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7 Reasons to eat Carrots

Carrot is very popular all over the world and thanks to bugs bunny everyone is aware of how enjoyable it is to eat carrots. Despite the popularity of carrots, it is being overlooked by many nowadays. Eating one medium carrot will you with calcium (2%), vitamin K (10%), vitamin C (6%) and 210% of vitamin A, which is the average recommended amount of vitamin A to be consumed daily.

Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked but to get the most out of carrots, it should be half cooked or steamed. This is because raw carrots have tough cellular walls which makes less amounts of beta-carotene to be available to the body. However, when the carrots are half cooked, the tough cell walls are broken. This process releases beta-carotene. If carrots are overcooked almost all of the nutrients will be damaged.

1 improves eye sight
Carrot is made up of beta-carotene which gives it its color. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the liver. This vitamin A is later converted in the retina into a pigment called rhodopsin which aids in night vision.

2 anti-cancer benefits
The consumption of is able to reduce the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer. Researchers have discovered a compound in carrot by name falcarinol which is believed to have anticancer properties.

3 lower risk of heart disease
Research has shown that eating carrots lowers a person’s risk of developing coronary heart disease by 32% (BJN, 2011). Another similar research was conducted by Oude et al for over a period of 10 years. This research focused on the color of fruit and vegetables and 10 year incidence of coronary heart disease. The color of foods under study were white, red/purple, orange/yellow and green. By the end of this study foods colored with orange/yellow were found to be the most protective against CHD and carrots were found to be the most effective. This study showed that foods that are high in carotenoids are able to reduce the risk of hearth disease.

4 Anti-aging benefits
Consuming carrots helps to slow down the aging of cells. This is because carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene which acts as an antioxidant to cells when damaged through the process of metabolism.

5 Healthy skin
Carrots contain high levels of vitamin A. This vitamin A protects our skin from being damaged by the sun. Consuming vitamin A will prevent uneven skin tone, dry skin, premature wrinkling and blemishes. Consuming vitamin A makes the skin, hair and nails to be moist and healthy. Carrot extract is also used in some body lotions because it nourishes the skin. Some facial masks are made with carrots and honey.

6 Detoxifies the body
The vitamin A gotten from eating carrots help the liver to secret bile and flush toxins out of the body. The fibre found in carrots also helps to cleanse the digestive tract.

7 Reduces the risk of stroke
A study conducted in Harvard University showed that people who eat more than five carrots a week have a reduced risk of stroke than those who eat about one carrot a month.

References


Oude L.M., Monique Verschuren W.M., Kromhout D. et al. Colours of fruit and vegetables and 10 year incidence of coronary heart disease. British Journal of Nutrition, 2011



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