There is a reason carrots are Bugs Bunny’s favorite food, and why they should be yours too. Besides being able to be prepared in a plethora of ways, carrots are extremely nutritious and benefit your entire body! This low calorie root vegetable is full of antioxidants that can help the body’s cellular processes. Carrots are full of the antioxidant Beta-Carotene, which is the precursor to Vitamin A, which is beneficial for heart health, cancer prevention, and your eyesight!
1. Health Benefits of Carrots
1. Carrots might fight cancer!
How do carrots combat cancer?
Carrots have many cancer fighting attributes. In fact, many people claim to have beaten cancer by going on a carrot juice or vegetable juice cleanse. Though, we don’t recommend or verify this because we believe in a balanced diet (and it may turn you orange). However, carrots have many cancer fighting nutrients and are recommended by cancer treatment specialists and researchers as a food to include in your diet to help prevent and fight cancer. Carrots contain a plentiful amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and also contain a natural pesticide called falcarinol, which protects the carrot from fungal diseases, and is thought to assist in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
What cancers are carrots being used to treat?
- Lung Cancer - Researchers from the University of Newcastle found that a concentration of falcarinol, from carrots, when given to lab rats, reduced the risk of lab rats developing cancer by the astonishing fraction of ⅓! This study was tested on lab rats with precancerous tumors. The study divided lab rats into three groups; a control group that didn’t receive any supplement, a group that received a concentration of falcarinol, and a group that received carrots. Both the groups that received a supplement, whether it be carrots or falcarinol, had a significant less chance that they would develop full scale tumors. While falcarinol is toxic in high doses, the amount that you receive when you include a few servings of carrots in your diet every week is extremely beneficial! Another study that analyzed the effects of carrots in the diet of current smokers showed that smokers who ate carrots multiple times a week had a decrease of lung cancer risk.
- Gastric Cancer - Eating carrots can play a major role in the prevention of gastric cancer! Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer related mortalities. In comparison to other cancers, gastric cancer is in third place for cancer related deaths. In a research report that compiled various studies of the effect of carrots on gastric cancer, it was shown that incorporating carrots frequently in a healthy diet can reduce your chances of developing gastric cancer by 26%!
- Prostate Cancer - While more research is needed, a Chinese study shows evidence that the addition of carrots to your diet may help decrease the risk of prostate cancer. A meta-analysis of various studies of prostate cancer and carrot consumption showed that the addition of 10 grams of carrots daily in your diet can significantly decrease your risk of prostate cancer.
- Leukemia - Leukemia is cancer of the blood or bone marrow. In a study by the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, wild carrot oil extract was shown to increase apoptosis, or cell death, in acute myeloid leukemia cells in humans. While more research is needed, carrots are under investigation for their ability to treat leukemia.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Carrots are being used in cancer treatments to treat multiple kinds of cancerous cells because of their impressive nutrient content. Carrots are extremely high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which aid the body in preventing and fighting cancer.
2. Disadvantages of Carrots
1. Carrots could turn you orange!
How can carrots turn you orange?
The old myth about eating too many carrots and turning orange is true. The reason why carrots are orange (and have so many health benefits!) is the thing responsible for this color change. Beta-carotene, or just carotene for short, is the nutrient in carrots that can give you a nice orange hue. However, keep in mind, you’d have to eat a lot of carrots to get carotenosis.
Are carrots the only vegetable that can give you carotenosis?
No! Other orange and yellow vegetables when consumed in incredibly high amounts can also give you carotenosis. Vegetables including sweet potatoes, pineapples and oranges can also give you carotenosis.
How do I avoid getting carotenosis?
Moderation! As with everything, carrots should be consumed in moderation. Getting carotenosis is actually relatively difficult, unless you have another health condition that can contribute to it.
The bigger problem with getting carotenosis is that consuming that much beta-carotene, or Vitamin A, can be very hard on the liver. If you have liver issues, consult a physician before consuming large quantities of carrots.
EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: As with anything, consume carrots in moderation. Carrots are an incredibly healthy source of nutrients, but living off of carrots could result in your skin turning orange!
3. Top 100 Carrot Recipes
4. Carrot Recipes in Video
Carrots are a delicious and beautiful root vegetable that adds a powerful dose of nutrition to smoothies and salads! Try different colors and varieties of carrots for added flavor and color to your meals. Try some of these carrot recipes to add some healthy, nutritious vitamins and greens to your life!
5. About Carrots
What are carrots?
Carrots are root vegetables that are typically known for their bright orange appearance, however they come in a variety of other colors. The actual root that is typically eaten is called a taproot. The greens of the plant can also be eaten. Modern carrots have been domesticated and grown to be larger and more palatable than wild carrots.
What kinds of carrots can you buy?
There are a large variety of carrots, known for their coloring and size. There are two broad carrot cultivars, and then they are divided into different varieties of carrots. Carrots are commonly classified by root size.
The Two Broad Cultivars of Carrots
|Eastern Carrots||Eastern carrots are thought to have been domesticated in Persia, probably during the 10th century. “Eastern” carrots are typically purple or yellow.|
The Western carrot originated in the Netherlands in the 17th century, where it was bred for its orange color. These carrots are typically classified by their size, into one of the four classifications:
6. Carrots vs. Celery
Both of these vegetables are high in fiber and low in calorie, but which is better for you? The significant difference between the two comes down to caloric value and vitamin A content. Celery is a healthy snack option, high in fiber with zero fat, but it has very little nutritional value. Carrots on the other hand, have a higher amount of calories (though not very much!) and have an extremely high vitamin A content. One serving of carrots will get you over 4x your recommended daily value of Vitamin A! So who wins? Nutritionally speaking, carrots win, because they are higher in nutrients. However, celery is still a healthy snack option too.
7. History of Carrots
An ancient vegetable, famed for its color.
A colorful root vegetable - loaded with health benefits.
Carrots got their namesake from their resemblance to horns, however; the word carrot went through quite a few translations until we got the word that it is today. The word “carrot” was first recorded in the English language in 1530. It is believed to originate from the Middle French word “carrotte”. This word is thought to originate from the Latin word “carota”, which originates from the Greek word καρωτόν that translates to karoton. This chain of words is thought to originate from the Indo-European root word “ker-” that means horn. Various languages still use the term “root” for carrot.
8. Q&A About Carrots
How do you pronounce carrot?
What are carrots related to?
Carrots are related to the Umbelliferae family, which gets its namesake from the flowers that these plants produce. Carrots are related to anise, caraway, cumin, dill, fennel, parsley and parsnips.
How many carrots are produced in the world?
Over 17,000,000 metric tons of carrots are produced each year in China alone! That’s about the equivalent of the weight of 75,556 replicas of the Statue of Liberty!
How long does it take carrots to grow?
It takes between 70-80 days for most types of carrots to grow from seed to harvest.
Do I need to wash carrots before I eat them?
We recommend washing your carrots before you eat them, because they are a root vegetable and grow underground. Typically they will have dirt residue on them.
9. Nutritional Information
This is your nutritional information for 1 cup (128 g) of raw carrots!
|Calories 52||Calories from Fat 2.6|
|Total Fat 0.3g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12.3g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.6g||14%|
|Vitamin A 428%||Vitamin C 13%|
|Calcium 4%||Iron 2%|
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