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Carrots are a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, cooked, juiced, and beyond.
Known scientifically as Daucus carota, carrots are a root vegetable related to celery, fennel, and parsnips. Mild in flavor and gentle on digestion, carrots are often one of the first whole foods offered to American babies. Carrots are palatable, full of vitamins, and have some really great health benefits. Take a look!
Important Note: Each of the health benefits associated with carrots presented herein is reflective of the most up-to-date research at the time of this publication. Be sure to double-check sources at the time of your visit to this page.
It’s no big surprise that carrots are packed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. While some of the nutrients in carrots have specific health benefits in and of themselves (as you’ll see below), this vegetable is great for amping up your vitamin intake for its own sake. Notably, carrots contain high levels of vitamins A, B6, K, and C as well as biotin and potassium. Maybe best-known for containing carotenoids, carrots contain high percentages of other compounds such as lutein, lycopene, polyacetylenes, and anthocyanins. Carrots contain so many of the nutrients your body requires per day that you should inevitably make a point of incorporating them into your diet.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Without a doubt, carrots are a wonderful source of many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.
Reduces Risk of Several Cancers
Like many fruits and vegetables, carrots have been loosely linked to reducing one’s risk factors for several cancer types. Some of the cancers it’s suggested daily carrot consumption can benefit include cancers of the prostate, breast, colon, lung, and stomach. While hundreds of studies prove that a diet rich in carotenoids can prevent the occurrence of cancer, the question is whether or not a daily serving of carrots can reduce such a risk in and of themselves; the answer is likely no. It is true that carrots are rich in carotenoids; research suggests that a much higher intake than that which a daily serving of carrots provides is required to ward off cancers. Certainly, carrots can contribute well to your carotenoid intake, but it’s recommended that you outsource that intake to other fruits and vegetables as well.
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. While there is a strong scientific connection between the type of carotenoids carrots contain and the reduced risk of cancers, it’s not likely that carrots alone will reduce said risk. The claim that carrot consumption can reduce the risk of cancers, implies that they can do so on their own and that may be misleading.
Supports Weight Loss
With any weight-loss program, it’s important to substitute healthy choices for unhealthy choices. Further, the majority of diet programs, at least ones that are developed with efficacy, also tout the importance of a veggie-filled diet. As such, carrots, steamed, juiced, raw, or otherwise, are a low-calorie option that’s highly nutritious. In fact, a single serving of raw carrots contains about 25 calories, while cooked carrots have about 55 calories per serving and juiced carrots contain nearly 100 calories. Each of these preparations and caloric counts is supportive of weight loss. Furthermore, carrots are high in fiber which increases the feeling of fullness; by substituting carrots as a snack for junk food, you’ll feel fuller longer and, in theory, consume fewer calories throughout the day.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. The fact that carrots are weight-loss friendly is indisputable as backed by scientific evidence.
Improves Eye Health
It’s long been touted that carrots are particularly good for eye health, but is this fact or fiction? In this case, it’s true! For starters, folks who are vitamin A-deficient are more susceptible to experiencing night blindness. Carrots are particularly high in vitamin A accounting for a whopping 149% of an individual’s daily recommended intake. A daily serving of carrots has enough vitamin A alone to combat night blindness. Moreover, the carotenoid composition of carrots is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration. Carrots are considered one of the most carotene-rich vegetables and as such can reduce that risk. Finally, carrots are also rich in lutein, an antioxidant that can help to prevent eye damage.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Hundreds of studies agree that the vitamin A, carotenoids, and lutein found in carrots have incredible benefits to eye health.
Helps Manage Diabetes
While carrots alone won’t help a person with diabetes manage his or her blood sugar levels, they are a diabetes-friendly food choice. Despite their sweet flavor and sugar content, carrots are not connected with spiking blood sugars. Many diabetics manage blood sugars by monitoring carbohydrate intake and glycemic index. While it’s true that different individuals will adhere to different recommendations, carrots are always in keeping with a diabetic diet. A single serving of carrots has approximately 10 carbohydrates and a glycemic index of 16 which falls in the low range. As a result, carrots are a wise food choice for anyone with diet-controlled diabetes.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Low in carbohydrates and within the low range on the glycemic index, carrots are a great choice for individuals managing diabetes through diet.
Good For Cardiovascular Health
Notably, carrots are loaded with potassium and antioxidants known for reducing cholesterol. It’s well known that high cholesterol is linked to cardiovascular disease. By incorporating recommended amounts of potassium into your diet, you can plausibly lower your cholesterol and possibly eliminate one risk factor for heart disease. Although carrots only contain 9% of the daily recommended value of potassium, it’s a start!
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. While it’s true that carrots contain decent levels of potassium and antioxidants, both of which are attributed to heart health, there are only a handful of studies linking carrots to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
Linked To Bone Health
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. Vitamin K is linked to supporting bone health, however, carrots only contain trace amounts of vitamin K. As a result, it’s not likely that carrots themselves can support bone health.
Good For Digestive Health
General Consensus: 1.5/5 and here is why. Carrots contain a hearty amount of pectin, a soluble fiber integral to digestion. Unfortunately, while this is true, there are next to no studies connecting carrots to digestive health.