Are carrots good for you? The Ultimate Guide
You see plenty of colorful carrots but do not know whether they are suitable for your health or not. Carrots are root vegetables, and they contain many essential nutrients that have a powerful impact on human health.
This guideline will not leave any questions in your mind: Are carrots good for you? What are the health benefits of carrots? How to add them to your diet? We have discussed everything in detail below.
Why are carrots good for our health?
Carrots contain beta-carotene and fibre, which have many health benefits. Moreover, they have antioxidant properties and a small number of fats and proteins.
Here is the nutritional value of a small to medium-sized carrot.
Fat: 0.2 grams
Protein: 0.9 grammes
Carbs: 9.6 gram
Sugar: 4.7 gram
Benefits of Carrots
As you have seen, the nutrient value of carrots is very high, and they contain all the essential nutrients. Here is the list of benefits you will get from eating carrots.
1. Enhance vision
If you have weak eyesight or night blindness, start eating carrots. Vitamin A deficiency weakens eyesight, and its deficiency must be fulfilled.
Carrots are very rich in beta-carotene, which gives them a vivid red color, and when it enters our body, it is converted into vitamin A.
According to Martin
‘Vitamin A is probably most well-known for its essential role in supporting eye health and good vision, and an adequate intake of it is vital to reducing the risk of macular degeneration.
Only a half-cup of raw chopped carrots per serving is enough to fulfill adults’ daily demand for vitamin A.
Similarly, if you are growing old and have a fear that you may lose your sight in a few years, start eating carrots because they contain a combination of antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin, which stop age-related macular degeneration.
2. Cancer prevention
When the concentration of free radicals increases in the body, the chances of cancer increase. You can reduce your risk of cancer by eating carrots.
Beta carotene protects the cell lining from toxin damage and reduces the growth of cancer cells. Similarly, other phytochemicals and vitamins also play an essential role in controlling cancer.
Moreover, carrots contain falcarinol, a natural pesticide with an anti-inflammatory effect. Thus, stomach, prostate, breast, and colon cancer can be prevented by eating parrots.
Boil or steam the carrots whole and then cut them into pieces to prevent the loss of antioxidants, carotenoids, and falcarinol.
3. Beneficial to the gut
Carrots contain both insoluble and soluble carbohydrates. Soluble fats slow down the process of how early we feel hungry. As a result, there is no overeating.
Furthermore, insoluble fibers add bulk to our stool and prevent us from developing diarrhea. Thus, carrots help us maintain a healthy gut.
4. Aids in weight loss
Fibers are essential for losing weight, and carrots contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. They give you a feeling of fullness as fiber takes the longest time to digest.
Thus, you do not feel hungry for a long time and do not eat any fat or carbs. As a result, with time, your body starts losing pounds.
5. Beautiful skin
If you love to have healthy and fresh skin, start eating carrots. Vitamin A is perfect for the skin, and it keeps the skin fresh. Moreover, carotene, which gives the orange color to the carrots, will also make your complexion pinkish. Thus, you will blush and look fresh.
However, if you eat too many carrots, your complexion will turn yellowish-orange and you will not look fresh.
Moreover, vitamins increase the firmness and elasticity of the skin, so there will be no early aging signs on your skin, and you will live a wrinkle-free life for a long time.
6. Beneficial to heart health
Potassium relaxes blood vessels, allowing blood pressure to be controlled and heart health to be maintained. Medium-sized carrots can give you more than 40% of the potassium you need every day.
Moreover, carrots also help control the blood cholesterol level as high cholesterol levels are associated with most heart diseases like cardiac arrest and heart attack.
7. Carrots are a good source of glucose.
They have been proven to be the best snacks for people who have diabetes as they do not affect the blood glucose level. Carbohydrates only make up 10% of the dry weight of the cell.
A constant crash and snack cycle can be avoided by maintaining a steady sugar level due to which there is no effect on our weight, energy level, and mood.
You can eat them in raw or boiled form; there will be a low glycemic index score.
8. Improves immunity
We also get another carotenoid from the carrots, which gives us vitamin C, essential for immunity. Your vitamin C level will increase by eating carrots. Thus, you can better fight bacterial and other infections.
Overall, your immunity will increase, so add carrots to your diet as they are perfect for your health.
9. Improve mental sharpness
Luteolin is present in enormous amounts in carrots, and it is very beneficial for a healthy mind. It increases memory and prevents cognitive decline.
Thus, your mind remains young and healthy for a long time, and you can work with as much sharpness as you did in your youth.
10. Improve your teeth’s health
A study on the Japanese population showed that people with beta carotene in their diet have better dental health. It is recommended to eat carrots as beta carotene has many health benefits.
Besides, follow standard hygiene rules, such as brushing and flossing daily and eating low-sugar food.
11. Increase bone strength
Carrots also contain a small amount of calcium and vitamin K, and both of these nutrients are very important for bone health and make them strong.
If you have calcium deficiency or other bone problems, try adding carrots to your diet.
12. Maintain hair health
Carrots are also perfect for your hair’s health as they provide your hair with essential vitamins. Your hair will become stronger and shinier by eating carrots, so add them to your diet.
Risk of Carrots
Carrots may cause some health issues, but the most common risk factors are listed here.
Our skin is yellowish-orange in color due to overconsumption of beta-carotene in this condition. It does not cause any harm and can be treated easily.
However, it stops vitamin A functioning in some instances, and you experience problems in vision, bones, skin, and metabolism.
2. Hyperthyroidism patients
Carrots are not recommended for such people as their bodies cannot convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, due to which different health issues arise.
3. Oral allergy
Some people feel itching in their mouth after eating carrots because their bodies are sensitive to specific proteins having a shape similar to some pollen. However, you can stop this mouth allergy by eating cooked carrots.
Sometimes reactions get severe, and there is swelling in the throat, and a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur.
Nowadays, the water we use to grow vegetables and fruit is not clean. If carrots are exposed to such water, they contain certain heavy metals that are very dangerous to health.
Check out: Are carrots good for dogs
Raw vs. Cooked Carrots: Which is Better?
Cooked carrots are far superior to raw carrots, as raw carrots only contain 3% of the beta carotene. However, when we cook them, all the hidden substances come out, and the level of beta carotene reaches up to 40%.
According to a study published in the agriculture and food chemistry journal, boiling and steaming preserve all carotenoids and antioxidants.
Moreover, uncooked carrots have a strong cell wall, which makes it difficult for the body to convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, but when carrots are cooked, some cell walls break down, and conversions become easier.
The healthiest ways of eating carrots
Eat carrots in these different ways to enhance their taste and make them part of your diet.
1. Consume chopped carrots
Buy fresh carrots from the market and cut them from the back. Now take a peeler and remove a thin layer of peel. Wash the carrots with water to make sure all dirt has been removed.
Now cut the carrots vertically and then into small horizontal pieces. You can cut the carrots according to your will. However, baby-sized carrots are the best for snaking.
2. Serve with vegetable dips or hummus.
If you want to eat extras with your snack and make it look beautiful, take a small bowl and add your favorite dip. Put the bowl in the center of the plate and spread carrots around it.
Enjoy carrots with dip while meeting your nutritional needs.
3. Drizzle with peanut butter
If you want to have a rich flavor, you can also combine carrots with peanut butter. So take a piece of carrot, scoop it with peanut butter and enjoy.
4. Add carrots to salads as a garnish.
Take a fresh carrot and wash it thoroughly with cool water. Now cut its back part and remove the peel with the help of a knife. Take a grate and hold the carrot at an angle of 45 degrees to the grate.
Move the carrot forward and backward to shred it. Now spread the shredded carrot on the top of the salad. It will increase both the beauty and nutritional value of the salad.
5. Steaming carrots as a side dish
Wash and peel off the carrots. Now cut them into small pieces, cook them in steam, and serve them with steak or mashed potatoes. Similarly, you can also eat them with broccoli and BBQ tofu.
In other words, you can serve them as a side dish with any suitable recipe.
6. Roast carrots
Some people cannot eat boiled food as it is not that tasty. If you also do not like uncooked or cooked carrots, bake them.
Wash them and cut them into 2-3 vertical pieces according to their size. Now make small horizontal pieces and put them in the preheated oven for baking after adding olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper until they turn brown.
To make them taste better, put a glass of orange juice in a pan, add 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and add 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Now stir in the baked carrots and serve on a plate.
7. Include carrots in the smoothie.
Take a blender, add half a cup of pineapple juice, and chop carrots. Please turn on the blender and ensure it has a high grating setting.
Once the juice is smooth, add one more glass of pineapple juice and 2 tablespoons of honey. After blending, add ice cubes and a half cup of yogurt.
Now pour the mix into the glass and drink it. You must add this smoothie to your routine as it has many valuable ingredients that have a very positive impact on your health.
8. Making soups and stews
Take 4 carrots, 2 cups of chicken broth, and half an onion and put them in the pot with a large amount of water. Now sprinkle 4 cloves of smashed garlic, ½ tablespoon of tarragon, and 1table spoon of thyme.
Once the water has boiled, reduce the temperature from medium to low and let it simmer for 40–50 minutes. Now cool it for 10 minutes.
You can also use a blender to thoroughly mix all the ingredients and then eat them for 5 minutes. Similarly, you can add other things according to your taste, as most people add cream to the soup to change its texture and color.
9. Make vegetable fried rice
Take 1 cup of rice and boil it. Now add them to a pot with chopped carrots, an egg, and other vegetables. Add a few drops of soy sauce and heat the mixture for 5 minutes.
Eggs, rice, and carrots help make the most delicious and nutritious fried rice. You must add them to your weekly diet plan.
10. Make muffin
Make a puree of 2 carrots and 1 apple in a fruit processor. Now add half a cup of flaxseed meal and flour to it.
Similarly, take 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 tsp of baking powder, 2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1 tsp of kosher salt.
Then add ¾ cup of milk, 2 eggs, 4 and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients and add them to a muffin tin. Bake it without covering for 20-30 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit.
You can also use flaxseed for the topping before baking. Once baked, enjoy the muffin.
Storage and Food Safety
Do you want to keep carrots for a long time? Remove their green parts because it causes moisture loss. So stop this water loss by cutting the roots of the region, then putting them in a plastic bag to refrigerate.
Moreover, before eating and cutting, clean all dirt and bacteria from carrots by rubbing them with a vegetable brush under cool and clean water.
You can even peel them. A pressure canner is mainly used to freeze them, but you can also freeze them by blanching. Follow these steps for blanching carrots.
- Wash the carrots with cool and clean rubbing water. Meanwhile, rub them to remove dust and all bacteria from their surfaces. Now cut the green part.
- Do not peel off the carrots; if you want to peel them, take a vegetable peeler and remove a thin layer to avoid losing nutrients.
- Cut all carrots into two medium-sized pieces, except baby carrots. To make sure carrots are cooked evenly, cut them to the same size.
- Now take a bowl, and add cold water and ice to it. You will need it immediately after cooking. So, it is recommended to prepare a cool water bowl beforehand.
- Take a pan, and add 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Now bring the water to a boil. Then add carrots and set a counter of 5 minutes for whole baby carrots and 3 minutes for sliced carrots.
- After the set time, remove the carrots and add them to ice cold water to stop their cooking.
- Once the carrots are cool, drain all the water and let them dry by placing a single layer on a paper towel. Pat them with another paper towel to dry them as soon as possible.
- Put all the dried carrots on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze them for 4-5 hours.
- Place these carrots in the freezer bag and squeeze them to remove all air. Vacuum sealing is highly recommended.
- Keep the bags in the freezer, and use them within 12 months.
Carrots contain beta-carotene, and it is converted into vitamin A in our bodies, which is best for improving eye sight. Moreover, carrots also improve our mental health and bone strength, boost immunity, make skin fresh, prevent heart disease, and lower blood cholesterol levels.
It is better to eat cooked carrots, and different ways of eating them are also discussed.
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