With their vibrant color, crunchy texture, and enormous nutritional value, carrots are a true super food that is not only good for eyesight but can offer a plethora of additional health benefits, ranging from smooth, beautiful skin to heart disease and cancer prevention.
Bugs Bunny Had It Right!
Carrots Are the Ultimate Health Food
Apart from being the number one vegetable source of the vitamin A precursor, beta-carotene, carrots also house a nice amount of dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, folate, zinc, and phosphorous. Let’s have a look at some of the advantages from eating carrots:
Good for eyes
To protect and enhance your vision, choose a healthy, nutritious diet, rather than popping vitamin A, lutein, and lycopene pills marketed for eye health. Carrots are a naturally rich source of beta-carotene that can help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the elderly).
Glowing, beautiful skin
Deficiency in vitamin A in the body can cause dry skin, and dull-looking hair. The bright orange hue of carrots is your secret weapon for healthy-looking, glowing skin. The presence of powerful antioxidants in carrots not only prevents dryness, but also protects the skin from sun damage. The beta-carotene content slows down the aging of cells.
Don’t waste your money on anti-aging creams. Try Mother Nature’s natural solution for beautiful aging: eat carrots. The nutrients housed in carrots can help prevent blemishes, pigmentation, and premature wrinkling.
Heart healthy food
Carrots are an excellent source of lutein, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene, all powerful phytochemicals that help prevent heart disease. Regular consumption of fibrous carrots can also help bring your cholesterol down. And all this for a mere 25 calories in a single large carrot.
Carrots contain carotenoids, proven anti-cancer properties that squelch the destructive forces of free radicals in the body. Eating carrots has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing colon, lung and breast cancer. Men who consume diets rich in beta-carotene are at lesser risk of developing prostate cancer.
Rich in fiber
The fiber in carrots binds to bile in the intestine and helps flush out harmful toxins. They can help regulate blood sugar levels as well.
Prevents tooth damage
Carrots are not only great for your eyes, but they are exceptionally good for your teeth and gums. Eating this highly nutritious vegetable can help prevent tooth damage and decay.
You can eat carrots raw, steamed or boiled. Note that studies have shown that cooking carrots actually increases the amount of antioxidants compared to raw. You can use this versatile vegetable in stews, salads, soups, and juice.
Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RD, LDN, FAND is the author of the books, “Prevent a Second Heart Attack, 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease” (Random House/Crown Publishing 2011), “Cholesterol Down: 10 Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in 4 Weeks Without Prescription Drugs” (Random House/Crown Publishing 2006) and Blood Pressure DOWN (Three Rivers Press, 2013). She is a leading diet- and nutrition writer, educator, and practitioner, and consults for the health- and fitness industry, specializing in cardiovascular disease prevention. For more information, please visit: www.DrJanet.com or www.PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com.
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