Carrots are root vegetables grown ideally in tropical regions but it has wider adaptability. These root vegetables originated from Afghanistan and evolved to the orange carrot we all get in the market stores. But did you know carrots were not originally orange? And carrot leaves nutrition especially Vit C is higher in leaves than in the root? Not only that, but American cancer research institute has also established that carrots are among the best remedies for cancer.
In ancient times, carrots were purple, white, and yellow. They were mostly cultivated in France by the Dutch farmers. These farmers were in fact referred to as ‘carrot farmers.’ The yellow carrot was bitter, and in a bid to develop sweeter varieties, they discovered the orange carrot which also became popular since its colour was attributed and associated with the Royal Family of the house of Orange.
Moving on, let’s get into nutrition. Carrots are a rich source of nutrients; surprisingly enough even the carrot leaves are edible and are high in nutrition. Many myths conspired against carrot leaves nutrition but we presume that they based their argument on bitterness. Majority of the people confuse bitterness with toxicity. These are unfounded arguments, and you can eat carrot leaves as often as you desire.
Carrots are rich in nutrients especially vitamin-A from Carotene which is highest in orange carrots. In fact, spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of Beta-carotene. As we have mentioned before there are other colourful carrots apart from orange and thus if you get any of these carrots in the market, don’t be hesitant to buy:
Purple: An excellent source of antioxidants and is rich in Anthocyanin
Yellow: Good for the eye and contains high amounts of Xanthophylls
Red: Helps to maintain a healthy heart and it is rich in Lycopene
White: These are carrots with no pigments, and their nutritional composition is a bit compromised especially carotene.
Orange: These are the most famous carrots and are rich in Beta-carotene and lutein
Carrot Leaves Nutrition:
The leafy part of the carrot is rich in nutrients especially vitamin A and C. There is no fat or cholesterol in the leaves. A cup of these green leaves also supplies 90 calories. As such we can get a bunch of benefits by consuming the leaves. These nutritional benefits include:
1. Boost the immune system: Carrot leaves have almost six times the amount of Vit c compared to the one found in the root. Vit C is a significant component that helps to build a robust immune system.
2. The leaves contain high amounts of chlorophyll which helps to reduce tumor growth and helps to reduce the severity of cancer. Many researchers support carrots and honey for the lungs.
3. Carrots are mild diuretics that help in stimulating the passage of fluid out of the body.
4. They help to detoxify the body and prevent the formation of kidney stones. They also assist in dissolving the already formed kidney stones.
5. The high levels of magnesium and potassium in carrot leaves help to maintain a healthy heart, reinforcing the muscles as well as strong arteries. This, in turn, helps in reducing atherosclerosis and prevents stroke.
6. They help prevent osteoporosis and other joint or bone-related problems. The leaves are rich in Vit K, magnesium, calcium, and iron. These minerals also facilitate the formation of red blood cells or prevent anaemia, improve blood flow and regulate blood pressure.
Finally, we cannot forget about the benefits carrots have on our eyes, just like the root, the leaves are also rich in vitamin A.
Carrot Juice Nutrition
This is a juice made from carrots. As such, it contains the same nutrients as raw carrots. You can use a blender but not a juicer to prepare the juice. Just like the way we are concerned about how many carrots should I eat per day; in the same way, should you be concerned about how much carrot juice to take per day.
Optimum consumption of carrot juice is subjective, but according to “Chris” from chrisbeatcancer.com, he cured his cancer consuming 5 cups of carrot juice per day. Other studies claim that taking one carrot per day reduces the risk of cancer by 60%.
It supplies a high amount of Vit A
It’s good anti-ageing food with plenty of antioxidants
As mentioned above, it helps to fight cancer through clearing the free radicals in our body
It is a rich mineral supplement with an abundance of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, etc. these are strong immunity boosters.
Carrots are loaded with fibre that is passed to carrot juice. This helps to maintain good cardiovascular system health as well as maintaining a stable blood sugar level.
Benefits of Carrots During Pregnancy:
Pregnancy is a situation whereby a woman is expectant with a child. This means two lives are in one but the fetus life is more delicate than the mothers. Due to this, pregnant mothers have to be keen on the foods they eat to prevent intoxicating their body as well as their unborn baby. In the same way, some foods are recommended for pregnant mothers for their good health as well as of the unborn baby. In our case, we are going to look at the benefits of carrots during pregnancy.
Vitamin A in carrots protects the vision of the mother as well as help in the formation and development of fetus’ eyes.
Carrot juice during pregnancy
Beta-carotene in carrots is a strong antioxidant and it also breaks the free radicals in the body. However, if the pregnant mother is taking beta-carotene supplements, then the carrots should only be consumed in moderation to avoid overdose that can lead to carotenoderma, a condition that causes the skin to become yellow.
Since the immune system of pregnant mothers is exposed, consuming carrots adds Vitamin C and boosts their immune system.
Carrots prevent anaemia since it contains iron and vitamin C. Iron helps in the formation of red blood cells while vitamin C helps in the proper absorption of Vitamin C.
Other benefits of carrots during pregnancy are; prevention of muscle cramp prevents constipation due to high fibres, and overall fetus growth due to the presence of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin B
The Medicinal Value in Carrots:
Carrots are generally not medicinal for any big ailment of the body, but the nutritional value in them makes them good catalysts for the proper functioning of the body. Carrots help in preventing the following health conditions:
Vitamin C reduces the risk of lung cancer. Carrots and honey for lungs is a good medicinal contortion that also supplies a bunch of other nutritional benefits. Honey in the solution supplies antioxidants as well as antimicrobial properties.
According to research carried out at the University of Quebec, The antioxidants in carrots also help in reducing tumour growth
They are a good remedy for a cough. Carrots and sugar for a cough have been in use for a long time and are recommended remedies for respiratory problems.
Carrot consumption prevents night blindness.
carrot leaves nutrition Carrots to have great amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin A, minerals and antioxidants along with sweet, refreshing taste, make the carrot a great addition to any diet. They also contain dietary fibre, are low on calories and have a very low level of fat. The calorie count is just 41 kcal per 100 grams.
Beta carotene is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants in carrots. Besides serving as an antioxidant, when converted into vitamin A in the human liver, it can also help in maintaining the health of visual organs, reproduction and sperm strength and growth and development of the epithelial tissues.
Carrot and Sugar for Cough
There is an old home remedy that claims you can cure a cough with carrots and sugar. There are variations of this recipe but it is basically:
1 carrot peeled and chopped into chunks
2 spoonfuls of brown sugar
You mix the two and cover with cling film.
The sugar draws out the juice of the carrot. And once that happens you can start using the carrot part of the concoction. Sounds more like the placebo effect at work here. But whatever works right?
What Are The Effects of Consuming Too Many Carrots?
Just like anything else, too much of anything is definitely poisonous. Carrots may make your skin might start to have a tan pigment (more on this below). But for this to happen you would need to eat a lot of carrots. How many carrots? Like 5 cups of carrots a day for a few days in a row for your skin to start to turn. This is due to the high levels of beta-carotene in carrots. So you might wonder “how many carrots should I eat per day?” Well, let’s first point out that 100g constitutes approximately 2 carrots and three large carrots supply approximately 20milligrams of beta-carotene.
Carrot consumption cannot lead to an overdose of Vit A because; the body only converts carotene to Vit A as required. However, the presence of high levels of beta-carotene in the blood can cause a yellowish effect. These conditions are more severe in people with liver and kidney problems.
Just be sure not to replace the carrot diet with tomatoes since they have high levels of lycopene which can also lead to yellow discolouration. A condition called lycopenemia.
Carrot Harvesting and Storage
As we have talked about above, no part of the carrot should be wasted. “Carrot green” or “carrot leaves” nutrition is gaining root and we may believe we should never throw away those leaves. The main challenge is storage since leaves go bad quicker than the tuber.
To prolong carrot green storage life, after thoroughly cleaning them, dip them in boiling water and let them stay for about three minutes. Remove and cool them. After this, you can dry or store them in a refrigerator while wrapped in a plastic bag in the same state.
The carrot roots are what most people believe should be eaten. But you still don’t want to eat rotten carrots. You should learn how to tell if carrots are bad to avoid incidences of food poisoning. Withering, shooting, and rooting of the tubers are not signs of damage but rather indicate the carrots are not fresh. In fact, carrots can stay for almost six months and still be fit for consumption.
If you see the following signs in carrots, throw them away:
Small white dots on the surface of the carrot skin
Slimmer and mushy with a soft feel on touch. The expiry date has already passed
The carrots have a strong smell
The strategies mentioned above are how to tell if carrots are bad. However, you should use logic to check whether the carrots you are about to consume are good or bad. Generally, the colour, smell, texture, and packaging will tell a lot about carrots.
Storage of the carrot root is pretty simple as they are resistant to low temperatures and maintain their freshness for up to 2 weeks. Proper storage includes putting the carrots in a plastic bag and storing them in a refrigerator. Before consummation or preparation, rinse the carrots with running water to remove the soil and dust. Gently scrape the outer skin of the root, and cut both ends.
Carrots are the single most tremendous source of Vit A for Americans
The level of carotenoids and sugars in carrots are determined by a variety of factors like climate, soil, and genetic composition. The sweetness of the carrots is determined by the ratio of sucrose, fructose, and glucose.
Carotenoids are the pigment that gives carrot their colour. It also gives other fruits their colour. They also play a protective role in the cells from sun damage.
Chopped or raw carrots can last for about 4 weeks. These are the main constituents of Baby carrots. In fact, there is no variety of carrots called baby carrots.
Raw carrots in a freezer can last for 11 months before they go bad
Once cooked, carrots can last for 3-5 days.
There are many benefits of carrots and carrot green nutrition is no longer a secret. Carrots are vegetables worth making any efforts to ensure they are part of your meal. By doing that you will have protected your body against diseases and supplied important nutrients to your system.
Carrot Seed Oil Benefits
Carrot seed oil apparently is good for stimulating hair growth, repairing damage/split ends and preventing shedding. I don’t have any science to link to but I’ve had numerous people tell me that it is fantastic for their hair.
Essential oils are never going to be bad for you and I trust everything from the young living oil company. I’m curious to know what, if anything, it’s done for other people. Please leave your experience with carrot seed oil in the comments.
Do Carrots Really Help Improve Eyesight?
Yes and no. Retinoids (named after the retina) are Vitamin A-related compounds, precursors to one of the several versions of the vitamin or useful cousins. Lycopene and lutein are usually classified this way. Lycopene is the red “stuff” in chromoplasts in tomato fruit cells. Lutein is found in dark green vegetables, for example.
For people who have – for example, diabetic retinitis or age-related macular disease – lutein is often recommended. Lycopene is not. It apparently has a function in the human prostate. The UDSA and NIH try to make this stuff simple – like eating carrots – when in fact it is pretty complicated. What they are trying to accomplish is very commendable but usually does not always fly the way they hoped. So if you have retinal damage due to disease process, like macular eye disease, consider – broccoli, kale, collards, et al. Add some fat (oil or butter) when you cook them to enhance lutein uptake. Corn has a very small amount of zeaxanthin which is “first cousin” to lutein. So carrots can help some with their eyesight.
But it isn’t as simple as them being good for everyone’s eyes. Carrots are fine. All I’m saying is there is usually no panacea – eating just one food ‘fixes your eyes’. I guess I’m pitching against a ‘superfood’ approach. You can easily overdo it. Like our above example: lycopenemia caused by eating way too much tomato-derived food.
Carrots Can Make You Tan (ner)
If you’re worried about reducing the melanin in your skin you may want to stay away from carrots. Carrots are awesome at keeping your skin darker. They are full of Beta-Carotene. When your body gets a large amount of this vitamin, it will colour your skin yellow/orange. This happens often with babies because a large portion of their food is carrots and sweet potatoes.
Anyway, what this also does is that it makes you able to get tanned really easy! and even better it maintains that tan for a long time! So not only do you have to tan less, but you can also tan less frequently.
Many like beta-carotene in pill form. Others juice carrots or used them in everyday food. Saute them on the pan till they get a really delicious golden colour and then add a cup of water to let em soften and add to anything. Raw carrots and carrot soup are also popular.
Now there are a lot of rumours about Beta-Carotene causing cancer, this was however only found to be true with smokers.
So if you’re either not tanning well and want to get a darker more tanned look without having to do heavy tanning or if you just want to maintain your tan and not look like a ghost, I would recommend trying it out.
British Newspapers Report on the Tan Effect of Carrots
With the dismal British weather sending holidaymakers off to sunnier climes, research shows that the great British carrot could help us prepare for safer, better tanning.
Everyone knows that carrots are one of the top sources of the antioxidant nutrient, beta-carotene. But not many of us know that the high beta-carotene content of British carrots could boost the skin’s natural protection against the sun’s rays.
Beta-carotene helps create the red, orange and yellow colours found in many vegetables, fruits and flowers. In the body, it supports the production of melanin, which darkens the skin in response to sunlight.
The body uses beta-carotene from the diet to protect skin cells from the damaging UV rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer.
“There is growing evidence to support this idea,” confirms nutritionist, Dr Carrie Ruxton. “Studies show that adding beta-carotene to people’s diets darkens skin pigmentation (colouring) and reduces the number of sunburn cells. Along with sunscreen and wearing a hat, this could help protect us from the adverse effects of sun exposure.”
She added: “A German study suggested that we need 15 to 30 mg of beta-carotene per day over 3 months to optimize skin protection. That equates to two large portions of lightly cooked carrots per day.
Let’s eat and live healthy using our natural fruits, roots and herbs.
American I institute For Cancer Research (2018). Retrieved from http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/carrots.html?no_redirect=true
Carrots’ Nutrition (2018) Retrieved from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ingredientsprofiles/Carrots
Can I Eat Too Many Carrots During Pregnancy? | BabyMed.com. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.babymed.com/food-and-nutrition/carrots-and-pregnancy
Cold, F., Health, E., Disease, H., Management, P., Conditions, S., & Problems, S. et al. (2018). 5 Fun Facts About Carrots. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/5-healthy-facts-about-carrots