Carrots contain a whole host of health benefits, including antioxidants to fight inflammation, support for heart health, teeth and gums, cognitive function, good digestion, and eyesight. (Your mum really did know best when she told you carrots would help you see in the dark!)
Carrots can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, roasted, or as ingredients in other dishes.
1. Eye Health
Carrots contain nutrients that help maintain and develop vision, including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. A lack of one of these nutrients can cause problems, such as macular degeneration and blindness due to a lack of beta-carotene.
2. Antioxidant Action
Carrots are full of antioxidants, which are necessary to weaken the effects of harmful free radicals on the body and the immune system. They also protect against cell mutation and certain types of cancers.
3. Heart Health
Research shows that women who eat more orange-colored vegetables could lower their risk of developing heart disease. Some other studies show that carrots are linked with the reduction of cholesterol, because they increase bile production.
4. Oral Health
Carrots have anti-microbial properties that can help prevent bacteria growth in the mouth, and snacking on a raw carrot or two after a meal can help remove plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums.
5. Helps Wound Healing
Traditionally, carrots were used in a poultice for minor wounds such as cuts and scrapes. Their healing properties come from their anti-microbial action, and the antioxidant beta-carotene.
6. Brain Health and Cognitive Function
Carrots can help protect against brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s, and this is mainly down to the antioxidant effects of the vegetable.
7. Could Help Fight Cancer
Carotenoids can help lower the risk of cancer, research shows. A study on women who have a family history of breast cancer found that drinking carrot juice daily helped to protect their tissues from developing cancerous cells.
8. Aids Digestion
Carrots are a good source of fiber, which is crucial to trouble-free digestion. A lack of fiber can lead to constipation and hemorrhoids, so it’s essential to get enough. Carrots help your digestive system to move everything along smoothly.
Free radicals can speed up aging, and weaken the body. The beta-carotene in carrots helps to protect against this, and the collagen in carrots can help your skin feel firmer.
10. Healthy Hair and Skin
Vitamin A, which is found in carrots, can help protect skin against harmful UV rays. This nutrient also helps the skin by keeping it hydrated, and vitamin C helps you to get that glowing, healthy-looking skin.
11. Lowers Risk of Diabetes
Research has shown good results regarding the effect of carrots on blood sugar levels. People in one study who had high chances of developing type 2 diabetes reduced their risk level by regularly eating foods containing beta-carotene.