What are the uses & health benefits of the Carrots (Daucus carota)?

What are the uses & health benefits of the Carrots (Daucus carota)?
Dec 2021

What are carrots?
Carrots (Daucus carota) are root vegetables that were cultivated in Afghanistan thousands of years ago. Orange may be best-known color for carrots, but they also come in other colors, including purple, yellow, red, and white.
The taste of this veggie may vary depending on the color, size, and where it's grown. Carrots have slightly sweet flavor due to present of sugar, but they also can taste bitter or earthy.
Nutritional value in carrot
Half cup of carrots contains -
25 calories
6 grams of carbohydrates
2 grams of fiber
3 grams of sugar
0.5 grams of protein
Carrots are a source of many vitamins and minerals. A half-cup can give you up to:
73% of your daily requirement of vitamin A
8% of your daily vitamin K
8% of your daily potassium and fiber
5% of your daily vitamin C
2% of your daily calcium and iron
Health Benefits of Carrot ( Daucus Carota)
Carrots contain many antioxidants and have number of health benefits. Uses of Daucus carota are given below
For eye health / Vision
Carrots are very good for eyes. They're good source of beta-carotene, a compound that further changes into vitamin A by the body, which helps keep your eyes healthy. Beta-carotene protects eyes from the sun and lowers your chances of eye problems including cataract.
Yellow carrots contain lutein, which is also good for eye health. It can prevent age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss.
Blood pressure and cardiovascular health
Carrots are good for your heart health. All those antioxidants that are present in carrot are good for your heart. Secondly, the potassium present in carrots can help to maintain blood pressure in levels. And third, carrots have fiber, which can help to maintain healthy weight and lower your chances of heart disease.
Red carrots also have lycopene, that is very good for heart and prevent heart disease.
Lower the risk of cancer
They can lower your risk of cancer. Antioxidants that are present in carrots fight against harmful free radicals in the body and that decrease cancer. The two main antioxidants that are present in carrots include carotenoids and anthocyanins. Presence of free radicals in the body increases the risk of various types of cancer. The carotenoids like Lutein and zeaxanthin have antioxidant effects that reduce the risk of cancer.
Prostate cancer: Many studies show that a diet rich in carotenoids lower risk of prostate cancer.
Leukemia: Nutrients present in carrot juice extract can destroy leukemia cells and slow down or stop their progression.
Lung cancer: Having carrot juice help to prevent the type of damage that leads to lung cancer in smokers.
Strengthen Immunity
Carrots help to boost your immune system. As carrots are source of vitamin C in that helps your body build antibodies that strengthen your immune system. Vitamin C contributes to collagen production. Collagen is source of connective tissue and essential for wound healing and keeping the body healthy.
A healthy immune system will help to prevent number of diseases. Taking additional vitamin C may boost the immune system's function.
Bone health
Carrots possess vitamin K and small amounts of calcium and phosphorus. All of these are essential to keep your bones healthy and may help many bone related disorders like osteoporosis.
Digestive health
Taking more carotenoid-rich foods may decrease the risk of colon cancer. Studies suggest that who consumes a more high-fiber diet have a lower risk of colorectal cancer than those who consume little fiber.
Because of high fiber content carrots can help with constipation. If you are facing the problem of constipation then taking raw carrots can help to ease constipation and keep you regular.
Diabetes control
Carrots can help to control diabetes. People who have diabetes are advised to take non-starchy vegetables, including carrots. The fiber presents in carrots help to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Carrot is a low calorie, rich in fiber and low in sugar. And because of presence of vitamin A and beta-carotene in carrots, these can lower your diabetes risk.
Carrots in the diet
As there are many uses of carrots so one must include them in diet. There are mainly two seasons for carrots -- the spring and fall- but nowadays these are usually available all the year.
How carrots can be used?
Carrots can be taken in many ways. It can be taken as raw, boiled, steamed, roasted, or as an ingredient in soups and stews.
First, peel and wash the carrots, then:
Carrots can be used as salads, or in wraps
Add carrots to juices, soups and smoothies for a naturally sweet, mild flavor.
Shredded carrots can be used in baked goods, like in cakes and muffins.
Carrot sticks or baby carrots can be taken as snacks, maybe with a dip, such as hummus.
Boiling carrots can decrease some of the vitamin content. So it should be taken raw or steamed to get the most nutritional value.
Also, Absorption of carotenoids and vitamin A may occur better in the presence of fats. That's why, people should eat carrots with a healthful source of fat, such as avocado, nuts, or seeds.
Over intake of vitamin A can be harmful. Also, it may cause a slight orange tint to the skin, though this not harmful to health.
An overdose of vitamin A is unlikely to happen because of diet alone, but it may result from supplement use.