Healthy Family | Home Safety | Health and Wealth | Relationship Issues | Career Advice | Growing Family
Get the SixWise e-Newsletter FREE!
Google Web
Free Newsletter Subscription
Get the Web's Most trusted & Informative Health, Wealth, Safety & More Newsletter -- FREE!


Share Email to a Friend Print This

Five Reasons to Eat Carrots if You Carrot All About Your Health

Whether they're baby-sized, cooked or eaten with ranch dressing, it's clear that Americans love their carrots. In just one year, each American eats almost 10 pounds of them -- that's a substantial increase from the 6 pounds eaten in the 1960s.

And they're more than just a quick snack food or a colorful addition to salads and stews -- they're full of health-promoting properties. So grab a few to snack on while you find out what Bugs Bunny must have known all along -- how incredibly healthy carrots can be.

Carrots are a smart choice for a sweet-tasting healthy snack: Not only do they fight cancer, but they taste great too!

1. Reduce the Risk of Cancer

A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that carrots could cut the risk of cancer in rats by one-third. The compound is called falcarinol, and it's a natural toxin that protects carrots against fungal diseases. Researchers believe that falcarinol may stimulate the body's cancer-fighting mechanisms.

One of the study's researchers, Dr Kirsten Brandt, said, "We already know that carrots are good for us and can reduce the risk of cancer but until now we have not known which element of the vegetable has these special properties."

2. Fight Heart Disease

Carrots are a rich source of carotenoids, the metabolic precursors to vitamin A. In fact, just one cup of carrots contains 16,679 IUs of beta-carotene, which is more than 250 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).

In one study of 1,300 elderly people, those who ate the most carotenoid-rich foods were 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and 75 percent less likely to have a heart attack, as those who ate the least. Need more incentive? The results included people who smoked and had high cholesterol levels!

Fun Facts About Carrots

  • Carrots are members of the parsley family, which includes parsnips, fennel, dill and celery.

  • Carrots are not just orange -- they can also be purple, maroon, yellow or white.

  • Carrots contain more sugar than any other vegetable except beets.

  • Baby carrots are not actually babies -- they're whittled down from larger carrots.

  • Carrots are originally from Afghanistan.

3. Protect Your Vision

Perhaps the most widely known benefit and the reason your mother told you to eat carrots: they're good for your eyes! Your body converts beta-carotene in carrots into vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyes.

A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to night blindness, which, if left untreated, can lead to blindness. According to registered dietician Chris Rosenbloom, "Vitamin A is important in maintaining normal vision, and worldwide, vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness."

Additionally, vitamin A may help prevent cataracts from forming and may protect against blindness from macular degeneration -- the world's leading cause of blindness.

4. Protect Against Emphysema

"Some evidence suggests that vitamin C and beta-carotene may help protect against a decline in lung function," says Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and senior scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency. "It may be a very minimal effect in those with emphysema, but eating foods rich in these nutrients certainly won't hurt and may help."

Interestingly, it also appears that benzo(a)pyrene, a carcinogen in cigarette smoke, leads to vitamin A deficiency. In this way, smoking, or being around those who do, may make you vulnerable to diseases associated with a lack of vitamin A.

According to Richard Baybutt, associate professor of nutrition at Kansas State, "There are a lot of people who live to be 90 years old and are smokers," he said. "Why? Probably because of their diet ... The implications are that those who start smoking at an early age are more likely to become vitamin A deficient and develop complications associated with cancer and emphysema. And if they have a poor diet, forget it."

5. Lower Your Cholesterol

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eating carrots may lower cholesterol levels. This may be related to a type of fiber they contain called calcium pectate. Scottish researchers also found that people who ate two large carrots everyday for three weeks had an 11 percent decrease in their total cholesterol levels.

Looking for more food tips? You'll want to read these past articles:


The World's Healthiest Foods

Carrots May Help Fight Cancer

Vitamin A and Carotenoids: Antioxidants for Sight

The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies

To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.

With every issue of the free newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!

Share Email to a Friend Print This