Carrots are one of the most widely used and enjoyed veggies in the world. They grow easily, can be prepared in various dishes, and, boy, do rabbits sure LOVE them!
I can remember time and time again as a child being reminded to eat my plate of carrots by my parents. “They’re good for your eyes!” they’d repeat. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s experienced this. As a child I confess I never took that statement seriously. But growing up is a funny thing, and more often than not, we realize our parents weren’t bluffing!
The health benefits of carrots are quite impressive, to say the least. They can help reduce heart disease, boost immunity, reduce risk of certain cancers, improve digestion, and…
Wait for it…
They were right…
All jokes aside, though, a majority of carrots’ benefits are due to its fiber content, and beta-carotene. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K, and B8; pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.
Boosts Heart Health
Adding carrots to your diet is an excellent way to prevent heart-related issues, and reduce high blood pressure. The antioxidants, and beta-carotene in carrots help protect against cardiovascular disease. Plus, the fiber content helps eliminate excess LDL (bad) cholesterol from the artery walls and blood vessels.
High blood pressure is linked to atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks. Carrots contain a good amount of potassium, which helps relax any tension in the blood vessels and arteries. This then helps increase blood flow and circulation, improving organ function in the body, and decreasing stress on the cardiovascular system. Coumarin, which is also found in carrots, also assists in reducing hypertension while simultaneously protecting the heart.
The significant amount of dietary fiber in carrots help maintain proper digestive health and bowel movements, reducing the severity of constipation. It also helps protect the colon and stomach against serious illnesses such as colorectal cancer.
The average carrot contains about 3 milligrams of beta-carotene, which is a dietary source of vitamin A. Beta-carotene consumption is linked to reduced risk of ovarian, breast, and lung cancer. Plus, the rich content of fiber in carrots help reduce the risk of colon cancer. By eating raw carrots you get the maximum nutrients available, and help keep cancer at bay.
Carrots can help boost the immune system due to its many antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. The vitamin C in carrots helps stimulate white blood cell activity in the body, which is immensely important when it comes to fighting illness. Not to mention the presence of vitamin A helps enhance the body’s resistance against infections, while also boosting the activity of white bloods cells as well.
Remember what your parents said about carrots, right? Eating carrots can greatly improve eye health, and even vision. Vitamin A deficiency can cause difficulty in dim lighting, which makes carrots an ideal choice in helping to both improve your sight and prevent night blindness.
Most of all, carrots can lower the risk of macular degeneration, and help keep your eyes strong and sharp as you age.
Improve Oral Health
Carrots can help stimulate the gums, and encourage excess saliva. Now, before you get grossed out over the excess saliva know that there’s a good reason why we need it. Saliva is an alkaline substance that fights bacteria and foreign bodies that can cause cavities, bad breath, and other serious health risks. Plus, the organic compounds in carrots make great mineral antioxidants.
Carrots are great for keeping your blood sugar regulated. This is due to the carotenoids in carrots, which can inversely affect insulin resistance and lower blood sugar. Carrots can also help regulate insulin and glucose being used and metabolized by the body. Thus this greatly helps diabetics live normal, healthy lives.