Carrots are one of the most popular versatile vegetables in the world whether they are eaten raw, cooked or juice, people from nearly every culture have consumed carrots in their many forms throughout history.
While carrots are known for their signature orange color, they can be found in shades of purple, yellow, white and red. carrots get their color from antioxidants called carotenoids, one of these carotenoids is beta carotene, a precursor to active vitamin A that is responsible for many of the carrot and carrot juice benefits that we know about today. Many studies have shown that beta carotene is crucial for improving immunity in the body, protecting skin and eye health and fighting free radical damage that can cause various forms of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Carrots have a wealth of valuable nutrition and when you juice them you can get a concentrated dose of their healing power from balancing blood sugar, improving blood health, relieving congestion, fighting inflammation and cleansing the kidneys, to protecting eyesight, brain function and fighting leukemia. The benefits of carrot juice can help nearly every part of the body.
There are two main types of cultivated carrots – Eastern/ Asiatic carrots (which are often called anthocyanin carrots because of their purple roots) and western carrots ( which are orange colored and are sometimes called carotene carrots). Eastern carrots are usually found in Afghanistan, Russia, Iran and Iran, while western carrots are found in Europe, North and South America. Both types belongs to the species Daucus carota and offer similar health benefits.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS OF CARROTS
Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta – carotene and fiber content. These root vegetables are also a good source of antioxidants. Furthermore, they are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and B8 as well as pantothenic acid, folated, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.
WAYS TO ENJOY CARROTS
If you want to include carrots in your diet, it is recommend that you eat them in a variety of ways for the most benefits.
Raw: The fiber content of carrots may be higher in raw carrots since it is not broken down through cooking. Raw carrots can be a great snack, so pack a few in a plastic bag to take with you to work.
Cooked: Eating cooked carrots in addition to raw carrots used in carrot juice is also important, as some research has found that cooked carrots may have higher antioxidant activity than raw carrots. Balance carrots juice out with other vegetable juices that are lower in carbohydrates. Add carrots to soups, stews, or just lightly cook them in coconut oil for a delicious side dish.
Juiced: Juicing is a great way to include carrots in your diet but dont over do it as juicing carrots removes the fiber and can increase the sugar content.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CARROTS
Health benefits of carrots include the following
Prevents Heart Diseases
In a study meant to reveal the therapeutic value of carrots, researchers at the wolfson gastrointestinal laboratory in Edinburgh, Scotland revealed that cholesterol level drops by an average of 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrot per day are consumed for three weeks. High cholesterol is a major factor causing heart diseases and since regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol levels, it is good idea to consume a healthy dose of carrots, in order to prevent heart related problems.
Lower Blood Pressure
They are rich sources of potassium which is a vasodilator and can relax the tension in your body vessels and arteries thereby increasing blood flow and circulation boosting organ function throughout the body and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system.
High blood pressure is directly linked to atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks, so this is yet another heart healthy aspect of carrots. The coumarin found in them has also been linked to reducing hypertension and protecting the heart health.
Boost Immune System
Carrots contain a number of antiseptic and antibacterial abilites that make them ideal for boosting the immune system. They 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.
Reduce the Risk of Stroke
Eating a carrot everyday reduce the risk of stroke by 68 %. Many studies have strengthened the belief in the carrots patients and revealed that those with highest levels of beta- carotene had the highest survival rate.
Improve Oral Health
The organic compounds in carrots are good mineral antioxidants and they also stimulate the gums and induce excess saliva. Saliva is an alkaline substance and combats the bacteria and foreign bodies that often result in cavities, halithosis and other oral health risks.