Top 7 Health Benefits of Eating Carrots
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. I go through a lot of carrots, mostly because I make a lot of soups (with mirepoix).
Here’s a few good reasons to eat more carrots!
1. Protects Vision
Carrots are 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%). Carrots are also a good source of lutein which supports good eye health.
2. Helps 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 cancer cells.
3. 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 carrots on a regular basis (about a cup a day) have been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
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.
5. 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 a month or less (according to a Harvard University study). Eating more root vegetables (carrots) protect our brains from cognitive decline. 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 carrots. Beta-carotene found in carrots protects the central nervous system agains aging.
6. 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.
7. Anti-inflammatory Benefits
Inflammation is believed to be if not the root cause – then at least a contirbuting 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.
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.
Keep the Greens or Toss Them.
It’s best to remove the greens from the carrots for storing to prevent the greens from drawing out moisture and nutrients from the root
Here are a few recipes to help you incorporate more carrots into your diet.
Carrot Smoothie by yours truly
Awesome Carrot Ginger Soup yes by yours truly
Healthy Carrot Muffins by Cookie and Kate
Banana Carrot Cake by My New Roots
Moroccan Spiced Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Carrots by Gouremande In the Kitchen
Ginger Carrot Salad with Quinoa by Naturally Ella
http://ohshegloHeavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal by Oh She Glows