It is crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious. Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.
People probably first cultivated the carrot thousands of years ago, in the area that is now Afghanistan. The original small, forked, purple or yellow root had a bitter, woody flavor and was quite different from the carrot that we know today.
We look into reasons for adding carrots to the diet and any precautions to take. And also the age-old question: Do they really help you see in the dark?
Carrots are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients present in plant-based foods. They help the body remove free radicals, unstable molecules that can cause cell damage if too many accumulate in the body. Free radicals result from natural processes and environmental pressures. The body can eliminate many free radicals naturally, but dietary antioxidants can help, especially when the oxidant load is high.
Some of the amazing health benefits of carrots are mentioned below :
Vision : Can carrots help you see in the dark? This is true. Carrots contain vitamin A, and a vitamin A deficiency may result in xerophthalmia, a progressive eye disease. Xerophthalmia can cause night blindness or difficulty seeing when levels of light are low. So, in a way, carrots can help you see in the dark. However, most people’s vision is unlikely to improve from eating carrots, unless they have a vitamin A deficiency.
Cancer : Too many free radicals in the body may increase the risk of various types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. The antioxidant effects of dietary carotenoids — yellow, orange, and red organic pigments present in carrots and other vegetables — may reduce this risk. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two examples of these carotenoids.
Leukemia: In 2011, researchers found evidence that nutrients in carrot juice extract could kill leukemia cells and slow or stop their progression.
Lung cancer: Also in 2011, researchers concluded that drinking carrot juice may help prevent the type of damage that leads to lung cancer in smokers.
Digestive health : Consuming more carotenoid-rich foods may lower the risk of colon cancer. The findings of a study published the following year suggest that people who consume a high-fiber diet have a lower risk of cancer than those who consume little fiber.
Diabetes control : Carrots have a sweet flavor and contain natural sugars. What does this mean for people with diabetes? Carbohydrates make up around 10% of a carrot, and nearly half of this is sugar. Another 30% of this carbohydrate content is fiber. A medium carrot provides 25 calories. Overall, this makes a carrot a low-calorie, high-fiber food that is relatively low in sugar. For this reason, it scores low on the glycemic index (GI). This index can help people with diabetes understand which foods are likely to raise their blood sugar levels.