There are so many ways to cook carrots that the list is endless. From adding them to stir fry dishes, grating them up for a salad, or even roasting them, they certainly give you variety of texture and taste. If you do not enjoy eating them cooked then carrots even taste good raw. You cannot say that about lots of other vegetables, namely broccoli, sprouts or potatoes for example.
After potatoes, carrots are one of the most popular vegetables consumed today, and because they are widely available all year around, the recipes are endless. People are cooking with carrots left, right and center. So if you have not already heard about some of the great benefits that carrots have for your health, then read on and I will highlight some of their great advantages for you.
1. Enhance Eyesight
As children, we are often told to eat carrots because they can help you to ‘see in the dark’. There is actually some truth to this saying as their benefit to eye health is not far off. Carrots contain beta-carotene which the liver converts into vitamin A.
It is this vitamin A which is then converted in the retina into what is called rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is a ‘purple pigment which is necessary for night vision’. So vitamin A which carrots contain in abundance really can help improve your eyesight and vision at night.
In addition, there are studies which have shown a lower risk of glaucoma in people who consume carrots at least twice a week as oppose to those who eat none. So eye health is certainly up there as a great health benefit and as one of the strongest reasons to try consuming more carrots in your diet today.
2. Get Beautiful Skin
We are all aware that vitamin A and vitamin E are fantastic for the skin. But did you know that a deficiency in vitamin A or E could potentially cause dry skin, hair and nails? Vitamin A helps to prevent acne and premature wrinkling among other things.
Therefore, it is great to consume carrots which have lots of vitamin A contained within them. They also have a smaller amount of vitamin E as well. Eating more carrots could help you to improve your skin tone and the look and feel of your skin for the better. This is great because who does not want great looking skin all year round!
In addition, the antioxidant properties of carrots can help to fight and protect against skin damage from the sun. So in addition to that skin screen which is always a must, munching on healthy salads with grated carrot in them could help give your skin an added boost of protection.
3. Improve Your Blood-Sugar Levels
Carrots contain the complex B vitamin biotin and whilst there are other foods with a higher concentration of biotin such as peanuts and almonds, sweet potatoes or eggs, carrots still contain around twenty percent of your daily recommended intake of this B vitamin.
Biotin is great for helping to regulate our blood-sugar levels because biotin affects the way that insulin interacts with cells. Therefore, a diet with a low intake of biotin could potentially also cause problems with insulin production in the body.
Carrots can be just one of the ways to help better regulate your blood-sugar levels with natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables. These natural sugars should still only be consumed in moderation. However, they are certainly going to be better for you than consuming processed sugar.
4. Healthy Hearts
Carrots contain a small amount of vitamin K but this can help to stop the blood from clotting. This could arguably contribute to saving your life in an emergency because the bloods ability to clot is extremely important. Although it is present in a smaller amount than in some other vegetables, every little can help towards improved health.
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In addition, vitamin K helps the body to prevent heart disease and even helps to strengthen bones. If you are looking for another source of vitamin K then kale, watercress and spinach are great places to start. Generally speaking, dark and leafy green vegetables are often great sources of vitamin K. In addition, carrots contain antioxidants which can also help to protect the cardiovascular system from disease.
5. Detox Your Body
As was mentioned earlier, the vitamin A from carrots is formed in the liver from the beta-carotene. However, this vitamin A helps to flush out bad toxins from the body and can reduce bile in the liver as well.
In addition, the fiber in carrots helps with intestinal health and helps bind waste products together. This can be helpful if you do not have much fiber already in your diet, or possibly if you also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
6. Protect Against Cancer
It is the beta-carotene antioxidant content that carrots possess which can help to protect cells from toxins and the damage that they can cause. It is lung, breast and colon cancer for which studies have found a reduction of cases of through the increased consumption of carrots.
However, to benefit from more of the antioxidant content of carrots, it is best to cook them. This is because this will provide a higher antioxidant level than if you were to eat them raw.
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Have you ever thought about growing your own vegetables? Perhaps in an allotment which you could share with friends or neighbors? It can be extremely rewarding to grow your own food, not to mention the money you would save swapping from the supermarkets. Certainly it can take time to nurture plants, flowers and vegetables, but the organic taste packs far more nutrients for your health than the shop bought varieties do.
As the summer months approach with increased light and sunny skies, why not purchase a pack of carrot seeds and grow your own today. It can be a great activity to get your children to put their technological gadgets down for a few minutes, get some fresh air and learn something new in the process too.
I hope this article has highlighted just a few of the great health benefits that carrots can have for your health today.
Below is a You Tube video from Peter Nielsen where he discusses the health benefits of eating more carrots in your diet.