Native to Europe and South-western Asia, Daucus Carota commonly known as Carrot is a typical orange root vegetable which is also cultivated in purple, red, white and yellow colours as well. This root vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin A and also contains nutrients like calcium, iron, biotin, potassium and lutein. It can keep the blood sugar level under control as carrot is high in fibre and rich in vitamin A. It is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which has led carrot to become a superfood.
What Is The Association Between Carrot And Cancer?
Carrots are known to contain beta-carotene which is an antioxidant. Scientists are of the belief that beta-carotene has properties which may protect the cell membranes from toxin damage while also slow down the growth of cancer cells in the body. Some other vitamins and phytochemicals delivered by carrots may also guard against cancer of the mouth, oesophagus and stomach.
Carrots are full of antioxidants which have been proven to fight the harmful free radicals in your body. This can make you less likely to develop carcinogen cells In your body. This orange vegetable contains carotenoids and anthocyanins which are the two main types of antioxidants. Carrots get their orange and yellow colours from carotenoids. Red and purple colouring in carrots comes from the presence of anthocyanins.
How Carrot Helps In Fighting Cancer?
Carrot is a non-starchy vegetable which gives it cancer fighting potential. Research and studies have presented probable evidence which suggests that non-starchy vegetables when consumed with fruits decrease the risk of aerodigestive and colorectal cancer overall.
There is a limited evidence which suggests those foods which contain carotenoids might decrease the risk of lung cancer and breast cancer. Polyacetylenes such as fulcarinol and Phenolic acids including chlorogenic acids are found in carrots which are readily absorbed through intestinal tract walls. These acids are beneficial to human health as they contain potential antioxidants which avert the damage of cells resulted from free-radical oxidation reactions. If phenolic acids are taken on a regular basis, they also promote the anti-inflammation capacity of human beings.
Health Benefits Of Having One Carrot A Day
Good For Eyes
The best known super power of carrots is that they are good for your eyes. Beta-carotene not only helps with fighting of cancer cells but also works as a compound which your body changes into vitamin A. This helps in increasing eye-sight. Lutein found in yellow carrots can help with macular degeneration which is a leading cause of loss of vision in old age.
Carrots contain both soluble and insoluble fibre which works excellent in aiding digestion and hence promoting weight loss. It also maintains good digestive health and regular bowel movement by making your stool bulky which makes it pass smoothly, hence prevents the condition like constipation as well.
Boosts Heart Health
This superfood has a high fibre quotient which boosts the heart health by removing excess LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels. As Carrots contain a form of calcium which gets easily assimilated by the body and may help in lowering unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Boosts Skin Health
Though carrots are plain looking, they can enhance your looks by boosting skin health. Eating a carrot everyday can give you a radiant glow as it contains lycopene and high silicon content. This simple vegetable can promote healthy skin and nails.
Good For Bones
Carrots promote bone health as they contain calcium and vitamin K, both of which are vital for the development of bones. And as they’re packed with beta-carotene and vitamin A, there is enough evidence which suggests that carrots can lower the diabetes risk as well.
Ways To Include Carrot In Your Diet
What is a better way to consume any healthy vegetable than turning it into a smoothie or juice. Carrot juice when consumed 20 minutes before a meal, can improve digestion by stimulating digestive juices.
You can either chop carrots and have it as a side dish for lunch or you can simple add shredded carrot to your main dish. Carrot lemon salad and Grated Carrot Salad can also be prepared with olive oil and a bit of salt to make it tasty and fulfilling.
Served either as a sweet dessert or a savoury pudding, Carrot pudding is a popular dish in many cultures. You can prepare it by simmering fresh grated carrots with full fat milk, sugar and ghee. In India, it is traditionally known as gajar ka halwa and is a popular winter sweet dish.
Boiling And Steaming Carrot
If you want to reap the most benefits of this root vegetable, then boiling and steaming is one the best way to eat carrot as a study has shown that boiling increases beta-carotene levels by 25%.
Carrot As A Protein Snack
The easiest way to consume carrot is by eating it as a snack. You can chop carrot into sticks and dip it in healthy peanut butter. This full of protein snack can keep you full as it contains fibre.
Carrot Soup – You can prepare a flavourful Carrot Soup in a creamy or a broth style. You can add additional vegetables to the soup and other ingredients as well to enhance its taste. Serve it hot or cold, according to your preference.
Everything works better for you if taken in moderation as too much of anything is good for nothing. Same is the case with carrots. Excess consumption of carrots can lead to a health condition called carotenemia. In this condition there forms a yellowish discoloration of the skin which happens due to the excess accumulation of beta-carotene. So in order to reap appropriate health benefits of carrots, have just 1 carrot a day.