“Eh…What’s up Doc?” We’ve all heard this quote by the infamous Bugs Bunny while munching on a carrot. Any doctor in the real world would answer him with, “Good to see you are eating carrots!” Carrots have so many health benefits; it may be difficult to list them all. This delicious, crunchy, and versatile vegetable is one food doctors recommend you always keep in your daily diet.
Carrots are believed to originate thousands of years ago from areas like Afghanistan, Turkey, and Spain. Interestingly, the first cultivated carrots were actually purple and yellow in color. It was not until carrot cultivation spread to Western Europe (in the early 1600s) that its more familiar color of orange and white were more noticeable. The current yellow/orange carrot varieties are now the basis of commercial distribution around the world, mainly through their exclusive taste, usefulness, and nutritional value.
Easy to grow, tasty and high in nutrition, carrots are loved by both children and adults because of their sweet taste and crunchy texture. The vegetable can be grown throughout the year and in almost any season. They are the most second most popular type of vegetable, coming in after potatoes. With just under 60 calories per serving, carrots make for a low calorie and satisfying snack.
Carrots are rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin K, Fiber, Thiamine, Potassium, and Biotin. Recent studies have shown that consuming carrots regularly can help lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer. A compound called Falcarinol in carrots may be responsible for the anti-cancer benefits carrots seem to offer.
Carrots are also known to improve vision. Many of us remember our parents telling us to eat more carrots so that we will have great vision as well as superior night vision. This is actually been proven to be true. High and rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver, is an essential and necessary property for good night vision. In addition, it is believed that the beta-carotene found in carrots may help protect against macular degeneration, which is an illness that is affecting our baby boomer population greatly and is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older.
According to research from Harvard University and other studies, carrots contain soluble fiber which can help lower blood cholesterol levels. Also, in this research, experts found that individuals who consumed more than six carrots a day were less likely to suffer from a stroke.
Carrots also have great benefits for our skin! The vitamin A and other nutrients found in carrots can be beneficial in the treatment of acne, dry skin, and evening out skin tones. As mentioned before, carrots contain high levels of beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant and helps fight cell damage to the body, which in turn, helps slow down the aging of cells.
Carrots can be consumed in many forms, raw, cooked, and even juiced. Regardless of how you decide to eat carrots, make sure you incorporate them into your daily diet. The benefits are too great to pass up on this amazing orange vegetable!