health tips:What are the health benefits of carrots?

January 20, 2020

A Brief on Carrots:

Carrot is a key vegetable, usually in orange, although there are varieties of purple, black, red, white and yellow. These are wild carrots, Dakas Carota, a native form of Europe and south-western Asia. The plant probably originated in Persia and was originally cultivated for its leaves and seeds.
Carrot is a biennial plant. First, it produces a rose flower on the leaf when creating an expanded taproot. Fast-growing varieties mature within three months of sowing, while slow-growing varieties need more than a month. The roots contain high amounts of alpha- and beta-carotene and are a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6. Eating carrots improves night vision.
Dacus Carota is a biennial plant. In the first year, its leafage produces a large amount of sugar, which in the second year is stored in the taproot to provide energy for the flowering of the plant
The carrot is a diploid species and has nine relatively short, uniform-length chromosomes (2n=18). The genome size is estimated to be 473 megabase pairs, which is four times larger than Arabidopsis thaliana, one-fifth the size of the maize genome, and about the same size as the rice genome.

Different types of Carrots:

There are four different types of carrots that will be discussed below, they include Danvers, Nantes, Imperator, Chantenay, and Ball.

Danvers –

They are long, skinny, and taper to a point and typically are orange in color, although they are available in more shades. The leafage and taproot are longer than Chantenay. The name comes from where they were developed in Danvers, Massachusetts. Preferred varieties include ‘Yellowstone.'

Nantes – 

They were first described as almost perfectly cylindrical being both rounds at the tip and top, having sparse foliage and with near red flesh that was the sweet flavor and a nice crunch. Their name is taken from the Atlantic coast of France where the area is ideal for growing this type of carrot. This category can also be referred to as Scarlet Nantes, Early Coreless or Nante Superior. There are estimated to be over 40 different varieties of carrots that fall into this category. A very quick growing carrot and matures faster. Preferred varieties include: ‘Napoli’, ‘Touchon’, ‘Napa’ or ‘White Satin.’

Imperator – 

This category is what most commercial growers produce and commonly found in grocery stores throughout the country. They are very similar looking to Danvers, but thicker in width and often a higher sugar content than the other categories. The foliage is very fast-growing compared to others. The roots of this grouping are longer than all the others listed above. Preferred varieties include: ‘Japanese Imperial Long’, ‘Cosmic Red’ or ‘Sugarsnax 54.'

CHANTONY -

 Due to the size of the Nantes, this section was best planted on heavy or rocky soil. Contains are usually 6 to 7 inches tall making them very short and wide. These are great choices for gardening on the ground. However, it is important to harvest at the right time, because they are too late to become pomegranate and not tasty. The preferred varieties are: 'red-cord chantney', 'Hercules' or 'Carson hybrid'.

Ball or Mini -

 This grouping consists of different types of carrots, shaped like radish or miniature compared to chanterelle. Again they work very well for those who are gardening in containers due to the short oil and required growing area. Smaller shapes that are only 3 to 4 inches tall are usually served by attaching to the tops. Radish-shaped varieties are usually cross-sectioned to see the beautiful circular pattern of the interior. Favorite varieties include: 'Babette', 'Romeo' or 'Paris Market'.

History of Carrots:

Carrots are native to large sections of the world's geography, including Africa, Asia, and Europe. They have become naturalized to many other parts of the world and are widely cultivated as a food crop. On a global basis, over 40 million tons of carrots are grown each year. Among all countries, China is the world's top carrot producer, growing about 45% of the world's total crop. Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation account for about 9% of the world's total crop, and the United States for about 3.5%. However, many other countries play an important role in the commercial production of carrots, including Ukraine, Poland, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Turkey, Italy, France, India, Canada, and Mexico.

Within the United States, California is by far the largest carrot-producing states. Other states playing a major role in U.S. production include Michigan, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

U.S. consumers averaged about 5 pounds of carrots per person per year in 2014 or roughly 1/4 cup of carrots per week. Despite this relatively low intake, however, carrots served as the 6th most consumed vegetable in the U.S. (following potatoes, tomatoes, onions, head lettuce, and sweet corn).

Nutritional Value of Carrots:

Raw carrots are 88% water, 9% carbohydrates, 0.9% protein, 2.8% dietary fibers, 1% ash and 0.2% fat. Carrot dietary fibbers comprise mostly cellulose, with smaller proportions of hemicellulose, lignin, and starch. Free sugars in carrot include sucrose, glucose, and fructose.
The carrot gets its characteristic, bright orange color from β-carotene, and lesser amounts of α-carotene, γ-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.α- and β-carotenes are partly metabolized into vitamin A,[65][66] providing more than 100% of the Daily Value (DV) per 100 g serving of carrots (right table). Carrots are also a good source of vitamin K (13% DV) and vitamin B6 (11% DV), but otherwise have modest content of other essential nutrients (table).
Nutritional value per 100 gm.
Energy: 173 kJ (41 kcal)
Carbohydrates: 9.6 g
Sugars: 4.7 g
Dietary fibbers: 2.8 g
Fat:         0.24 g
Protein:         0.93 g
Vitamins                               Quantity                % DV (percentage of daily value)
Vitamin A equiv-                    835 μg                104% 
Beta-Carotene               8285 μg                    7%
Lutein zeaxanthin               256 μg
Thiamine (B1):       0.066 mg                             6%
Riboflavin (B2):       0.058 mg                             5%
Niacin (B3):               0.983 mg                             7%
Pantothenic acid (B5):       0.273 mg                             5%
Vitamin B6:               0.138 mg                             11%
Folate (B9)                    19 μg                      5%
Vitamin C                    5.9 mg                      7%
Vitamin E                         0.66 mg                      4%
Vitamin K                        13.2 μg                     13%
Minerals                      Quantity                           %DV
Calcium                 33 mg                     3%
Iron                         0.3 mg                     2%
Magnesium                 12 mg                     3%
Manganese                 0.143 mg                             7%
Phosphorus                 35 mg                     5%
Potassium                 320 mg                     7%
Sodium                 69 mg                     5%
Zinc                        0.24 mg                     3%
Other constituents        Quantity
Water                  88 g


The Health Benefits of Eating Carrots:

1. Help Prevent Cancer:

Carrots contain numerous phytochemicals that are well-studied for their anticancer properties. A few of these compounds include beta-carotene and other carotenoids. These compounds promote immunity and activate certain proteins that inhibit cancer cells. Studies show that the juice from carrots can combat leukemia as well.
Carrots are also found to lower oral cancer risk.

2. Promote Eye Health:

Vitamin A is recommended quantities is essential for good vision, and carrots offer the nutrient in abundance. If a person is deprived of vitamin A for too long, the outer segments of the eyes’ photoreceptors begin to deteriorate. This disrupts the normal chemical processes involved in vision. Restoring your vitamin A intake can facilitate the restoration of your vision.

3. Might Enhance Hair Growth:

Carrots are powerhouses of vitamins A and C, carotenoids, potassium, and other antioxidants – all of which contribute to hair health. There is limited research on this, though.


4. Promote Skin Health:

Carrots are rich in carotenoids. Research suggests that fruits and vegetables rich in these compounds can improve complexion and one’s overall appearance. They achieve this by giving your skin a healthy glow. Be mindful, though – overconsuming carrots can result in a condition called carotenosis, wherein your skin appears yellow or orange.

5. Regulate Blood Pressure:

A recent study claimed that carrot juice contributed to a 5% reduction in systolic blood pressure. The nutrients present in carrot juice, including fiber, potassium, nitrates, and vitamin C – are found to aid this effect.

6. Aid Diabetes Treatment:

Following a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies show that high blood levels of vitamin A may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Carrots, being abundant in this nutrient, make for an ideal addition to a diabetic meal.

7. Boost Immunity:

Vitamin A regulates the functioning of your system and prevents infections. It achieves this by boosting your body’s immunity. Get this immune-boosting vitamin from carrots. Carrots also contain vitamin C. This nutrient further contributes to strengthening the immune system.

8. Strengthen Bones:

Vitamin A influences bone cell metabolism. The beta-carotene in carrots is a strong antioxidant that is associated with bone health.

9. May Aid Weight Loss:

Raw, fresh carrots are about 88% water (11). A medium carrot has only about 25 calories. Hence, including carrots in your diet is a smart way to fill yourself up without piling on calories. Carrots also contain fiber. A study showed that meals containing whole and blended carrots resulted in higher satiety levels in the test subjects.

10. Lower Cholesterol Levels:

Carrot consumption reduces cholesterol absorption and increases the antioxidant status of your body. These effects can also promote cardiovascular health. Raw carrots are also rich in a fiber called pectin that helps lower cholesterol.


11. Are Good for the Teeth and Gums?

Crisp and raw carrots help clear plaque from the teeth and freshen your breath. The fibrous carrots also increase salivation, which can neutralize the citric and malic acids usually left behind in your mouth.

12. Promote Liver Health and Eliminate Toxins:

Carrots contain glutathione, a supermolecule that helps detoxify the liver. The veggies are also high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and support your overall liver function. The vitamin A in carrots also combats liver diseases.

13. Help Treat PCOS:

Carrots are non-starchy veggies with a low glycemic index – and may help treat PCOS. There is limited research in this regard, though.
These are the multiple ways carrots can benefit you. We saw a few of the powerful nutrients in carrots. In the following section, we will look at their complete nutritional profile.

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