Carrots and Their Health Benefits
The humble carrot is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food. It is crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious. Carrots are a particularly good source of essential vitamins and antioxidants. They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health. What’s more, their antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. Carrots are found in many colors, including yellow, white, orange, red, and purple!
Carrot Health Benefits
Carrots provide multiple health benefits while being tasty! Down below will be a small list of such benefits!
1. Boosts Eye Health
Carrots have been regarded as the fool-proof traditional remedy to improve eyesight. According to the book Healing foods carrots are rich in lutein and lycopene which help maintain good eyesight and night vision. The high amount of vitamin A also helps boost a healthy eyesight.
2. Aids Weight Loss
If you are on a weight loss diet, your diet must include foods that are high on fiber, and carrots with both soluble and insoluble fibers perfectly fit the bill. Fiber takes the longest to digest and thus promotes a feeling of fullness and prevents you from bingeing on other fattening foods.
3. Helps With Digestion
The significant amount of dietary fiber in carrots plays an important role in maintaining good digestive health. Fiber makes your stool bulky which helps it pass smoothly through the digestive tract and prevents conditions like constipation.
4. Fights Cholesterol and Boosts Heart Health
The high fiber from carrots also boosts heart health removes excess cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels. According to the book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing carrots “contains a form of calcium easily assimilated by the body that may help lower “unhealthy ” (LDL) cholesterol levels.”
5. Lowers Blood Pressure
Along with lowering the levels of bad cholesterol, carrots are packed with potassium. Potassium helps relax the tension in your blood vessels and arteries, which enhances the blood flow circulation and brings down your elevated BP. High blood pressure is linked to conditions like atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks. So load up on carrots for a step towards a healthier heart.
6. Boosts Skin Health
The juicy red wonders can help give your skin a radiant glow too. Apart from the beta carotene, lutein and lycopene, the high silicon content of the root can promote healthy skin and nails. To make the most of it’s nutrition, eat them raw or steamed.
7. Boosts Immunity
Carrots are packed with various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as vitamins B6 and K, potassium, phosphorous, etc. which contribute to bone health, stronger nervous system and help improve brain power. The antioxidants, apart from helping the body against free radical damage, guard the body against harmful bacteria, viruses and inflammation.
Orange carrots have an earthy flavor with sweet notes of celery. The outer skin is a bright orange and when peeled away reveals an orange flesh that is snappy and crisp. The plant produces small flowers which are white, red or purple in color. Though carrots are most often found trimmed of their thin, dill-like foliage, their greens are equally edible, with herbaceous carrot and parsley undertones. The darkest and greenest tops indicate the largest carrots.
Red carrots as the name suggests has a deep red or burnt orange color with a textured outer skin. These carrots get their color from a compound called lycopene, which is also responsible for the red color in tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. The Red carrot can reach a length up to 8 inches and typically does not exceed one inch in diameter. Red carrots offers sweet flavor with mild herbaceous undertones.
Yellow carrots are varieties that are grown specifically to yield sweeter flavor at maturity while also retaining healthy texture; ie: the taproot is not woody or fibrous. There are at least three known types of carrots: Imperator, Danvers and Nantes. Yellow carrots are Nantes type varieties, having both round shoulders and a blunt non-tapered tip. They have a firm and crunchy texture and an earthy sweet flavor with notes of celery and parsley.
Purple carrots are a color variant of traditional carrots, which bear the scientific name Daucus carota subsp. sativus. While most people in the US are familiar with orange carrots, purple carrots are far more commonly found in the East, particularly in China and India. However, they were first cultivated more than 1,000 years ago in the region of Afghanistan, and they spread from there. What many people don’t realize is that purple carrots were actually the original form of these globally popular vegetables. Paler colors only originated later, once the carrots were grown in different regions. These uniquely colored carrots are high in anthocyanin, which gives them their characteristic color and a surprisingly sweet taste.
White carrots lack pigmentation, hence the white color, they tend to have a smoother flavor than orange carrots. They do contain naturally occurring, health-promoting substances, called phytochemicals, natural bioactive compounds found in plant foods that work with nutrients and dietary fiber to help protect against disease. One might say these are the least healthy of carrots but have a rich taste. These chemicals may be important in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, which is the build up of fat in artery walls. White carrots are preferably used in baby foods to prevent them from forming orange skin.