Vitality

5 Health Benefits Of Carrots

If Popeye got you to eat your spinach as a kid, chances are Bugs Bunny had you reaching for those crunchy carrots. Here are some of the possible benefits of including the orange-colored root vegetable in your diet. 

1. Heart health

Since they are high in soluble fiber, it is said that carrots can reduce levels of LDL and increase levels of HDL in our blood. This can reduce the risk of suffering blood clots and in turn, associated heart complications.

"We know carrots can reduce cholesterol, they help lower blood pressure, and some research has shown they can help prevent stroke," said Dr. Martha Gulati, M.D., director of the cardiology department at the University of Arizona.

2. Good for eyes

You could say this is the most-touted benefit of eating carrots. However, the science around it remains a bit unclear for the most. Researchers have largely examined the impact of beta-carotene supplements on participants rather than the vegetable itself.

While carrots may not correct existing poor vision, they provide important nutrients needed to maintain eye health. Many people in developing nations have suffered eyesight problems as a result of not consuming enough vitamin A. 

Carrots are a good source — with one cooked cup containing over 26,000 international units of the nutrient — and can be included in a diet to eliminate the deficiency.

3. Disease prevention

Just like spinach, it has been suggested that carrots in cooked form can provide a bigger boost in antioxidants compared to raw carrots. The protective component can help slow down cellular aging and shield the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.

According to BistroMD, exposure to free radical exposure is linked to an elevated risk of developing various medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and more.

4. Low calories

If you are on the road to healthy weight loss, carrots make for the perfect snack, being high in water content and low in calorie content. One medium, raw carrot is estimated to contain only around 25 calories.

Some have even stated that munching on baby carrots and hummus can help ease cravings for potato chips and other crunchy junk foods. (Do keep in mind that this may not be satisfying for everyone) 

5. Wound healing

"Aside from vitamin A, carrot juice is also a rich source of another important immune-boosting antioxidant: vitamin C," registered dietitian Lisa Samuels told Prevention. When consumed in moderation, the vegetable may provide a healthful glow for your skin.

"Vitamin C is important in wound healing because it’s required for the production of collagen, the main protein found in our skin and connective tissues. And as an antioxidant, it can also help prevent cell damage in the body," Samuels added.

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