The carrot is one of the most recognized foods worldwide, it is present in all cultures, its appearance dates back to the year 3,000 BC . In the past, the Romans and Celts used carrot seeds as a medicinal compound, unaware of the properties hidden in the root.

In this sense, the carrot is one of the vegetables with the greatest nutritional contributions for health, since it is loaded with essential compounds to carry out the functions of different systems of the organism.

For this reason, we present the following article where you will be able to know all the information regarding this wonderful food that we must include in our daily diet.

What is carrot?

The carrot is a vegetable that comes from Europe and southwestern Asia . Its scientific name is ” Daucus carota sativus” and it belongs to the umbelliferae family , a group of edible root foods. Its color is generally orange, but there are also purple or black carrots .

To highlight: Carotenes are responsible for its color and become beta- carotenes when they enter the body, being antioxidants par excellence. 

In fact, there is scientific evidence that shows that beta- carotene is the greatest benefit of carrots , on the other hand, its high water content enhances the detoxifying property of the vegetable. 

What benefits does carrot give us?

Carrot, as previously mentioned, is one of the vegetables with the greatest nutritional contributions due to its excellent composition of essential micronutrients, which allow it to perform different functions in the body. By virtue of this, below we present the main benefits of carrots for health:

1. Boosts the immune system

The main benefit of carrots is that it is a food that enhances the immune system against the appearance of viruses and other pathogens, thanks to its nutritional contributions where vitamins A, C, E, as well as its minerals are involved. 

In this sense, an investigation from the University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia, locates vitamin A as an enhancer of the immune system, this study argues that “vitamin A supplement alters the proportion of immune cells in the blood”, although the researchers suggest further studies to find further findings. (1)

To highlight Vitamin A together with vitamin C, act to improve the immune response, and can also improve control of diabetes mellitus.

2. Protects heart health

Diet is one of the determining factors when it comes to maintaining good heart health, experts certify it. The carrot has benefits for the heart, thanks to its lipid-lowering property.

In patients with high blood fat content who do not tolerate statins and fibrates, carrots have a favorable lipid-lowering effect on cardiovascular health. In other words, carrots lower cholesterol (LDL) and consequently prevent high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis (two)

3. Promotes eye health

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, precursors of vitamin A (retinol) and lutein, both compounds providing essential properties for eye health. 

You should know: Vitamin A deficiency causes  xerophthalmia, dry eyes, also increases the degeneration caused by cataracts. 

The Cuban Encyclopedia places carrots in first place for its beta-carotene content and its properties go beyond the benefits to visual health, it also highlights its power to combat malnutrition problems, prevents cognitive deterioration , among others. (3)

4. Eliminate fluid retention

Fluid retention is one of the most frequent problems in today’s society , it can be of pathological origin or simply appear due to fatigue (long walks, excess weight, etc.). However, the high water content present in carrots allows it to act as a diuretic against this pathology. 

In this sense, various studies present evidence of the diuretic effect of carrots, which also contributes to the disappearance of kidney stones . An article published by the Institute of Endocrinology and Nutrition – Spain, highlights carrots as “diuretic, cleansing, remineralizing, increases the body’s defenses, among other benefits.” (4)

5. Promotes digestive health

Another of the great contributions of the carrot is its regenerative action on the intestinal and stomach mucosa, since it reduces constipation and stomach pain due to its high fiber content , in addition, vitamin A promotes the healing action of stomach ulcers.

You should know: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), from carrots ” vitamin A and carotenoids can be extracted that act as provitamin A, antioxidants, anticancer and intestinal healing “. (5)

It is important to note that the soluble fiber “pectin” present in carrots is responsible for combating diarrhea and dehydration . On the other hand, consuming raw carrots increases saliva production, which intensifies digestive processes , making better use of enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. 

6. Relieves respiratory disorders

The high nutritional value of carrots enhances the body’s defenses against respiratory infections and its antioxidant action improves the immune response,  preventing the aging of lung cells .

Note: The Cuban Encyclopedia highlights the effective action of carrots against respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. (6)

7. Fight anemia

Historically, carrots have been used to prevent anemic disorders, due to their high content of vitamins A, B, C and essential minerals for the body such as iron, folic acid potassium , phosphorus, iodine and calcium , which make it energizing and appetite stimulant , in addition to increasing the levels of red blood cells in the blood.

To highlight: The National Autonomous University of Nicaragua – Managua, published a study highlighting “the importance of the consumption of carrots and beets in the diet of children”, highlighting the benefits of carrots for developing children. (7)

8. Improves skin, nails and hair

The carrot, in addition to all the aforementioned contributions, contributes positively to our skin, nails and hair. The free radicals responsible for preventing cell aging act effectively by strengthening them 

You should know Beta-carotene decreases sensitivity to UV rays . People with erythropoietic protoporphyria (a genetic disorder that causes sensitivity to sunlight) are treated with beta-carotene to reduce pathological symptoms.

9. Promotes lactation

The carrot favors the quality of breast milk , thanks to vitamin A. The newborn needs to receive from its mother’s breast the requirements of vitamins and minerals that benefit visual, immunological and cognitive development , in addition, this tuber contributes favorably in the mother’s weary mind.

In this sense, the National Institute of Pediatrics of Mexico published an article on “The composition and immunology of breast milk”, highlighting the importance of providing exclusive breastfeeding to newborns to achieve optimal development. (8)

10. Helps prevent cancer

Carrot acts as an anticancer. Its antioxidant component intervenes in the reduction of free radicals that affect the body , in fact there is research that confirms its effectiveness in colorectal, prostate and lung tumors, thanks to the carotenoids present in said vegetable. 

Important: The National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubirán, Mexico, highlights the role that carotenoids play in the body, highlighting that “With the data currently available, it is possible to indicate that there is a positive effect between carotenoids and their action prevention of certain types of cancer . (9)

Nutritional properties of carrot

The carrot is a compound of carbohydrates, which has a large amount of nutrients , which give it the aforementioned benefits. For this reason, below we highlight the main nutritional properties that carrots contain: 

1. Vitamins

Carrots are rich in vitamin A, its most important component since it is the one that enhances its properties such as “maintenance of vision, skin and mucous membranes under normal conditions.” It may also contain small amounts of vitamin C and E. (10)

2. Minerals

Among the minerals that carrots have are sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur and magnesium, these help to combat dehydration, in addition to controlling vomiting and the development of bacteria that can harm the body. 

3. Other compounds

Among the components present in carrots, beta-carotene stands out, essential to deal with certain pathologies due to its antioxidant properties. It is followed by carotene, it also contains other carotenoids, such as lutein. 

On the other hand, the carrot for every 100 gr. consumption provides 0.93 grams. of protein, 0.24 grs. of fat, 9.6 grs. of carbohydrates, and 2.8 grs. of fiber, for a total of 41 calories that represents 2% of the caloric intake that is required daily .

What is the best way to consume carrot?

Without any doubt, the consumption of vegetables and fruits is healthier for the prevention of diseases. In the case of carrots, it can be eaten cooked, raw, in a salad or in juice , since it is one of the foods that bestows the greatest benefits on our body, as we have seen throughout this article. 

In this sense, its consumption should not be excluded from the daily diet, and it can also be added to healthy stews and desserts 

You should know: It is important to mention that, like any food, excessive consumption of carrots can be counterproductive , causing increased diuresis (urine excretion) and yellowing of the skin. However, these effects are mild and disappear after a short time. 

Key Findings

  • Carrot is a food that has a large amount of essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body thanks to vitamin A and beta-carotene. 
  • The carrot can be consumed by anyone regardless of age or medical conditions, since it is an excellent detoxifying diuretic .  
  • Carrot is effective in treating diarrhea and other intestinal problems , such as stomach ache and stomach ulcers.
  • Carrot consumption is associated with the improvement and prevention of cancer such as colorectal and prostate.

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