation.
Natural Healing Properties in Carrots | Health Benefits of Carrots
Carrots are known for their numerous natural healing properties. Here are the top ten benefits of carrots:
1. Stroke: A study conducted in Harvard found that eating carrots at least five times a week cuts down your risk of stroke by 68%, as compared to eating carrots just once in a month. Carrots are carotene-rich vegetables and they are packed with anti-oxidants, which are suspected to be the property that gives them anti-stroke abilities. According to the University of Brussels, people with a significant quantity of beta carotene and other vitamin A in their bodies are more likely to survive motor-neuron disability, brain damage or death caused by a stroke. What happens during a stroke is that blocked arteries in the brain prevent oxygen from reaching the brain cells. Without oxygen, these suffocated brain cells then begin to malfunction, and this is ends up completely destroying nerve cells, leading to permanent loss of bodily functions or worse, death. Having enough Vitamin A in the body will give your brain cells an advantage in minimizing any likelihood of neurologic damage. Regular intake of carrots increases your beta-carotene level and gives you a better chance of avoiding and surviving strokes.
2. Cholesterol control: Nowadays, many of the junk foods we snack on are guaranteed to have at least a little cholesterol, and you don’t even have to check on the nutrition facts to confirm this! A little cholesterol isn’t bad for you, but when piled up, the results can be very hazardous. Carrots can easily curb down the bad cholesterol in your body and raise good cholesterol. Yes, you may have thought all cholesterol was bad – but actually there is bad cholesterol, as well as good cholesterol. Heart problems may arise due to high levels of bad cholesterol culminating in blocked arteries. The carotene contained in carrots is very beneficial as it inhibits cholesterol from becoming toxic and forming clots that block arteries, causing cardiovascular diseases. Carrots can help you keep the bad cholesterol in check as they are rich in anti-cholesterol fiber including pectin and provide a natural way to steer clear of heart problems.
3. Immune Booster: If you’re looking for foods that increase immunity, the perfect go-for is carrots, which contain a tremendous amount of vitamins especially beta carotene. Carotene amplifies the body’s natural defenses against many bacterial and viral infections and most of all fights cancerous cell growth. Since carrots contain a lot of vitamins and minerals and low sugars and no fat at all, they are naturally the foods to eat for a healthy protected immune system. The various anti-oxidants that are packed in this root vegetable have natural anti-septic, anti-cancer and anti-cholesterol properties that makes them one of the must-eat vegetables in your dinner plate.
4. Cancer: Diet is one of the key weapons against the ruthless enemy - cancer and carrots are one of the best cancer-fighters. The rich beta carotene found in carrots is a potent anti-oxidant which may safeguard the body from various types of cancer including lung cancer, breast, prostate, bladder, and oral cancers. A recent 12-year study of 3,000 men in Switzerland discovered that those with low amounts of beta carotene and vitamin A in blood were more likely to die of all types of cancer, especially lung cancer. When eaten in very high amounts, the excess beta carotene may actually be a cause for cancer, some studies show. But this is not proven and in fact, carrots contain falcarinol, a natural pesticide found in plants, which is found to cut down the risk of cancer in people. Falcarinol, is a poly-acetylene anti-oxidant and research chows that it is efficient in destroying pre-cancerous cells found in tumors, thereby preventing cancer. Studies also show that people who eat carrots are likely to reduce the chances of getting colon cancer by 24%.
5. Eyesight: You've probably heard it a lot from your mom that carrots are important for healthy vision- and it’s true. Though anti-oxidants found in carrots cannot not cure myopia just as eating more than enough carrots can heal a blind man, carrots actually help in improving night vision. A person suffering from night blindness can crunch on a few carrots for better night vision. Beta carotene in carrots also helps suppress cataracts that mostly affect aged people.
- Macular degeneration: For healthy eyesight even in old age, munch on a carrot every day, which may save you from going blind or contract other eye complications in old age. Foods that contain lutein including carrots help protect the macula, as well as the retina from damage. According to Wikipedia, the macula is an oval-shaped highly pigmented yellow spot near the center of the retina of the human eye. It is worn out gradually throughout life, as it is persistently exposed to free radicals. Basically, free radicals are unstable oxygen atoms.These free radicals need another electron to be stable again, so they steal electrons from bodily cells, in this case the macula. In time, the macula weakens resulting in dimmed or blurred eyesight, or even blindness. Nevertheless, nourishing the eyes gradually, with low quantities of anti-oxidants especially beta carotene from carrots in your daily diet may keep the macula strong and help fight off the oxygen-stealing free radicals.
6. Healthy skin: Many people are unaware that carrots are very beneficial for radiant skin. Important nutrients found in carrots, including phytochemicals and vitamin E that help nourish, tone and moisturize the skin while revitalizing cells in the skin. Pytochemicals, (Greek word phyto; plant) are basically substances/chemicals found in fruits and vegetables that are brightly colored. Carrots also contain a wide combination of carotenoids for example; beta carotene, zeaxanthin and lycopene. These natural ingredients and anti-oxidants provide a shield, protecting the skin from harmful UV rays that cause sunburn. The powerful anti-aging properties contained in carrots aid in lessening wrinkles and sagging skin, which are the typical signs of aging. They do this by fighting off free radicals that strip off oxygen from healthy skin cells. The beneficial anti-oxidants also help remove the free radicals that are produced through constant exposure of the skin to sun, thereby, gradually eliminating sun-induced discolorations and sunspots. The abundant Vitamin A in carrots helps to flush out toxins from the body through the liver resulting in clear and pimple-free skin. Potassium, a potent mineral found in carrots also aids in achieving clear complexion through stabilizing excess acidity in the body. Undeniably, too much of anything is bad for your health. A very high intake of carrots per day can bring about a condition called carotenemia, which is described by its symptom of yellowish coloration of the skin. Though it is said to be a mild condition, the effects may, at times, be irreversible.
7. Liver Detoxifier: Carrot juice is a great tonic that cleanses and purifies the liver. Carrot juice helps in removing harmful toxins that may accumulate up in the body resulting into poisoning of the liver which is very damaging to the body. The key anti-oxidant that contributes to a strong liver is Vitamin A. Because carrot juice contains vitamin A more than any other food, it is very important in cleaning out a fatty liver. A fatty liver is one which has accumulated certain fats (triglycerides) and has a yellowish tinge. Before taking a carrot juice liver flush, you must consult your doctor as the likely side-effects could lead to impairment of this delicate organ. Though vitamin A found in carrots helps in detoxifying the liver, too much of it can actually lead to toxicity that can damage the liver greatly, causing it to malfunction. However, drinking carrot juice every day but in moderation, at least an 8 oz glass, contributes to a generally healthy liver.
8. Blood pressure: Carrot juice controls blood pressure within the bloodstream by normalizing the rate at which the heart and kidneys function. The major components within carrot juice that contribute to normal blood pressure are: beta carotene and potassium. Research shows that beta carotene can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by helping in regulating heart functions. The consequence of inadequate potassium in the body is sodium retention which, in the long run may prompt high blood pressure. Adding potassium regularly to your diet can lower blood pressure. Toss a half cup of shredded carrots into your vegetable salad for a secure blood circulatory system and healthy heart.
9. Diabetes: Since diabetes has no proper medical cure that will treat the disease once and for all, we should all do our best to prevent it. We can do this by keeping a eye on our diets, avoiding unnecessary sweets and snacks that could increase the risks of being diagnosed with diabetes inspidus, also known as diabetes type II. A recent study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health speculated that the rich carotenoids and anti-oxidants, that are found in carrots, may help stave off diabetes. Free radicals can also bring about diabetes and they also interfere with medications and treatment of diabetes in the long run. Carrots can help eliminate these free radicals because they contain carotenoids, among other anti-oxidants, that help in normalizing blood sugar and reducing the blood sugar levels. If we really care for our health, we should restrain our indirectly harmful and overly active 'sweet tooths' and cravings for snacks that contain zero vitamins and minerals that we really need for a healthy system.
10. Weight Loss: Did you know that you can burn fats just by crunching on a few carrot sticks? Yeah, it's amazing. But how? Carrots have very few calories so when they are being digested by the body, a lot more calories are used to break down the carrots as compared to the calories that are in the carrots. Carrots contain a lot of dietary fiber. As you may know, fiber isn't nutritious but the body enzymes try to break down the fiber in foods anyway. They need energy to digest and break down the fiber so the many enzymes sent by the stomach glands use almost all the food's energy in trying to breakdown its fiber. In so doing, the metabolism of your body is increased and the sugars that might have otherwise been converted to fats, will have already gotten used up. Carotene and other significant anti-oxidants protect your body organs from wearing out so they can function smoothly and burn calories.
The dietary fiber found in carrots may not be nutritious but it is roughage that helps in maintaining regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. It also aids in preventing and curing problems such as piles and hermorroids.