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Carrot (Daucus carota) Health Benefits

If you eat your carrots you will be able to see in the dark, as your mother used to say. 

Well, it just so happens it may be true. 
 

Carrot Health Benefits

Carotenoid compounds play an essential role in human health, preventing disease thanks to their antioxidant capacity, but also as vitamin A precursors. As humans cannot synthesize carotenoids, they have to be provided by a plant-based diet. Carrot is one of the most important vegetables in the world, and a critical source of carotenoids as a large amount is accumulated in root tissues. (2)

The total carotenoids content in the edible portion of carrot roots ranges from 6,000 to 54,800 μg/100 g. Carotenoids have been linked with the enhancement of immune system and the decreased risk of degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration and cataract formation (5)

 

Cardiovascular

Carotenoids have been linked with the enhancement of immune system and decreased risk of degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, age related macular degeneration and cataract formation. (7) In one study a significant decrease of cholesterol level in liver was observed together with a reduction of the level of liver triglycerides. Fecal total steroids excretion increased by 30% upon feeding the carrot diet as compared to the control. The secretion of bile acids was maintained, whereas the cholesterol apparent absorption was reduced in rats fed carrot diet. Carrot consumption also improved the antioxidant status. (8)

Eye Health

Lutein is one of the most prevalent carotenoids in nature and in the human diet. Together with zeaxanthin, it is highly concentrated as a macular pigment in the retina of primates, buffering blue light exposure, providing protection from photo-oxidation and enhancing visual performance. (1) 

Digestive Health

Carrot extract exerted antisecretory, gastroprotective, and in vitro antacid potential. Also, significant inhibition of the development of ulcers induced by physical and chemical agents was shown. These activities could be attributed due to the presence of glycosides, phenolics, tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids, all of which are anti-inflammatory. (3) 

Anti-Cancer

In traditional medicine, carrots (Daucus carota) have been used as treatments for leukemia and other cancers throughout history [5] and have previously been studied in other contexts as potential sources of anticancer agents. It has also been studied in conjunction with beetroot juice for use against Leukaemia. (4)  

Kidney Protection

One study validated the traditional use as an ethnomedicine against nephrosis of the kidneys. Being a source of rich carotenoid, polyphenolic and polyacetylene constituents in carrot, the principle mechanism to elucidate the nephroprotective potentiality was possibly attributed due to its antioxidant and cellular anti-inflammatory properties. (6)

 

Conclusion

You know that a dripping tap can eventually rot the floor and cause a complete kitchen to collapse. I guess the same rule applies to our health. If we change one chocolate bar or muffin into one raw carrot a day, can you imagine the difference in our health? During your detox diet, it's these new habits we are trying to form.

People often report a new sense of clarity and peace, seeing and hearing better, even sharper thinking. 

With all the benefits of combined healing foods like carrot, you can see why.   

Try these recipes:

 


References:

(1) Lutein and Brain Function. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4638416/

(2) Carotenoid Content and Root Color of Cultivated Carrot: A Candidate-Gene Association Study Using an Original Broad Unstructured Population. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4304819/

(3) Assessment of Antisecretory, Gastroprotective, and In-vitro Antacid Potential of Daucus carota in Experimental Rats. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4700749/

(4) Beetroot-Carrot Juice Intake either Alone or in Combination with Antileukemic Drug ‘Chlorambucil’ As A Potential Treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4877878/

(5) Chemical composition, functional properties and processing of carrot—a review. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3550877/

(6) Carrot (Daucus carota L.): Nephroprotective against gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4825426/

(7) Chemical composition, functional properties and processing of carrot—a review. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3550877/

(8) Effect of carrot intake on cholesterol metabolism and on antioxidant status in cholesterol-fed rat. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14569406

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