Carrot Health Benefits: 8 Reasons To Have One Carrot a DayLuke Coutinho
Most of us grew up listening to the phrase, “Eat carrots, they are good for your eyes. They will help you see in the dark.” Did that pique the same curiosity within you as it did in us? Is this the only benefit this root vegetable has?
You will be surprised to know that the benefits of this silent contributor to our salads, pulavs, raitas, and even desserts, go far beyond it. Today, we want to speak to you about the power and the health benefits of raw carrots.
It is undoubtedly one of the most nutritious vegetables on this planet. In our practice spanning nine years, we have been extensively using raw carrots and carrot juice in the management of health conditions from cancer, liver disease to even obesity.
Loaded with beta carotenes, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, carrots can aid weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, improve eye health and even play a role in cancer prevention and management.
Are you eating carrots? Photo Credits: Unsplash
What are some of the health benefits of eating raw carrots everyday? Find out.
Raw carrots for cancer
Carrots contain falcarinol, a natural pesticide that protects its roots from fungal diseases. Research today shows that falcarinol may have a protective effect against certain types of cancer. Today, this compound and its derivatives are being extensively studied in deep cellular nutrition and used in multivitamins for those with cancer or looking for prevention.
Does this mean that eating raw carrots is going to prevent or cure your cancer? NO. Because cancer is a multifactorial disease. But what carrots can do is assist your body to build strength and possibly aid with the prevention and management of the disease.
Looking at the thousands of different multivitamins in the market which contain all the beta carotenes found in carrots, we often wonder – What if people just ate carrots? Today, we have confused ourselves with so many complications, that simplicity has become a luxury.
Science today backs the anti-cancer properties of carotenoids found in carrots. A study by the University Medical Center at Utrecht found that these can help reduce the risk of breast cancer up to 60%. They can aid with malignancies and tissue repair. Similarly, polyacetylenes can also aid the prevention and management of leukemia and blood cancers.
Beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lycopene that give the root vegetable its colors are vitamin A precursors. While bright orange carrots are rich in beta-carotene, dark orange or red ones are rich in anthocyanins, which play a huge role in controlling inflammation and boosting your immune system.
An assortment of carrots. Photo credit: Unsplash
Alpha and beta-carotenes fight free radical damage caused by oxidation that can lead to cardiovascular diseases and cancers in the long run if uncontrolled. Upcoming studies also suggest that alpha carotenes could be much more effective than beta carotenes in decreasing mortality for certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Raw carrots/carrot juice for your liver and weight loss
Did you know your liver performs more than 500 different functions in the body? This crucial eliminatory organ is known to break down, deactivate and get rid of toxins that have entered your system.
Unfortunately, most people today struggle with toxic livers due to poor lifestyle, nutrition, pollution, contaminated food and water, depleted minerals and vitamins. So keeping this detoxifying organ healthy is crucial.
We extensively use carrot juice to handle cases of liver cancer or liver cirrhosis, or any liver condition. Its rich nutritional properties help repair and regenerate liver enzymes.
The cleaner your liver and the fewer the toxins, the greater your ability to burn fat. If you are struggling to lose weight, perhaps pay attention to your liver and move to action to keep it clean.
Raw carrots for constipation
Okay, let us start by busting the myth that eating carrots alone will not help. It is not magical. But with their rich fiber content, eating raw carrots can help regularize your bowel movements. Do not eat cooked carrots because these can lead to constipation.
Raw carrots for better skin and hair
Did you know carrots are also excellent to boost your skin and hair health? Yes, adding carrots to your meals can help strengthen your hair and tighten the skin. Add beetroot, chia seeds, flax seeds, and raw honey to your carrot juice to boost its nutritional properties.
Being rich in antioxidants, it helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines. Its potassium content keeps your skin moisture, and Vitamin C boosts collagen production in your body to maintain elasticity. Beta carotenes protect your skin against UV damage in the long run and help your hair attain a natural glow and shine. Vitamin A and E strengthen your roots and stimulate hair growth.
A refreshing drink of carrot juice. Photo Credit: Unsplash
Raw carrots for diabetes
Are you diabetic? Carrots with their antioxidants and phytochemicals can help you lower blood sugar levels. Do not overdo carrots because they can spike your sugar levels too. Instead of juicing them, eat them raw in moderation.
Raw carrots for improved vision
Carrots are also rich in lutein and beta carotenes, which are excellent for your eyes. Its rich Vitamin A content can help prevent night blindness and loss of vision due to age-related degenerative eye diseases.
Raw carrots to maintain blood pressure
Carrots are rich in fiber and potassium and low in sodium. This makes it a good addition to your meals if you are struggling with high blood pressure.
Raw carrots for better immunity
A powerhouse of Vitamin C, carrots boost your immune function, antibodies and keep disease at bay. Getting your dose of Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron in your system and helps you fight infections, cold, cough, and flu better.
How to consume carrots best?
Peel your carrots. Eat them raw with your lunch or dinner, julienne or grate them to add to your salads or even juice them. I usually prefer to eat it raw because chewing is an excellent process for your body. Every time we chew, we send signals to our digestive system to produce the right enzymes. Know more about the benefits of chewing here.
One of my favorite ways to get carrots into my system is having raw carrot juice in the morning and adding beetroot, cucumber, ginger, garlic, or even parsley. While juicing it, ensure to keep the fiber. It may feel a little bulky when you drink it, but that is where all the nutrition is.
Straining and drinking the juice is the easier way out. If you dislike excess fiber, try removing half of it and drink the rest. It will make it slightly easy for you to drink. Where there is a will, there is a way. Everything in life doesn’t have to be easy and comfortable. So, if you have to deal with drinking something a little bulky, do it for your health.
If you are a patient who struggles to chew or are giving it to your child, you can do pureed carrots or a carrot mash. When you steam or cook it, it may lose a little nutrition, but it does not make it useless.
Patients going through very complicated chemotherapies or conditions should be wary of any infection from raw foods. You can lightly steam or cook it or even make a delicious soup.
I add a drop or two of an extra virgin olive oil or a little coconut oil to my carrot juice. Why? Carrots are rich in Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin. It means that it requires a fatty medium to be absorbed into your system and reach your cells. That is where synergistic nutrition comes into play. You will notice that your doctor sometimes tells you to take a multivitamin after a meal because you need the fat from it to boost absorption.
How to not eat carrots
Don’t be shocked. Overdoing carrots can be toxic for you. There are cases when people overdose on carrots and develop carotenemia, where their skin begins to turn orange.
We have a lot of patients from different parts of the world who say, “Luke, we are having kilos of carrot every day,” and we tell them, “STOP. It will do you more harm than good.”
You can go up to two to three mugs of carrot juice in a day, but again, you check what the other sources of beta carotene in your meals are.
As a thumb rule, one glass of carrot juice a day or having a couple of raw carrots with meals works well for most people. If you are ailing with any condition or on any treatment plan, check with your healthcare provider and make an informed decision. Your consumption of carrots can be designed to suit your needs.
Some of you reading this in India may wonder – is gajar ka halwa good? Well, we have moved away from how this traditional dessert was originally made in our country. What used to be a beautiful synergistic mixture of carrots, pure ghee, and jaggery, has now turned into a carbohydrate bomb.
When mixed with hydrogenated fats, adulterated ghee, and loads of refined white sugar, gajar ka halwa can be a disaster. So, cook it within the frameworks of nature with the right quality of clean ingredients and consume it in the correct quantity. Check this recipe out to know how.
Craving gajar ka halwa? Make it the right way. Photo Credits: Unsplash
The health benefits of raw carrots like you read are many. The gifts of nature are abundant. They have several micronutrients that help with vital functions of the human body. All we need to do is add it to your daily regime. But remember, our body needs all these micronutrients in small quantities. So, never overdo anything, regardless of whether it seems good or bad for you. Moderation is key.
Last, but certainly not least. You may have constantly heard us speak about the importance of having diverse or rainbow meals. One way to attain this color and balance is by adding carrots to your rainbow plate. We have started our journey already, when are you beginning yours?
Disclaimer: Please keep your healthcare provider in the loop before introducing any new food item into your lifestyle, especially if you have a medical health condition or are on medications. In case you are allergic to certain foods, please avoid the same.
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This is one of my secrets to great skin and never getting colds or flu and thus far not even Covid. Add some onion and you can dance the jig all day! My mother and I do this and she has never, ever been on medication nor has health issue and that goes for me as well. Do it people it is the easiest thing to do. Raw carrots are better.