Carrots – Nutritional facts and health benefits

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Overview

Carrots are crunchy vegetables and are rich in vitamins A and K, potassium, beta-carotene and antioxidants. Carrots contain 10% carbohydrates, fibre, starch and simple sugars.

The size and colour of carrots can vary depending on their cultivation. Carrots taste sweet, and sometimes they can give an earthy or bitter taste too.

Carrots are classified as root vegetables and are available in different colours like purple, red, white, black and yellow. They also help remove free radicals. Carrots are available throughout the year and are suitable for a crunchy snack.

Carrots add natural colour to the dish we add and can be used for soups, stews, side dishes and salads.

The crunchy vegetable offers various health benefits. The nutritional benefit and health benefits are briefed below.

Nutritional facts

According to USDA, a raw carrot contain the following nutritional facts.

NutritionNutritional value
Calories25
Fat0 g
Carbohydrates6 g
Sodium42 mg
Fibre1.5 g
Protein0.5
Vitamin A509 mcg
Vitamin K8 mcg
Potassium195.2 mg
Beta carotene5053.8 mcg

Health benefits of carrots

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and other nutrients, which offer various health benefits.

Vision

Carrots help prevent age-related macular degeneration. Regular consumption of carrots can protect the eyes from vision loss and environmental damage.

Vitamin A deficiency can lead to a progressive eye disease called xerophthalmia. It can cause night blindness. Carrots also contain antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which prevents vision loss.  

Cancer

Carrots can prevent oxidative damage that can lead to cancer. Carrots are available in different colours, and their antioxidant levels also differ depending on their colour.

Yellow carrots are high in lutein. Orange carrots are rich in beta-carotene, purple carrots are high in anthocyanins, and red carrots are high in lycopene.

According to research, purple carrot extract has demonstrated that it has the potential to protect colon cells against oxidative damage by 20%. Different coloured carrots contain different antioxidants, which help prevent cancer throughout the body.

Digestive health

Carrots are good for your gut. Consumption of carrots helps increase saliva and supplies essential enzymes, minerals and vitamins that help with digestion.

Regular consumption of carrots prevents gastric ulcers and other digestive disorders. Carrot fibre is a good source of beneficial bacteria. The beneficial gut bacteria produce short fatty acids, which benefit the gut and overall health.

Diabetes control

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and fibre, which help manage diabetes. Beta-carotene— a precursor for vitamin A protects the cells from oxidative stress and acts against the inflammatory processcess.  

According to research, beta-carotene reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome and obesity. Fibre is essential to control blood glucose levels. Regular consumption of carrots regulates diabetes levels.   

Blood pressure and cardiovascular health

Carrots are rich in potassium, which helps reduce high blood pressure levels. Potassium relaxes the blood vessels, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

According to research, a medium carrot can provide about 4% of the daily potassium requirement. Regular consumption of vegetables that are high in fibre reduces bad cholesterol.

Carrots also contain phytochemicals that contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties protect against heart diseases. Polyphenols also increase bile secretions, decreasing triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

Immune system

Carrots are high in antioxidants, which effectively fight diseases and infections. Carrots also contain vitamin A and C, which supports the body’s overall health. Vitamin A also plays a crucial role in regulating the immune function of the body.

Bone health

Carrots contain vitamin K, phosphorous and calcium that promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis risk.

Carrots are rich in vitamin C, which contributes to collagen production. It is a key component of connective tissues and is also essential for wound healing and keeps the body healthy.

How to add carrots to your diet?

Carrots can be consumed raw or cooked. They are available in all local stores and supermarkets throughout the year. They can be consumed as juice, pickled, frozen and canned. If carrots are available fresh, it is recommended to consume them as fresh without freezing them.

Carrots go easily with soups, stews and any dishes. Boiling vegetables can reduce the vitamin content, so it is advised to consume steamed or raw.

Add some freshly shredded carrots in soups and consume hot. Use hummus as a dip for baby carrots. Roasting carrots helps bring out the sweet taste of the carrot. Carrots can be consumed as smoothies. Slice the carrot into thin slices and use it as a side dish for shawarma.

Risks of consuming too many carrots

Carrots can cause food allergies, but they are very rare. If an individual is allergic to pollen, there is a chance of experiencing cross-reactivity triggered by carrots, called allergy syndrome.

The symptoms can onset after an hour of consumption or even immediately. If carrots are consumed in large quantities, it can lead to side effects. Carrots are high in beta-carotene, which can lead to a condition called carotenemia. It causes yellowing of the skin, and the condition reduces after reducing consumption.

Carrot recipes

You can consume raw carrots or cook your favourite dishes and enjoy varieties.  

Spiced carrot and lentil soup

Ingredients

  • Cumin seeds 2 tbsp
  • Chilli flakes 1 pinch
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Carrots 600 g
  • Split red lentils 140 g
  • Hot vegetable stock 1 l
  • Milk 125 ml (You can also choose dairy free).

Method of cooking

  • In a saucepan, dry fry cumin seeds and chilli flakes. Fry them until they release an aroma.
  • Scoop out half of the dry roasted ingredients and add olive oil, coarsely grated carrots, split lentil, vegetable stock and milk.
  • Bring all the ingredients to a boil.
  • Cook in low flame for 15 minutes, until the lentils become soft and swollen.
  • Whisk the soup until smooth. This step is optional. If you want it chunky, enjoy the soup after the lentils soften.
  • Remove the soup from the flame and season it. You can add a dollop of plain yoghurt or sprinkle oregano.
  • Serve hot with some warmed naan bread.

Carrot smoothie

Ingredients required

  • Peeled and finely grated carrots 1/4 cup
  • Chickpeas 1/4 cup
  • Banana 1
  • Flax seeds 1/2 tbsp
  • Ground cinnamon 1/8 tsp
  • Ground ginger 1/16 tsp
  • Vanilla extract 1/8 tsp

Method of cooking

Blend all the ingredients till they become a smooth paste. If required, add some water. Add a few drops of honey for sweetness, and it is optional.

Conclusion

Carrots are crunchy vegetables that can be a suitable snack. It goes well with soups and stews and is high in vitamins A, C and other nutrients that offer various health benefits.

They usually give a sweet flavour. In some cases, they tend to taste earthy or bitter. Carrots are available in various colours, and the nutritional facts may also vary.  

Overconsumption of carrots can lead to the yellowing of the skin. However, a reduction in the consumption of carrots can reverse the condition. Overall, they offer various health benefits and can be consumed by all.

FAQs

Are carrots a superfood?

Carrots are considered as “superfoods”. It is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. So, it is considered as a superfood.

What are the benefits of eating carrots on an empty stomach?

Carrots are low in calories and contain 80% of water. It can be consumed as an early morning snack before your meal. Consuming carrots in the morning can improve digestion, and the fibre content in the carrot will keep you satiated.

What is the side effect of carrots?

Common side effects of carrots include diarrhoea, anaphylactic reaction, swelling and hives. Carrots contain pollen that causes such allergic reactions. However, the side effects are very, very rare.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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