There is something really special about carrots. Not only does it taste delicious, but the health benefits of carrots are numerous. Carrots contain anti-aging properties, are s powerful source of Vitamin A, and are also known for cancer prevention, amongst others.
Popular belief about the origin of carrots is that it was first cultivated in what is now known as Afghanistan. The carrots cultivated then were not the orange ones we know and love, but were purple and yellow. Over time, white and red carrots appeared before the orange variety showed up in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Health Benefits of Carrots
Several studies have shown that dietary carotenoids have anti-cancer properties. These carotenoids are also antioxidant in nature and reduce the amount of free radicals in the body, which might account for their anti-cancer properties. Some forms of cancer include lung cancer, colon cancer and prostrate cancer.
Carrots also kill leukemia cells and stop their progress.
Slows Down Aging
Carrots have a high level of beta-carotene, which are antioxidants that slow down the progression of the cells, thereby slowing down the aging process.
Great for Eyesight
Carrots are really great at improving vision. One reason why some parts of the eye deteriorates is as a result of a deficiency of Vitamin A. Foods that are rich in beta carotene go a long way in restoring vision.
This does not mean that eating carrots will automatically improve your vision unless the deterioration is because of lack of Vitamin A, in which case, carrots will make a huge difference.
Improves your skin
Vitamin A deficiency causes dry and flaky skin. So one way to get your skin looking fresh and healthy is to eat foods with high Vitamin A, like carrots. The combination of Vitamin A and antioxidants present in carrots protects the skin from damage which exposure to the sun can cause.
Prevents heart disease and stroke
According to a Harvard University study, people who ate 5 or more carrots a week were less likely to suffer a stroke than people who ate only one carrot in an entire month. The carotenoids in carrots also help to prevent heart diseases and reduces cholesterol.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and also in alpha-carotene and lutein.
Other health benefits of carrots include protecting your teeth and gum from decay. Eating carrots acts like a toothbrush and scrapes food and plaque from the teeth and gums.
Ways you can make carrot part of your diet
Carrots are best eaten raw as that is the best way to get the most from this power food. There are several ways you can incorporate carrots into your diet.
– By shredding them and adding them into your salad.
– Snack on your carrots. Baby carrots are especially good for snacking.
– Juice them. Blend your carrots into juice and enjoy a cool healthy drink.
– Make a smoothie. These are becoming extremely popular. Add other vegetables (and fruit) to your carrot smoothie for breakfast. You’re welcome.