Health Benefits of Carrots
Are carrots good for you? We tend to think of carrots for promoting healthy eyes, but there are so many other Health Benefits of Carrots! In this article we’ll cover a few questions like are carrots keto, how many carbs in carrots and how many calories in a carrot.
Next to potatoes, the humble carrot is the second most popular vegetable out there. If you’re like me, you probably buy both potatoes and carrots (and onions and celery) each and every week at the market.
Are Carrots Good For You
Yes! There are so many Health Benefits of Carrots! They’re a rich source of vitamins (vitamin A, B6, Biotin and vitamin K), minerals (potassium) and antioxidants beta carotene and lutein which promotes good eye health, and lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant (found in many red fruits and vegetables) and may help decrease risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease. (1)
- Protects Vision: They’re a good source of beta-carotene which converts into Vitamin A, and our retinas need Vitamin A. Beta-carotene also helps protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. People who eat the most carrots have a significant reduction in developing macular degeneration (some reports suggest by 40%). They’re also a good source of lutein which supports good eye health. (2)
- May Help Prevent Cancer: According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the antioxidant beta-carotene contained in carrots may help to protect our cells from oxidative stress which may inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells.
- Cardiovascular Support: Studies show that diets rich in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots are high in soluble fibers (mostly from pectin), and consuming them on a regular basis (about a cup a day) have been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
- Detox/Cleanse: Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It helps to remove bile and fat in the liver. The soluble fiber found in carrots helps to clean out the colon and promotes waste movement.
- Promotes Brain Health: People who eat more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot in a month. Eating more root vegetables helps to protect our brain from cognitive decline. In certain studies, it was found that middle-aged people who ate the lowest amount of root vegetables showed more than three times the amount of cognitive decline than those who ate the most. Beta-carotene found in carrots helps to support a healthy central nervous system and may protect it from premature aging.
- Boosts Immunity: Vitamin A found in carrots is important for strengthening our immune systems. It stimulates the production of white blood cells, which plays a large role in protecting our bodies from diseases. Vitamin A also regulates the release of immune cells in the gut.
- Anti-inflammatory Benefits: Inflammation is believed to be if not the root cause – then at least a contributing factor of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer and arthritis. The Vitamin A provided in carrots offer anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin A is one of the most important anti-inflammatory vitamins out there. The vitamin A content in carrots is one of the more important Health Benefits of Carrots!
- Fiber. Along with other vegetables, carrots are a rich source of fiber.
- Weight management. Not only are they low calorie, but they also have a high water content so they’re a great food for weight management.
Carrot Nutrition Facts
One cup raw chopped carrots contain the following nutrients. (3)
Total Carbohydrates: 12.3 g
- Dietary Fiber: 3.6
- Starch: 1.8 g
- Sugars: 6.1g
- Vitamin A: 21383 IU
- Vitamin C: 7.6 mg
- Vitamin E: 0.8 mg
- Vitamin K: 16.9 mcg
- Thiamin: 0.1 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.1 mg
- Niacin: 1.3 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
- Folate: 24.3 mcg
- Pantothenic Acid: 0.3 mg
- Choline: 11.3 mg
- Calcium: 42.2 mg
- Iron: 0.4 mg
- Magnesium: 15.4 mg
- Potassium: 410 mg
- Zinc: 0.3 mg
- Manganese: 0.2 mg
How Many Calories in a Carrot
Carrots (along with celery sticks) are a popular low-calorie diet food. They contain about 41 calories per medium-sized carrot or 52.5 calories per cup of chopped carrots.
How Many Carbs in Carrots
Carrots are composed of mostly water and carbs. They’re also a good source of fiber providing about 2 grams of fiber for a medium-sized carrot. They contain about 9.6 carbs per medium-sized carrot and rank low on the glycemic index. Foods that are low in carbs and low on the glycemic index don’t usually have a big impact on blood sugar levels.
Are Carrots Keto
It’s best if carrots are eaten in small quantities when following a keto diet. Some vegetables that contain less carbs than carrots (and can be consumed in larger quantities) which might be a better choice when following a keto diet such as celery, broccoli and cauliflower.
Cooked or Raw
Some research shows that lightly cooking carrots may actually help to boost their nutritional content, providing higher levels of beta-carotene and antioxidant properties. With that said, you don’t want to boil the life (and nutrients) out of them.
Should I Cut the Greens from my Carrots
Keep the Greens or Toss Them? It’s best to remove the greens from them before storing in the refrigerator to prevent the greens from drawing out moisture and nutrients from the root.
Do You Have to Peel Carrots
Carrots might not look as appealing in their natural state, but it’s not necessary to peel them. In fact they’re healthier and provide more nutrients when left unpeeled. It’s still a good idea though to rinse them under cold water and scrub away any dirt and debris before using them.