The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food. It is crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious.
Here are the most important health benefits of carrots:
- Reduced risk of cancer: Diets rich in carotenoids may help protect against several types of cancer.This includes prostate, colon, and stomach cancers.
- Lower blood cholesterol: High blood cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. Intake of carrots has been linked to lower cholesterol levels
- Weight loss: As a low-calorie food, carrots can increase fullness and decrease calorie intake in subsequent meals.
- Eye health: Individuals with low vitamin A levels are more likely to experience night blindness, a condition that may diminish by eating carrots or other foods rich in vitamin A or carotenoids.
Antioxidants and the color of carrots
The antioxidants alpha and beta carotene give carrots their bright orange color. The body absorbs beta carotene through the intestines and converts it into vitamin A during digestion. This is why people consider carotenoids to be provitamins.
Farmer’s markets and some specialty stores offer carrots in a range of colors, including purple, yellow, and red. These varieties contain different compounds with antioxidant properties: Purple carrots contain anthocyanin, yellow carrots contain lutein, and red carrots are rich in lycopene.
On a weight loss diet?
Are you on a weight loss diet? Than your diet must include foods that are high on fibre, and carrots with both soluble and insoluble fibres perfectly fit the bill. Fibre takes the longest to digest and thus promotes a feeling of fullness and prevents you from bingeing on other fattening foods.
Therefore, if I’m hungry, I try to munch on raw carrots, as 1 cup of chopped carrots contains only 62 calories, with no fat or cholesterol and very little sodium.
And what about baby carrots with hummus as a snack? Well, traditional hummus is made from chickpeas and sesame oil, so it contains plant protein as well as healthy fat and fiber. Carrots are a good source of vitamin A and potassium, so the pairing makes a balanced and nutritious snack. As far as calories go, one-half cup of hummus has about 200 calories, while eight baby carrots have only about 30 calories. Hummus is also yummy to combine with fresh veggies like celery, broccoli, or cauliflower. Bon appétit !
Besides the above mentioned health benefits, carrots also boost the immune system, keep hair happy and healthy, create glowing skin, prevent wrinkles, protect your teeth, nourish dry skin, treat skin blemishes and much more.