Carrots are awesome! They are one of the most popular, versatile vegetables in the world. Whether they are eaten raw, cooked or juiced, people from nearly every culture have consumed carrots — in their many forms — throughout history.
While carrots are known for their signature orange color, they actually come in a variety of colors. They can be found in shades of purple, yellow, white and red; however, you will most often see these in the U.S. when you shop at your local farmer’s market.
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, carrot juice benefits can help nearly every part of your body!
Carrot & Carrot Juice Nutrition
Carrots are one of the highest contributors of vitamin A — the powerhouse vitamin for so much of our body — in the American diet. Carrots also provide ample amounts of vitamins C, D, E and K, as well as many minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. Carrots are also highly nutritious and cleansing due to their high fiber content.
Protects Eye Health
Three crucial nutrients — beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin — within carrots considerably boost eye health. For example, without beta carotene (a form of vitamin A), various forms of eye disorders can occur — including macular degeneration and even blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin, meanwhile, both work to reduce the risk of age-related vision loss.
Just one cup of chopped carrots provides 400% of your vitamin A needs! Carrots contain vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Vitamin A is one of the most crucial nutrients necessary for protecting eye health and vision, especially as someone ages.
Vitamin A deficiency can lead first to night blindness, then permanent blindness. Vitamin A deficiency is actually the number one cause of preventable blindness world-wide. Carrots can also reduce your risk of cataracts and macular-degeneration, a common cause of age-related vision loss.
Eating carrots carrot juice regularly will help you maintain healthy eyes and vision throughout your life. If consuming carrots in raw form does not appeal to you, bear in mind that drinking carrot juice carries over the same eye health benefits.
High Source of Antioxidants (Especially Beta Carotene)
Carotenoids, found in carrots and other orange vegetables, are potent antioxidants that can help reduce your risk of various forms of temporary illnesses and serious chronic diseases. Carrots and carrot juice benefit the immune system by helping to defend the body from free radical damage, harmful bacteria, viruses and inflammation.
The antioxidants that are responsible for carrot and carrot juice benefits include: vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin. Carrots are one of the highest natural sources of carotenoid phytochemicals and antioxidant beta carotene,both of which fight cancer by stopping DNA damage, levels of inflammation and cell mutation.
Decreases Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke
Eating more deeply colored orange vegetables like carrots decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in adult women. Regardless of other cardiovascular risks, current research indicates that drinking carrot juice benefits heart health by lowering oxidative stress and improves the body’s defense against various forms of cardiovascular disease.
This effect is likely due to the high antioxidant content that carrots contain. Carrots also work to lower cholesterol, and boost bile production, which increases the body’s ability to digest fat. This not only helps your digestive system to properly absorb nutrition from your food, but also directly impacts the good cholesterol levels in your body — which protects your heart.
Helps Protect Against Cancer
Evidence suggests that consuming high levels of carotenoids from fruits and vegetables can be protective in relation to cancer recurrence. Studies show that these antioxidants in carrots may be able to fight leukemia cells and may play a role in reducing your risk of some of the most widespread types of cancers, including ovarian and breast cancer. (6, 7)
One study observed the effects of women with a history of breast cancer consuming eight ounces of fresh orange juice and carrot juice daily for a three-week period.
These results showed that daily intake of fresh carrot juice benefited the body’s defenses against cancer and was an effective approach to increasing levels of protective antioxidant carotenoids in the blood. This, in turn, reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which protect against cancer growth.
Important for Maintaining Oral Health
The nutrients found in carrots help improve immunity, including the body’s ability to fight bacteria and toxins that enter through the mouth and live within the gums and teeth. Certain minerals in carrots can be antibacterial and help prevent cavities and tooth decay. (9) Carrots can also help remove plaque and stains from teeth if eaten after meals. Once eaten, the fiber in carrots also boosts immunity by acting as a natural digestive system brush, scrubbing away unwanted bacteria in the gut and promoting better digestion of immune-boosting nutrients.
Boosts Skin Health and Wound Healing
Beta carotene is critical for healing any type of wound. Carrots have even been used as a poultice to help heal wounds for centuries due to their high beta carotene content. (10) If you have any type of skin infection, cuts, or other wounds, you’ll find that carrots and carrot juice benefits your skin health by increasing your ability to heal faster and to fight infection and noticeable signs of skin inflammation.
Protects Brain Health & Cognitive Function
Carrots and carrot juice benefits brain health by helping to prevent against Alzheimer’s disease, improving memory, and defending against other types of cognitive decline. This is due to carrot’s ability to lower oxidative stress in the brain that can weaken nerve signaling capacity.
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