Carrots are nutritional heroes, they store a goldmine of nutrients. No other vegetable or fruit contains as much carotene as carrots, which the body converts to vitamin A. This is a truly versatile vegetable and an excellent source of vitamins B and C as well as calcium pectate, an extraordinary pectin fibre that has been found to have cholesterol-lowering properties.
The carrot is an herbaceous plant containing about 87% water, rich in mineral salts and vitamins (B,C,D,E).Raw carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium; they contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine, folic acid, and magnesium.
Cooked carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of potassium, and contain vitamin B6, copper, folic acid, and magnesium. The high level of beta-carotene is very important and gives carrots their distinctive orange colour.
Carrots also contain, in smaller amounts, essential oils, carbohydrates and nitrogenous composites. They are well-known for their sweetening, antianaemic, healing, diuretic, remineralizing and sedative properties.
Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health. As we go through life, there are so many illnesses that could have been prevented with better nutrition. This has been proven beyond any shadow of doubt over the past few years.
Research has proven that getting the proper level of antioxidants into our bloodstream will reduce the risk of cancer. Consumption of carrots increases the level of key antioxidants in the bloodstream.
One of carrots’ fat-fighting features is their respectable fiber content, half of which is the soluble fiber calcium pectate. Soluble fiber may help lower blood-cholesterol levels by binding with and eliminating bile acids, triggering cholesterol to be drawn out of the bloodstream to make more bile acids.
Carrots have few rivals when it comes to beta-carotene. A mere half-cup serving of cooked carrots packs a walloping four times the RDA of vitamin A in the form of protective beta-carotene. One raw carrot supposedly contains as much, though it’s not clear if all of it’s usable by your body. Beta-carotene may ward off cancers of the stomach, cervix, uterus, and the oral cavity, and it helps prevent heart disease due to its antioxidant abilities. The National Cancer Institute is studying the whole family of umbelliferous foods, of which carrots are a member, for protective effects. Recent research results from Harvard University suggest that people who eat more than five carrots a week are much less likely to suffer a stroke than those who eat only one carrot a month
Nutritional Values of Fresh and Cooked Carrot
- Calories: 27
- Fat < 1 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Carbohydrate: 6 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2 g
- Sodium: 45 mg
- Vitamin A 13,418 IU
- Vitamin B6 < 1 mg
- Manganese <1 mg
- Potassium: 183 mg
- Carotenoids 10,138 micrograms
- Prevent heart diseases: In a study meant to reveal therapeutic value of carrots researchers at the Wolfson Gastrointestinal Laboratory in Edinburgh, Scotland revealed that cholesterol level reduces by 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots a day is taken for thee weeks. High cholesterol is a major factor for heart disease. Since regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol level it is good to prevent heart related problems. A group of Swedish scientists discovered that root vegetables can reduce the chances of having a heart attack. A study conducted at the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Italy found that those who ate more carrots had one third the risk of heart attack as compared with those who ate fewer carrots.
- Prevent cancer: Beta-carotene consumption has been linked to reduced risk of several cancers, notably lung cancer. British researchers discovered that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams a day reduced lung cancer risk more than 40 percent. The average carrot contains about three milligrams of Beta-carotene. In a study, researchers found that eating fiber rich carrots reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 24 percent. Another study shows that women who ate raw carrots were five to eight times less likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not eat carrots.
- Macular degeneration: This is a common eye disease of elderly. It impairs the macula. Researches found that people who ate the most Beta-carotene had a forty percent lower risk of macular degeneration compared with those who consumed the least.
- Improves eyesight: Deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light. Since carrot is rich in vitamin A it is good for improving eyesight.
- Stroke: A carrot a day reduces stroke risk by 68 percent. Many studies have strengthened the “carrot effect” on brain. Studies conducted on stroke patients revealed that those with highest levels of Beta carotene have the best survival rate.
- Diabetes: Carrot is good for blood sugar regulation because of the presence of carotenoids in carrot. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar.
Other benefits :
1. Fresh carrot juice will relieve you from stress, fatigue and will cleanse and energize the body
2. Carrot soup is a home remedy for diarrhea because it calms the bowel and slows down bacterial development.
3. Raw or grated carrots can be used for wounds, cuts and inflammation.
4. Carrot is energizing and antiseptic
5. Eating carrots will encourage healthy skin, hair, bones, eyesight and will also cleanse the body
6. Another benefit of carrot is on people with heart problem. It is believed that carrot may reduce risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.