It’s time to forget your vitamin A pills. Carrot, the orange, crispy energetic food is a rich source of vitamin A. It has also beneficial effect of beautiful skin, anti-aging and cancer prevention. The nutritional food value of carrot depends on whether is consumed raw or cooked. Studies have found that cooked carrots actually contain excessive antioxidants compared to the raw carrots. This is because cooked carrot releases antioxidants.
Carrots are also beneficial to feed the babies as the first veggie. Babies of 6 to 8 months are set to try this vegetable. Offer them 2 – 3 tablespoons of this beneficial vegetable while you start for their first feeding.
Nutritional Breakdown of Carrots
- One medium carrot will provide
- 210% of average amount of Vitamin A
- 10% Vitamin K
- 6% Vitamin C
- 2% Calcium
Beta–carotene, an antioxidant present in carrot gives it a bright orange color. During digestion Beta carotene gets absorbed in the intestine and is converted into Vitamin A. Carrots also contains dietary fiber, potassium, folate, phosphorous, manganese, and zinc.
Health Benefits of Carrot:
Prevent Heart Disease
High cholesterol level is the major factor for heart disease. Regular consumption of carrots reduces the cholesterol level and lowers down the risk of heart related problems. This is because the soluble fibers in the carrot bind with the bile acids. The carotenoids associated in this vegetable have the tendency to reduce the risk of heart attack. Apart from Beta carotene, carrots are also rich in alpha carotene and lutein.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Carrots, being rich source of potassium (a vasodilator) which relaxes the tension in your blood vessels and arteries. This result in increasing blood circulation and enhances the functionality of organ in your body and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system.
Carrots contain number of antiseptic and antibacterial abilities making ideal for boosting the immune system. Vitamin C in carrot triggers the functionality of WBC which is an important element in human immune system.
Consumption of Beta carotene is directly linked to reduce the risk of cancer level. Consumption of Beta carotene from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams a day can reduce the risk of lung cancer by 40%. Carrots have the tendency to reduce the risk of breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. Falcarinol and Falcarindiol are two natural pesticides available in the root of carrot which possess anticancer properties.
Deficiency of Vitamin A can cause vision problem especially in dim light. Beta carotene in carrots gets converted into Vitamin A in liver and is transformed in the retina to rhodopsin (a purple pigment necessary for night vision). At the same time, this antioxidant is also beneficial in protecting against senile cataracts and macular degeneration.
Carotenoids in carrot inversely affect insulin resistance and lowers down the blood sugar level. They regulate the amount of insulin and glucose being used and metabolized by the body providing a healthy fluctuation for diabetic patients.
Eating a carrot everyday can reduces the tendency of getting stroke by 68%.
In addition, powerful antioxidants in carrot help to protect your body from cardiovascular disease, cancer and increase your power of vision. Increased level of Vitamin A helps prevent post menopausal breast cancer, and other forms of cancer in colon, larynx, bladder and prostate.
Adding carrots in your diet
Consuming at least one carrot everyday can help you keep healthier than before. While purchasing, you need to select for the firm and bright orange color, as they guarantees to contain all necessary vitamins. Try adding more carrot in your diet to enhance the level of Vitamin A in your body.