Carrots are one of those vegetables that you can even get small children to eat. They have a unique orange color, and have likely been influenced by their favorite cartoon character, Bugs Bunny, eating them on a regular basis. Carrots taste delicious, and you can just feel the nutrition with each bite. Among internet polls, carrots frequently finish in the top five as being one of the most favorited vegetables.
Your parents likely told you how healthy carrots were, and that’s information that has been passed down for generations. However, you likely haven’t heard about the exact benefits that you get from carrots. Perhaps the one that everyone knows is what it can do for your vision, but that’s not the only thing. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of carrots, and what those benefits are…eyesight included.
Nutrition of Carrots
Each serving of chopped carrots (one cup) is going to bring you a lot of the nutrition that you need without many of the calories. That serving is only around 50 calories, and contains a small amount of protein to go along with 14 percent of your daily fiber recommendation. On top of that, the vitamin A content is through the roof with 428 percent of your recommended value. There is also a significant source of vitamin C (13 percent) and vitamin K (21 percent). Finally, there is a small amount (under 10 percent) of vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid.
There aren’t many minerals that are going to give you more than 12 percent of your daily recommendation, but plenty that give you at least a boost. Potassium is the most abundant, with manganese coming second. Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc and copper are all there, and there’s enough to help boost your health. Carrots are also low-carb and contain a small amount of fatty acids.
Of course, we have to start with the benefit that people talk about the most with carrots, and that’s the enhanced vision that you’ll get. There are a couple of things that make carrots so important for your vision, and it’s the combination of vitamin A and beta carotenes. The vitamin A content helps your vision overall, while also allowing you to see better at night.
As for the beta carotene, that alone can lower your chances of getting macular degeneration later in life by up to 40 percent. Vision is one of those things that people take for granted until it’s too late, so eating carrots as early as possible can help ensure longer healthy vision. The antioxidants in carrots clear up a lot of potential eye problems, so you might not even need expensive glasses in the future by eating them now.
Taking care of your eyes is important, but taking care of your heart is the most important thing you can do for your body. Carrots will help you in both departments, as they can help to lower blood pressure. Carrots are a good source of potassium that allows your blood vessels to relax, which can allow for better blood flow. That will reduce your chances of both heart disease and stroke alone.
A big part of the carrot’s ability to lower your blood pressure is the coumarin. Overall, you are reducing your chances of having a stroke by nearly 70 percent by eating one carrot on a daily basis. Finally, you can lower your cholesterol level by eating more carrots, thanks to the fiber in each serving. Your heart health isn’t the only thing that will see a significant boost from the high content of fiber in carrots. That fiber will help you to stimulate gastric juices, allowing you to avoid many different problems such as indigestion and constipation.
Carrots can help you in the inside, all while making your skin and your smile much better. Starting with the mouth, carrots have antioxidants that help to get rid of the nasty bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath and gum disease, while even helping to prevent carrots. For those that suffer from a dry mouth, carrots also stimulate saliva production, reducing many of the oral problems you could have.
If you are looking for a solution to dry or aging skin, you should be eating more carrots. The high vitamin A content will moisturize your skin, and getting more than 400 percent of your daily value will go a long way. A lack of moisture is what leads to early aging such as wrinkles and cracks. This also benefits your hair, as the scalp will have more opportunity to grow thicker hair.
Eating more carrots can help you prevent a lot of different diseases, from minor to chronic. The high vitamin C content will give your body an immediate immune system boost to fight off germs that can cause you to get ill. Not only that, the antioxidants will also help fight free radicals that can lead to diseases like cancer.
Even diseases that start in the digestive system will be combated by carrots. Fiber and vitamin A enhance your body’s ability to prevent colon cancer. If you’re worried about a cut that might get infected, something as simple as eating more carrots can stop the infection from getting worse or even starting in the first place. There’s really not much the carrot can’t do.
Finally, carrots have the ability to help you prevent diabetes or even make symptoms more manageable for people that already have the disease. Carrots are very low in the glycemic index, and help you to achieve normal levels of both glucose and insulin. Eating more vegetables is going to be good for your blood sugar overall, which can even lead to a boosted metabolism that causes you to lose weight easier.
Summing it Up
Carrots don’t seem like they would have any limit to how many you can eat, especially since many tout them as the most nutritious vegetable. There really aren’t many side effects for the everyday person that doesn’t have ailments or allergies, which is the good news. There are some people that are allergic, however, so they should steer clear of carrots. Carrots in their raw form might not be good for diabetics, as well, but the steamed version should be just fine.
Since carrots do have a lot of fiber, they can cause some digestive issues if you eat too much, but these are not usually serious problems that come from eating a few servings each week. There is also a high amount of beta carotene, and when taken too much can cause skin discoloration.
Again, these problems are very minor and rare. For the most part, you can eat carrots on a daily basis while seeing nothing but benefits. Whether you like them raw or steamed, there really isn’t a wrong way to enjoy carrots as a part of your diet.