Carrot Nutrition, Antioxidants and Many Benefits for Your Health
Forget about synthetic multivitamins, carrots are nature’s big orange nutrition boosters. Full of beneficial vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, carrots eaten regularly can really improve your health and energy levels. Here’s why.
Vitamins in Carrots
In the vitamin stakes, carrots are of course an extremely rich source of beta-carotene (it’s even named after them) for Vitamin A, with testing usually showing over 16,000 IU’s per cup of carrot.
They are also high in the important fat soluble nutrient vitamin K and contain vitamin C and various B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, pyridoxine and folate.
While the amounts of some of these vitamins aren’t anywhere near what you’d find on the side of a supplement jar, they are still far superior as they’re in a form the body assimilates much more easily and can actually use.
They also contain a wide variety of other trace minerals and, when eaten regularly with other vegetables and fruits, all of those small amounts of nutrition boosting minerals eventually add up.
Carotenoids like beta-carotene and alpha-carotene provide their antioxidant effect throughout the body and this is the reason why they’re so beneficial in so many different health problems and diseases.
Whilst most people know about beta-carotene, probably far fewer have heard of falcorinol. Falcorinol is a compound found in carrots and plants like ginseng and ivy that protects them from fungal diseases.
Research by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, suggests falcorinol may have anti-cancer properties, particularly for colon cancer and leukemia. The researchers suspect it stimulates mechanisms within the body that help it to fight cancer and suggest eating raw carrots regularly.
Calories in Carrots
There is no reason to be worried about the calories in carrots. A 100 g cup of carrots has around 45 calories, which isn’t that much and you’re really unlikely to binge on them (unlike those processed potato or corn snacks).
In fact, sliced carrot sticks make a great alternative snack food to a bag of fattening crisps. Used this way, carrots are much more likely to save you hundreds of calories than add them on.
Carrot Health Benefits
Carrots are an excellent food for energy and general good health. They tend to have an alkalizing effect on the body, particularly when juiced, and can be of benefit in many health problems.
Specifically, a regular intake of carrots is often recommended for eye problems and better vision; a decreased risk of many types of cancers; regulating blood sugar; promoting healthy lungs; a reduced risk of heart disease; lessening inflammation in diseases like arthritis; and lowering cholesterol.
Carrots and Cancer
High natural carotenoid intake from foods like carrots has being consistently linked with a lower risk of various cancers.
Scientists come up with different percentages in different studies for different types of cancers, but the simple messages coming out is the more regularly we eat carrots and other high carotenoid vegetables and fruits, the less chance we have of developing cancer.
One particularly impressive study had 1299 elderly people in Massachusetts who ate at least one serving of carrots or squash a day with their eating habits followed for nearly 5 years.
By the end of the study those who ate carotenoid rich foods regularly had a 60% reduction in heart attack risk versus those who didn’t. Good health and disease prevention can be fairly simple, but there is a lot of power in consistency.
Choosing Carrots with the Most Nutrition
Good carrots full of nutrients are firm and bright in color without too many blemishes or cracks. Ideally, if they have the tops still attached, these should look fairly fresh rather than old and tired or yellow.
Carrots will keep for longer in the fridge in a sealed container and can even be chopped up and frozen if you get a good deal on bulk carrots. Most importantly of all, they really need to be organic. It doesn’t cost that much more and I’ve detail why it’s so important here.
Please share this article on carrot nutrition and just how good they are for you. Ahead are some great tasting soup and carrot juice recipes to get even more of this wonderful vegetable into your diet.
Infographic from Cook n Smile