By Dr. Janet Brill
Vibrant color, crunchy and super nutritious! Carrots are a true superfood that are not just good for the eyes but offer a plethora of additional health benefits ranging from smooth beautiful skin, to heart disease and cancer prevention.
Apart from being the number one vegetable source of the vitamin A precursor, beta-carotene, carrots also house a nice amount of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, zinc and phosphorous. Let’s have a look at some of the health benefits of eating carrots:
Super food for eyes
To enhance your vision, go for a healthy nutritious diet rather than popping vitamin A, lutein and lycopene pills—marketed for eye health. Bugs Bunny was right, colorful carrots are the ultimate health food. Carrots are a naturally rich source of beta-carotene (the vitamin A precursor) that helps protect against the development of cataracts and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the elderly).
Glowing, beautiful skin
The bright orange hue of carrots are your secret weapon for healthy looking, glowing skin. You should know that a deficiency of vitamin A in the body leads to dry skin, and unhealthy hair.
The presence of powerful antioxidants in carrots not only prevents dryness, but also protects the skin from sun damage.
The beta-carotene content in carrots slows down the aging of cells. Don’t waste your money on anti-aging creams. Try Mother Nature’s natural solution for beautiful aging…eat carrots. The nutrients housed in carrots can help prevent blemishes, pigmentation, and premature wrinkling.
Heart healthy food
Carrots are an excellent source of lutein, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene—powerful phytochemicals that help prevent heart disease. Regular consumption of fibrous carrots can also help bring your cholesterol down. And all this for a mere 25 calories in a large carrot–what a superb heart healthy food!
Carrots contain carotenoids that have proven anti-cancer properties which squelch the destructive forces of free radicals in the body. Eating carrots has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing colon, lung and breast cancer.
Men who consume diets rich in beta-carotene are at lesser risk of developing prostate cancer.
Rich in fiber
The fiber in carrots binds to bile in the intestine and helps flush out harmful toxins from the body (they can help regulate your blood sugar level as well).
Prevents tooth damage
Carrots are not only great for your eyes but they are exceptionally good for your teeth and gums. Eating this nutritious vegetable helps prevent tooth damage and decay.
You can eat carrots raw, steamed or boiled. (Note that studies have shown that cooking carrots actually increases the amount of antioxidants compared to raw.)
Use this heart healthy food in stews, salads, soups and juice.