Most of us know that carrots are considered good for the eyes. However this versatile and popular root vegetable is packed with nutrition and healing properties that go beyond eye health.
Check out these top 6 reasons to eat carrots.
Carrots are one of the best sources of vitamin A, and they provide ample amounts of vitamins B, C, D, E and K. Carrots are a rich source of vital minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. They are highly cleansing due to their fiber content, and an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Carrots have been cultivated for thousands of years. They originated in parts of Asia and the Middle East. Western carrots, common in the US, are primarily orange in color and sometimes called carotene carrots.
Top Healing Benefits
Bring more carrots into the diet, for the following benefits.
• Good for the liver. Carrots deliver important glucose to the liver, along with crucial vitamins and minerals. Raw carrots are high in antiseptic phytochemical compounds that inhibit the growth of unhealthy microorganisms.
• Protect the brain. Carrots help to prevent Alzheimer’s, improve memory, and protect against other types of cognitive decline. This is due to carrots’ ability to lower oxidative stress in the brain, which can weaken nerve signaling ability.
• Defend against cancer. Consuming high amounts of carotenoids from fruits and vegetables can protect against cancer recurrence. Studies show that the antioxidants in carrots lower inflammation, which fights leukemia cells and reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancers.
• Lowers the risks of heart disease and strokes. Eating more deep orange colored vegetables, such as carrots, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in women. Carrots lower oxidative stress which improves the body’s defense against cardiovascular disease. Carrots also lower cholesterol and boost bile production, which increases the body’s ability to digest fat. This aids the digestive system in properly absorbing nutrition from food.
• Improves skin health. Beta carotene is important for healing wounds. Carrots have been used for hundreds of years in poultices. They heal infections, cuts, and other wounds by increasing the skin’s ability to heal faster and to fight infection, irritation and inflammation.
• And, carrots are important for eye health. Beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin support eye health and help to prevent macular degeneration and even blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin work to reduce the risk of age-related vision loss.
Carrots contain very high amounts of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. This vitamin is necessary to protect the eyes, especially as the body ages.
How to Consume Carrots
There are several ways to benefit from the healing properties in carrots.
• Raw carrots have a higher fiber content. Look for organic carrots. They don’t have to be peeled, as there are nutrients in the skin. Just scrub the carrots with a brush to eliminate dirt and debris. Eat raw carrots as snacks, dip into hummus, add to salads or grate and add to veggie rolls.
• Cooked carrots may have higher antioxidant properties than raw. Add carrots to soups, stews, mixed veggie dishes, sautés and stir fries or steam them as a vegetable side dish.
• Juice carrots. Add carrots to juice blends or juice alone. Juicing delivers live enzymes and concentrated nutritional benefits to the body in an easily digestible format. Carrot juice boosts immunity, raises energy levels, and aids digestion.
There are many juice combinations that are not only healthy but extremely tasty. Try juicing carrots with apples, celery, ginger and lemons. Check out these two juice recipes HERE that contain carrots.
I add chopped carrots to simple stir fries, along with onion, garlic and celery. This weekend I’ll be trying a vegan shepherd pie, containing lentils, carrots, onions and garlic, topped with dairy free mashed potatoes.
Watch for the recipe next Tuesday!