Carrot ( Daucus carota) is a nutrient dense root rich in vitamins, mineral and fiber. They are also a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients present in plant-based food. They help the body remove unstable molecules that cause cell damage if too many accumulate in the body. Carrots are also low in calories and sugar, offering numerous health benefits. They can boost vision and promote immunity. More importantly, they also help in the treatment of chronic ailments.
￼The antioxidants found in carrots are alpha and beta carotene which gives carrot their bright orange color. The body absorbs beta carotene through the intestines and converts it into vitamin A during digestion. This is why people consider carotenoids to be provitamins.
Ways in which carrots can support the health includes the following:
1. May promote eye health: Carrot is essential for good vision and offer the nutrient in abundance. Carrot contains vitamin A. If a person is deprived of vitamin A for too long,it may result in Xerophthalmia ( a progressive eye disease) which makes the outer segments of the eye's photoreceptors begin to deteriorate. This leads to night blindness.
2. May reduce risk of cancer: Carrots contain many phytochemicals that are well studied for their anticancer properties. A few of these compounds promote immunity and activate certain proteins that inhibit cancer cells.
3. May promote skin health: Carrots are rich in carotenoid which can improve skin appearance and also help people look relatively younger. However, overconsumption of carrots or other food high in carotenoid can result in a condition called "carotenemia" where your skin appears yellow or orange.
4. May enhance hair growth: They are power house of vitamin A and C, carotenoids, potassium and other antioxidants which contribute to hair health.
5. May aid weight loss: Raw or fresh carrots are about 88% water. A medium carrot has only about 25 calories. Hence, including carrots in your diet is a smart way of filling yourself up without piling on calories.
6. Immune function and health: Another antioxidant that carrots provide is vitamin C. It contributes to collagen ( a key component of connective tissue, essential for wound healing and keeping the body healthy). The vitamin is also present in immune cells which helps the body fight diseases.
7. May regulate blood pressure: The fiber and potassium present in carrots may help manage blood pressure. Potassium helps relax the blood vessels, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues.
8. May aid diabetes treatment: Carrots are high in fiber. Increase intake of fiber can improve glucose metabolism in individuals with diabetes. The abnormalities in glucose metabolism would require an increased need to fight oxidative stress, and this is where the antioxidant vitamin A may help.
9. May lower cholesterol levels: Carrots consumption can reduce cholesterol absorption and increase the antioxidant status of your body. Raw carrot are rich in fiber called "pectin" that may help lower cholesterol.
10. Bone health: Carrots contain vitamin K and small amount of calcium and phosphorus. All of these contribute to bone health and may prevent osteoporosis.
There's a saying which says " Too much of everything is not good."
There are risks associated with carrots which I'll be writing briefly.
Excessive consumption of carrots can be toxic. It may cause a slight orange tint to the skin, though not harmful to health. Some people are allergic to carrots, which may trigger swelling and breathing related issues. Sometimes,it leads to anaphylaxis (a severe allergic shock).
I hope this is helpful.
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