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Health benefits of carrots

Carrots are my favorite, they provide so many benefits to our health and are high in nutritional  values. Carrots is the ultimate health food eaten all over the world for its amazing nutritional benefitsVibrant orange carrots are a healthy addition to your daily diet. They are low in calories, contain no fat and supply significant doses of certain vitamins and minerals.

Your granny wasn't kidding when she nagged you to eat carrots for healthy eyes.
Consuming carrots are known to be good for the overall health and also 
good for your eyes, digestive system and teeth. They also promote healthy skin, delay ageing and even prevent cancer.  

Naturally sweet, delicious and crunchy, carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family, named after the umbrella-like flower clusters that plants in this family of the genus; Daucus and known scientifically as Daucus carota. The other close Apiaceae members include parsnips, parsley, dill, cumin, etc. Carrots can be traced back about 5,000 years through historical documents and paintings. No one knows exactly when the first carrots appeared, however, because many people mistook them for parsnips, a close relative of the carrot.

Nutritional Profile

A medium-size carrot has 25 calories, 6 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. The veggie is an excellent source of vitamin A, providing more than 200% of your daily requirement in just one carrot. Carrots also are loaded with beta-carotene, a compound that is naturally converted to vitamin A when consumed. The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene you’re getting.

Carrots are perhaps best known for their beta-carotene content. (The nutrient beta-carotene was actually named after the carrot!) While they can be an outstanding source of this phytonutrient, carrots actually contain a fascinating combination of phytonutrients, including other carotenoids (especially alpha-carotene and lutein); hydroxycinnamic acids (including caffeic, coumaric, ferulic); anthocyanins (in the case of purple and red carrots); and polyacetylenes (especially falcarinol and falcarindiol). 

In addition, Carrots are a very good source of biotin, vitamin K, dietary fiber, molybdenum, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They are a good source of manganese, niacin, vitamin B1, panthothenic acid, phosphorus, folate, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin B2.

Health Benefits of Carrots
Carrots are so common in the US that it's easy to overlook their potentially powerful benefits to your health. The possible health benefits you can get by including carrot or carrot juice in your diet are as under.

Improved Vision: Vitamin A deficiency can cause the outer segments of the eye's photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision. Correcting vitamin A deficiencies with foods like carrots which are high in beta-carotene will restore vision.
Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular 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.

Cardiovascular support: A 10 year long study conducted in Netherlands shows, participants who ate at least 25 grams of carrots daily had a significantly lower risk of CVD and the groups of participants who ate 50- or 75-grams more had an even more greatly reduced risk of CVD! We're not sure how any study could better demonstrate how easy it can be to lower disease risk by making a food like carrot part of the everyday diet in such achievable amounts.

Cancer Prevention: Antioxidants in carrots, including beta carotene, may play a role in cancer prevention. Carrots contain falcarinol, a natural pesticide that protects carrots against fungal disease. It's thought that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body, as it's been shown to cut the risk of tumor development in rats.

Research has shown that smokers who eat carrots more than once a week have a lower risk of lung cancer, while a beta-carotene-rich diet may also protect against prostate cancer. The consumption of beta carotene is also associated with a lower risk of colon cancer, while carrot juice extract may kill leukemia cells and inhibit their progression.

Weight management: Carrots are packed with fibre, which helps keep the digestive system healthy and helps balance blood sugar levels. Fibre also helps you to feel fuller for longer so you find it easier to maintain your weight. An 80g serving of cooked carrots contains 2g fibre – more than a tenth of the recommended daily amount for adults.

Skin Health: Carrots are great for healthy, younger-looking skin Beta-carotene is also an important antioxidant which may help to act against age-accelerating free radicals, so that skin remains healthy and elastic. Carrots may help to protect your skin from sun damage When taken on a regular basis, beta-carotene can help to protect skin from excessive ultra-violet (UV) radiation and sunburn.

Healthy Bones and Teeth: Carrots are packed with a nutrient called betacarotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A aids the growth of healthy bones and teeth. 

Powerful natural antiseptic: Carrots help to keep your immune system strong Vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. This nutrient keeps the skin and cells that line the airways, digestive tract and urinary tract healthy, so they act as barriers and form the body’s first line of defence against infection.

These are a few of the numerous benefits you can get by eating carrots, Fresh carrots are available in the markets around the season. While buying, look for young, tender, bright-colored roots with firm consistency. Avoid soft, flabby roots, with cuts or mold. Furthermore, avoid very large-sized roots as they indicate over maturity; resulting in their poor eating quality.

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