Carrots are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds. As part of a balanced diet, they can help support immune function, reduce the risk of some cancers and promote wound healing and digestive health.
In this article, learn more about the nutrients in carrots and their health benefits. We also look into tips for adding carrots to the diet and any precautions.
Antioxidants are nutrients present in plant-based foods. They help the body remove free radicals — unstable molecules that can cause cell damage if too many accumulate in the body.
Free radicals result from natural processes and environmental pressures. The body can eliminate many free radicals naturally, but dietary antioxidants can help, especially when the oxidant load is high.
Below are some ways carrots can support health.
Carrots contain vitamin A, and a vitamin A deficiency may result in xerophthalmia, a progressive eye disease. Xerophthalmia can cause night blindness or difficulty seeing when levels of light are low.
According to the
However, most people’s vision is unlikely to improve from eating carrots unless they have a vitamin A deficiency.
Too many free radicals in the body
The antioxidant effects of dietary carotenoids — yellow, orange, and red organic pigments present in carrots and other vegetables — may reduce this risk. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two examples of these carotenoids. Vitamin A and beta carotene may also be of benefit.
Adequate fiber intake can assist in the optimal working of the entire digestive system. People who consume a high fiber diet
Both boiled and raw carrots have a low glycemic index score. This means that they are unlikely to trigger a blood sugar spike. The GI index can help people with diabetes understand which foods are likely to raise their blood sugar levels.
Eating a balanced diet that provides adequate vitamin C can help
Vitamin A also plays a critical role in regulating immune functions, according to
The table below lists the amount of each nutrient in a medium-sized, raw carrot that
|Nutrients||Amount in 1 medium, raw carrot||Daily recommendation for adult males||Daily recommendations for adult females|
|Carbohydrate (g)||5.8 — including 2.9 g of sugar||130||130|
|Vitamin C (mg)||3.6||75–90||65–75|
|Folate (mcg DFE)||11.6||400||400|
|Vitamin A (mcg RAE)||509||900||700|
|Vitamin E (mg)||0.4||15||15|
|Vitamin K (mcg)||8.1||75–120||75–90|
|Beta carotene (mcg)||5,050||no data||no data|
|Alpha carotene (mcg)||2,120||no data||no data|
|Lutein & zeaxanthin (mcg)||156||no data||no data|
Carrots also contain various B vitamins and traces of iron and other minerals.
There are two seasons for carrots — the spring and fall — but they are usually available in supermarkets all year. People can buy them fresh, frozen, canned, pickled, or as juice.
It is best to store carrots in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Remove any greens from the tops before storing to prevent them from drawing moisture and nutrients from the roots.
Tips for preparing carrots
Carrots are a versatile vegetable. People can eat them raw, steamed, boiled, roasted, or as an ingredient in soups and stews. Boiling vegetables can reduce or eliminate some of the vitamin content. Raw or steamed carrots provide the most nutritional value.
Organic vs. non-organic
Organic vegetables are the product of farming practices that do not use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or additives.
A 2019 study found that organic carrots had significantly higher levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, phosphorus, and calcium, than their non-organic counterparts.
Eating organic foodstuffs can also
Some people are allergic to compounds in carrots. Anyone who develops hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing after eating carrots needs urgent medical attention.
Carrots are rich in vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that are all important parts of a balanced diet.
Studies show that a varied diet rich in vegetables — including carrots — can support natural immune function, digestive processes, and cardiovascular health.