8 Incredible Benefits Of Carrots

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

Embark on a journey to discover the myriad health benefits of carrots, a root vegetable globally cherished for its versatility and sweet taste. Carrots, available in vibrant hues like orange, purple, yellow, red, and white, offer more than just a crunchy texture. Rich in essential nutrients like beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and various vitamins, they are a nutritional powerhouse. From enhancing eyesight and skin health to managing diabetes and cholesterol, carrots are an integral part of various cultural cuisines. This blog will unveil the secrets behind this commonly enjoyed vegetable and why it’s such a beneficial addition to your daily diet.

What are Carrots?

Carrots (Daucus carota L) are one of the most widely used and important root vegetables in the world, partly because they grow relatively easily. They are versatile in several dishes and cultural cuisines and are found 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. [1]

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! [2]

Nutrition Facts

Carrots, raw
Serving Size :
Water [g]88.29
Energy 41
Energy [kJ]173
Protein [g]0.93
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.24
Ash [g]0.97
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]9.58
Fiber, total dietary [g]2.8
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]4.74
Sucrose [g]3.59
Glucose (dextrose) [g]0.59
Fructose [g]0.55
Starch [g]1.43
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
Copper, Cu [mg]0.05
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.14
Selenium, Se [µg]0.1
Fluoride, F [µg]3.2
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]5.9
Thiamin [mg]0.07
Riboflavin [mg]0.06
Niacin [mg]0.98
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.27
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.14
Folate, total [µg]19
Folate, food [µg]19
Folate, DFE [µg]19
Choline, total [mg]8.8
Betaine [mg]0.4
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]835
Carotene, beta [µg]8285
Carotene, alpha [µg]3477
Vitamin A, IU [IU]16706
Lycopene [µg]1
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]256
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.66
Tocopherol, beta [mg]0.01
Tocotrienol, alpha [mg]0.01
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]13.2
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.03
16:0 [g]0.03
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.01
16:1 [g]0
18:1 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.1
18:2 [g]0.1
18:3 [g]0
Tryptophan [g]0.01
Threonine [g]0.19
Isoleucine [g]0.08
Leucine [g]0.1
Lysine [g]0.1
Methionine [g]0.02
Cystine [g]0.08
Phenylalanine [g]0.06
Tyrosine [g]0.04
Valine [g]0.07
Arginine [g]0.09
Histidine [g]0.04
Alanine [g]0.11
Aspartic acid [g]0.19
Glutamic acid [g]0.37
Glycine [g]0.05
Proline [g]0.05
Serine [g]0.05
Sources include : USDA [3]

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. [4] [5] [6]

Health Benefits

Apart from being a favorite vegetable, let us explore its health benefits that support the claim.

Regulates Blood Cholesterol

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, 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 consumed for three weeks. [7]

Improves Eye Health

They’re packed with vitamin A and carotenoids, which can combat night blindness and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. One large carrot provides 100% of your daily vitamin A needs, and its antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin protect the retina and lens, further enhancing eye health. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

Regular consumption of carrots can be an effective preventive measure against vision issues associated with aging and environmental factors. However, while they’re essential for a healthy diet, carrots may not significantly improve vision unless there’s a vitamin A deficiency. So, make carrots a daily part of your diet and safeguard your vision. [13]

A woman cutting carrots for the glazed carrot recipe

Helps in Managing Diabetes

According to a study from 2018, carotenoids in carrots are linked to better blood sugar regulation. They counteract insulin resistance, lower blood sugar levels, and contribute to a healthier life for those dealing with diabetes. [14]

Beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A found in carrots, is a potent ally in managing diabetes. It shields cells from oxidative damage and combats inflammation, offering protection against type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. [15]

Furthermore, the fiber content in carrots aids in blood sugar control by slowing down food digestion, and reducing the post-meal release of sugar into the bloodstream. While carrots contain carbohydrates, with about half of the carbohydrate content being sugar, they are also rich in fiber, making them a smart choice for diabetes management. [16] [17]

The Glycemic Index (GI) scores of both boiled and raw carrots are low, meaning they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. This makes them a diabetes-friendly food, allowing individuals to better control their blood sugar. A high-fiber diet can also serve as a preventive measure against the development of type 2 diabetes. [18]

Lowers Blood Pressure

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is vital, and carrots can be your natural ally in this pursuit. Scientific research, including a study from 2009, reveals that coumarin in carrots is associated with reducing hypertension and promoting heart health. [19]

One medium-sized carrot alone provides approximately 4% of your daily potassium requirement. Potassium’s role extends to maintaining a balance with sodium levels, helping the body eliminate excess sodium and fluid, thus alleviating the burden on the heart. [20] [21]

Recent research published in 2020 in the Journal of the American Heart Association underscores the cardiovascular benefits of carrots, among other fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association (AHA) advocates a diet low in sodium and high in potassium-rich foods like carrots to support heart health. [23] [24]

Boosts Immunity

Carrots come to the rescue with their natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties, making them a valuable asset in bolstering your immunity. [25]

Notably, carrots are rich in two vital vitamins: C and A. Vitamin C’s immune-boosting power is well-documented, as it stimulates the activity of white blood cells, fundamental soldiers in the body’s defense system. Meanwhile, vitamin A plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system by forming and protecting mucous membranes. These membranes act as a barrier, safeguarding the respiratory, digestive, and urogenital tracts against invading germs. [26]

Maintaining a balanced diet that includes sufficient vitamin C is instrumental in fortifying your body’s ability to combat disease and infection, contributing to overall well-being. Vitamin A also emerges as a critical player in regulating immune functions, according to preliminary studies. [27]

Helps in Digestion

Carrots 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. Fiber also boosts heart health by helping to eliminate excess LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels.

Reduces 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 a high amount of beta-carotene had a forty percent lower risk of macular degeneration. [28]

Therefore, carrots are an all-around vision booster. [29]

Helps in Weight Loss

Carrots can be your secret weapon in achieving weight loss goals. These vibrant veggies are not only low in calories but also incredibly effective at increasing fullness and reducing calorie intake in subsequent meals. [30]

One key to their weight loss magic is their impressive water content. In fact, carrots are composed of about 88% water, making them a hydration-packed, calorie-friendly option that can keep your hunger in check. [31]

In a recent study from 2021, published in Nutrients, carrots were associated with lower body mass index and reduced rates of obesity when compared to other vegetables. Moreover, their calorie content is quite low, with just one cup of chopped carrots containing a mere 52 calories. For those looking to cut back on calories without compromising on taste, replacing 10 pita chips with a cup of raw, sliced carrots can save you 80 calories while boosting your fiber and nutrient intake. [32]

Final Thoughts

Carrots, with their array of colors and nutrients, are a true gift from nature, offering a multitude of health benefits in a delicious package. As we’ve explored, their rich composition of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants makes them invaluable for eye health, cardiovascular wellness. They’re not just a staple in the kitchen for their flavor; they’re a cornerstone of a healthy diet. Whether it’s boosting immunity, aiding digestion, or contributing to weight management, carrots prove to be a versatile and vital ingredient for a balanced lifestyle. So, embrace the goodness of carrots and let them be a regular part of your healthful journey.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. 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. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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