The richest in carotenes of all
plant foods, carrots offer
protection from cancers and
cardiovascular disease, and
help keep eyes and lungs
Carrots are one of the most nutritious root vegetables. They are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds, and the richest vegetable source of carotenes, which give them their bright orange color. These compounds help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Carotenes may reduce the incidence of heart disease by about 45 percent, promote good vision, and help maintain healthy lungs. They are also rich in fiber, antioxidant vitamins C and E, calcium, and potassium. A chemical in carrots, falcarinol, has been shown to suppress tumors in animals by a third.
- High carotene content protects against high blood cholesterol and heart disease.
- May offer protection against some cancers and emphysema.
- Women who eat at least five carrots a week are nearly two-thirds less likely to have a stroke than those who don’t.
- Carrots help to protect sight and night vision.
- Carrots contain a good range of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
The darker orange the carrot, the more carotenes it will contain. Remove any green on the stalk end of the carrot before cooking as this can be mildly toxic. The nutrients in carrots are more available to the body when a carrot is cooked, rather than raw, and adding a little oil during cooking helps the carotenes to be absorbed.
DID YOU KNOW?
A very high intake of carrots can cause the skin to appear orange. Called carotanemia, it is a harmless condition.