Did your mom ever tell you to eat your carrots because they're good for your eyes? She wasn’t just telling you a fib to get you to eat your vegetables. But the health benefits of carrots go far beyond protecting your vision.
Here are some of the other reasons to increase your carrot intake.
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease: A 10-year study from the Netherlands about carrots and the risk of cardiovascular disease found that foods that are deeper shades of orange and yellow are the most protective against cardiovascular disease. The more carrots participants consumed, the lower their risk of cardiovascular disease.
High levels of antioxidants: Carrots contain high amounts of powerful antioxidants that help protect the body from illness. The antioxidant content of carrots includes vitamin C and beta carotene, as well as lesser known phytonutrient antioxidants such as lutein, alpha-carotene and cyanidins. The different varieties of carrots contain differing amounts of each of these antioxidants, but all carrots are packed with antioxidants.
Reduced blood pressure: Carrots are a rich source of potassium, which can relax the blood vessels and arteries, increasing blood flow and circulation and reducing blood pressure.
Improved digestion: Like many vegetables, carrots contain significant amounts of dietary fiber, an important element in maintaining digestive health. Fiber may also help to protect the colon and stomach from various illnesses, such as colorectal cancer, and boost heart health by reducing excess LDL cholesterol in the arteries and blood vessels.
Eye protection: The beta-carotene in carrots can also help prevent macular degeneration, a common age-related eye disease. Carrots are also rich in vitamin A, which is good for improving eyesight and preventing night blindness with age.
Blood sugar regulation: Carrots help the body process insulin, lowering blood sugar and helping diabetics manage their insulin and glucose levels.
Are you convinced you need more carrots in your diet? Try this recipe for roasted carrots.
- 12 carrots
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley
Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut thick carrots in half lengthwise, then slice carrots diagonally into two-inch pieces. Toss sliced carrots in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan in one layer and roast for 20 minutes, or until brown and tender. Toss with minced dill or parsley. Season to taste.