Benefits of Carrots

carrotsCarrot is a root vegetable.It can be in orange, red, white, purple & yellow in color. The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot, although the greens are sometimes eaten as well.

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
carrots consists of vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C ,E & K. Apart from vitamins, it also contains potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.Carrots are the main source of:

1. Fiber
A 1-cup serving of chopped carrots contains 3.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is a good start toward getting the 21 to 25 grams women should aim for each day and the 30 to 38 grams men should consume on a daily basis. Fiber can’t be digested, which makes it an effective way to keep your intestines and arteries clear and clean.

2. Vitamin A and Beta-Carotine
Carrots are a top source of vitamin A, and a 1-cup serving of chopped carrots provides 1,069 micrograms of the essential vitamin. Daily vitamin A needs are 700 micrograms for women and 900 micrograms for men.In addition to promoting healthy eyes, vitamin A supports the health of your skin, teeth and bones as well.

3. Vitamin K
One cup of chopped carrots supplies 16.9 micrograms of vitamin K, which is about 20 percent of the 75 to 90 micrograms you need each day. The most crucial role that vitamin K plays is in clotting your blood. Vitamin K supports the health of your bones as well, which can reduce your risk of fractures, breaks and osteoporosis as you age.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Carrots are perhaps best known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient that was actually named for them: beta-carotene. However, these delicious root vegetables are the source not only of beta-carotene, but also of a wide variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients. The areas of antioxidant benefits, cardiovascular benefits, and anti-cancer benefits are the best-researched areas of health research with respect to dietary intake of carrots.

1. Improved Vision
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.

Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against muscular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.

2. Cancer Prevention
Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have just discovered falcarinol and falcarindiol which they feel cause the anticancer properties.

Falcarinol is a natural pesticide produced by the carrot that protects its roots from fungal diseases.

3. Anti-Aging
The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism.  It help slows down the aging of cells.

4. Healthy Skin
Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.

5.  A Powerful Antiseptic
Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed.

6.  Prevent Heart Disease
Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.  Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.

The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids.

7.  Cleanse the Body
Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.

8.  Healthy Teeth and Gums
It’s all in the crunch! Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste.  Carrots stimulate gums and  trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria.  The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.

9.  Prevent Stroke:
From all the above benefits it is no surprise that in a Harvard University study, people who ate more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less.

HOW TO EAT CARROTS
The nutrition in carrots are tightly encased in protein sacs that have to be broken by heat (cooking) or mechanical action (grinding, juicing, proper chewing).

Cooking the carrots in fat or oils, or pureeing or juicing them increases the availability of carotenoids by 600 percent.
Fats help the absorption of carotenoids into the blood by 1000 percent as carotenoids are fat soluble.

HOW TO SELECT CARROTS

Look for fresh green leaves when attached, and a smooth slender root without cracks. Do not choose carrots that have begun to soften and wither.

HOW TO STORE CARROTS

Remove leaves immediately if attached, because they rob the root of moisture. Keep them away from apples which emit a gas which causes carrots to become bitter. Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

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