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Health Benefits of Carrots

by Ana

Carrots are not only delicious and crunchy but also rich in many important vitamins and nutrients that improve eyesight and decrease the risk of developing some types of cancers and heart diseases. It’s a fact that if you eat a whole carrot everyday or take its juice, you need not to have vitamin A supplements.

Aside from red, carrots are also available in orange and some other colors nowadays. Beta-carotene, which gives orange color to this vegetable, is considered a powerful antioxidant that decreases the damages occur because of those free radicals that increase the risk of macular degeneration, early aging and some diseases like cancer and heart diseases.

Some clinical studies show that if one consumes enough antioxidants, one is less likely to die from some types of cancer. Similarly, some other studies show that the combination of Vitamin C and Beta-carotene helped to reduce occurrence of cancer by 37 percent. The results of some studies also show that people with low levels of Beta-carotene are more likely to develop some sort of cancers like the lungs or stomach cancer.

Another important antioxidant known as Alpha-carotene is also abundantly found in carrots and it is considered to avoid cells from damages that occur due to free radicals. The results of a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute show that lung cancer is more likely to occur in men who don’t have sufficient levels of Alpha-carotene in their bodies.Beta-carotene not only neutralizes the effects of free radicals, but it also converts itself into Vitamin A and helps to improve your vision. Our eyes need a purplish pigment known as rhodopsin to sharpen our vision at night and it’s vitamin A that helps to produce rhodopsin. Night blindness is quite common in the people who do not have enough rhodopsin in their bodies.

Dr. John Edman, who is a PhD holder in nutritional sciences, says that you must consume carrots with a little amount of fat as Beta-carotene requires some amount of fat to reach your intestines. So, it’s a good idea to eat carrots with some dressing.

It is better to eat vegetables raw rather than cooked, however, carrots are better to consume if they are cooked as it becomes easier for the body to absorb Beta-carotene.  But you mustn’t overcook your carrots as it can evaporate the nutrients.  However, if you cook your carrots for too long, you need not to feel bad as you can still reap the full benefits by using its cooking water in sauces, soup and dips.

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