Carrots: Nutrition Facts & Benefits

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

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The health benefits of carrots include reduced cholesterol, lower risk of heart attacks, improved vision, and reduced signs of premature aging. Furthermore, carrots have the ability to improve the skin, boost the immune system, optimize digestion, protect cardiovascular health, detoxify the body, and boost oral health in a variety of ways. They also provide a well-rounded influx of vitamins and minerals.

What are Carrots?

Carrots (Daucus carota) are one of the most widely used and enjoyed root vegetables in the world, partly because they grow relatively easily. They are very versatile in a number of dishes and cultural cuisines and come in different colors such as orange, purple, white, yellow, and red. The taproot of the carrot is the part of the vegetable most commonly eaten, although the greens are still beneficial in salads and other forms.

Carrots in the wild have a woody core element that is not very palatable, so cultivation has eventually selected out that characteristic and we are left with the form of carrots that we are familiar with today. Both adults and children like them because of their crunchy texture and sweet taste.

The health benefits of carrots and their delicious taste make them an important vegetable in cultural cuisines across the globe. So let’s first understand what exactly is it about carrots that makes them so beneficial!

Watch Video: 8 Best Benefits Of Carrots

Nutrition Facts

Carrots, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]88.29
Energy [kcal]41
Protein [g]0.93
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.24
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]9.58
Fiber, total dietary [g]2.8
Sugars, total [g]4.74
Calcium, Ca [mg]33
Iron, Fe [mg]0.3
Magnesium, Mg [mg]12
Phosphorus, P [mg]35
Potassium, K [mg]320
Sodium, Na [mg]69
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.24
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]5.9
Thiamin [mg]0.07
Riboflavin [mg]0.06
Niacin [mg]0.98
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.14
Folate, DFE [µg]19
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]835
Vitamin A, IU [IU]16706
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.66
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]13.2
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.03
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.1
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Nutrition Facts

Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. According to the USDA Nutrient Data, these root vegetables are also a good source of antioxidants, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, niacin and vitamin B6.

Health Benefits

The health benefits of carrots include the following:

Regulate Blood Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a major factor causing heart diseases, and regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol levels. Hence it is a good idea to consume a healthy dose of carrots a few times per week, in order to prevent heart-related problems. Researchers during a study on the therapeutic value of carrots found that cholesterol levels drop by an average of 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots per day are consumed for three weeks.

A group of Swedish scientists discovered that these root vegetables can reduce the chances of having a heart attack. Another study found that those who ate more carrots had one third the risk of heart attack as compared with those who ate fewer carrots.

Improve Eye Health

Dr. Lindeboom found in his research that a deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light, leading to night blindness. Since they are rich in vitamin A, a study to determine the antioxidant capacity of seven colored carrots also suggests they are good for improving eye health and preventing conditions like night blindness from developing as we age.

Fresh and sweet carrots on a wooden table

Control Diabetes

Carrots are good for blood sugar regulation due to the presence of carotenoids. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and can lower blood sugar, thereby helping diabetics live a normal, healthy life. They also regulate the amount of insulin and glucose that is being used and metabolized by the body, providing a healthy fluctuation in those with diabetics.

They have antiseptic qualities and can, therefore, be used as laxatives, vermicides, and as a remedy for liver conditions. Carrot oil is good for dry skin because it makes the skin softer, smoother, and firmer.

Lower Blood Pressure

Scientific research indicates that the coumarin found in carrots may be linked to reducing hypertension and protecting your heart! They are rich sources of potassium, which is a vasodilator and can relax the tension in your blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing blood flow and circulation. This mineral also aids in boosting organ function throughout the body and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system. High blood pressure is directly linked to atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks, so this is yet another heart-healthy aspect of carrots!

Boost Immunity

Carrots contain a number of antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make them ideal for boosting the immune system. Not only that, they are a rich source of vitamin C, which stimulates the activity of white blood cells and is one of the most important elements in the human immune system.

Help in Digestion

Carrots, like most vegetables, have significant amounts of dietary fiber in their roots. Fiber is one of the most important elements in maintaining good digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to stool, which helps it pass smoothly through the digestive tract, and stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices. Altogether, this reduces the severity of conditions like constipation and protects your colon and stomach from various serious illnesses, including colorectal cancer. Fiber also boosts heart health by helping to eliminate excess LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels.

Reduce Macular Degeneration

This is a common eye disease of the elderly that impairs the function of the macula. Research has found that people who ate the most amount of beta-carotene had a forty percent lower risk of macular degeneration compared with those who consumed the least. Beta-carotene can also split itself via an enzymatic reaction to form pro-vitamin A, which is often associated with antioxidant capacity in relation to vision. Therefore, carrots are an all-around vision booster.

Health benefits of carrot - infographic

Improve Oral Health

The organic compounds in carrots are good mineral antioxidants and they also stimulate the gums and induce excess saliva. Saliva is an alkaline substance and combats the bacteria and foreign bodies that often result in cavities, halitosis, and other oral health risks.

Reduce the Risk of Stroke

Eating a carrot every day reduces the risk of stroke by 68 percent. Many studies have strengthened the belief in the “carrot effect” on the brain. Lutein, a carotenoid present in carrots, has been positively linked to improved brain health, according to a study conducted by the researchers at The University of Illinois. Studies conducted on stroke patients revealed that those with the highest levels of beta-carotene also had the highest survival rate.

Summary

The type of carrot most commonly eaten around the world is native to Europe and Southwestern Asia. The majority of carrots are now cultivated in China, but they are exported throughout the world to be included in salads and soups, as well as a stand-alone vegetable for snacks, side dishes, and an essential ingredient in many recipes.

Thus, carrots, consumed as raw fruits, juice or in a cooked form, are always a good choice for your health!

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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