Carrots are commonly found in supermarkets, are cheap and yet so many don’t realise the benefits of eating carrots! For those who need some carrot convincing, here are 8 benefits of eating carrots!
Nutritional Profile Of Carrots
According to the FDA (food and drug administration), 1 raw carrot (approx. 78g) contains:
- 30 calories
- 0g fat
- 7g carbohydrate
- 2g fibre
- 5g sugar
- 1g protein
- 60mg sodium
- 250mg potassium
- 110mg vitamin A
- 10mg vitamin C
- 2mg calcium
- 2mg iron
There’s a fair bit of nutrition in there for one carrot which can help to increase the range of nutritional compounds you’re consuming on a daily basis.
8 Benefits Of Eating Carrots
#1 – High In Fibre
100g cooked carrots (boiled) gives you about 3.3g fibre and contains only 37 calories making carrots rich in fibre. Fibre is thought to have the potential to help bowel movement and prevent constipation.
You get a nice dose of both soluble and insoluble fibre which may improve the health of the digestive system. Additionally, fibre may help to remove excess cholesterol from the walls of the arteries and blood vessels.
#2 – Rich In Carotenoids
Carrots are rich in carotenoids, notably beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A). This flavonoid has been shown to have properties which may offer protection from various skin, lung and oral cancers along with providing other health benefits. However, one study suggests that the conversion of beta-carotene into vitamin A decreases as dietary dose increases, so it may be best to consume animal forms of vitamin A in addition to beta-carotene. Beta-carotene has been shown to help modulate immune function in healthy men so there’s definitely some benefits to having it.
In addition to beta-carotene, carrots also contain other antioxidants including vitamin C, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and polyphenols.
#3 – Good For Fat Loss (Filling)
Due to the low calorie content of carrots, it’s possible to consume a large volume of carrots without consuming lots of calories. They can be eaten to help fill up space in your stomach so that your stomach expands quicker and the stretch receptors activate sooner giving signals for your body to stop eating. This can make it a good food (along with other low calorie vegetables) to eat if you’re aiming to lose body fat and reduce your bodyweight, particularly if you can’t stop eating until you’re physically full.
#4 – Full Of Slow Release Carbohydrates
Some people on a low carb or ketogenic diet may avoid carrots since they are high in carbohydrates, but due to much of the fibre within carrots, these carbohydrates are actually starchy. Carrots contain mostly slow release carbohydrates which will make a much lesser effect on blood sugar and insulin compared to eating pure glucose.
This makes carrots a good option for diabetics since sugars are released at a slow rate enabling more stable blood sugar levels throughout the day and increased energy.
#5 – Rich In Vitamins
Carrots contain vitamins A, C, K, B6 and potassium, all of which contribute to optimal health and support of the biological and immune functions of the body. Potassium has been shown to help reduce blood pressure, especially in those with hypertension. Vitamin C helps to maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth and gums. B6 contributes to regulating metabolism within the body which is linked to energy levels.
#6 – Decreases Risk Of Heart Disease
Eating deeply coloured vegetables may help decrease the risk of heart disease. Current research suggests that drinking carrot juice may improve heart health by increasing antioxidant status and decreasing lipid peroxidation independent of other cardiovascular risk factors within the body.
#7 – Improves Skin Health
Carrots contain compounds such as beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein which may improve skin health by improving wound healing. Beta-carotene plays an important role in healing wounds which is why carrots have been used for centuries to aid wound healing. So, if you have any wounds in your skin make sure you gobble up some carrots along with some collagen-rich foods since your skin is made up of collagen!
#8 – Boosts Cognitive Function
Interestingly, consuming carrots may boost cognitive function due to the ability of carrots to lower oxidative stress in the brain that can weaken nerve signalling activity. It may also help to improve memory and defend against cognitive decline which includes the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
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