By Thawngno (August 26, 2016)
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in color, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. People have been eating them for thousands of years. The earliest vegetable definitely known to be a carrot dates from the 10th century in Persia and Asia Minor, and believe it or not, the first carrots were actually purple or white with a thin root. Then a mutant occurred which removed the purple pigmentation resulting in a new race of yellow carrots, from which orange carrots were subsequently developed.
According to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that world production of carrots and turnips (these plants are combined by the FAO for reporting purposes) for calendar year 2011 was almost 35.658 million tons. Almost half were grown in China. Now millions of people all over the world eat this variety — except in places like India, where they enjoy red carrots. No matter what color carrots you eat, you’ll be doing your body a favor.
Possible health benefits of carrots
If you search in the internet for the possible health benefits of carrots, you will see tons of reliable results, from many sources. Most of them are very similar. They aren’t trendy, but the myriad health benefits of carrots—from lowering cholesterol to preventing memory loss—are unbeatable. Following are some of the benefits written in some blogs and books by various authors.
Reduce risk of breast cancer
Eating carrots may reduce your risk of breast cancer by nearly 40 percent, according to a study of 13,000 women from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. For the people in the study, snacking on cooked carrots twice a week did the trick. But the more carrots you eat, the researchers say, the more beta carotene you get and the stronger your protection. Munch on some raw spinach every week, too, and you’ll cut your risk of breast cancer even more. (Eat and Heal from FC&A Medical Publishing)
Carrots contain high amounts of soluble fiber, largely from pectin, which could be the reason they’ve been shown to lower cholesterol. Participants who ate about a cup of carrots each day for three weeks lowered their blood cholesterol levels, a U.S. government study found. (Reader’s Digest Marissa Laliberte)
Reduce risk of lung cancer
It isn’t enough to be a nonsmoker. To protect yourself from second-hand smoke and air pollution, crunch on some carrots. That’s right — doctors at the Harvard School of Public Health found that this popular orange root might lower your risk of lung cancer if you don’t smoke. This time, carrots can thank their other carotenoid, alpha carotene, for this power. One carrot provides 3.5 milligrams of alpha carotene. And according to the Harvard study, that’s more than enough for a daily dose.
Experts say carrots and their carotenoids may work by scavenging free radicals before they attack your cells, causing damage that can lead to cancer. The more carrots you eat, the fewer free radicals you’ll have. This could mean a lower cancer risk. (Eat and Heal from FC&A Medical Publishing)
One medium-sized carrot can give you a quick 2 grams of fiber. The fiber in carrots, according to a study from Germany, works as well as cereal grains at adding bulk to your stools. This makes them softer and easier to pass, which means regularity and less straining without taking harmful laxatives. To get the most fiber out of your carrots, stick with fresh or frozen ones. Canned carrots lose some of their fiber in the canning process. (Eat and Heal from FC&A Medical Publishing)
Fends off heart disease
It’s never too late to start fighting heart disease, especially when you’ve got carrots on your side.
According to scientists at the Scottish Heart Health Study, if you have a high daily intake of
fiber — 25 to 40 grams in a 2,000 to 3,000 calorie diet — you could lower your risk of heart disease by 30 percent. The same fiber in carrots that keeps you regular might also guard your ticker by lowering your cholesterol level. (Eat and Heal from FC&A Medical Publishing)
Keep your vision sharp
According to Duke Ophthalmologist Jill Koury, MD, vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision. Correcting vitamin A deficiencies with foods high in beta-carotene will restore vision.
Studies have shown that it is unlikely that most people will experience any significant positive changes in their vision from eating carrots unless they have an existing vitamin A deficiency, which is common in developing countries.
So where did all the hype surrounding carrots and vision come from? During World War II, the British Royal Air Force started an advertising campaign claiming that the secret to their fighter pilots clear, sharp vision was carrots. Realistically, the fighter pilot’s accuracy was due to a new radar system the British wanted to keep secret from the Germans, but the rumor spread and remains popular today. Megan Ware RDNLD
Stop memory loss
Middle-aged people who ate the lowest amount of root vegetables showed more than three times as much cognitive decline as those who ate the most, according to a Netherlands study. Researchers concluded that the beta-carotene in the vegetables—especially from carrots—protected the central nervous system against aging. An 18-year Harvard study determined that when men consumed 50 mg supplements of beta-carotene every other day, cognitive decay was delayed for the equivalent of 1 to 1.5 years compared to those who took a placebo. (Reader’s Digest Marissa Laliberte)
Promotes healthier skin
Vitamin A and antioxidants protect the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes and uneven skin tone. Carrots are used as an inexpensive and very convenient facial mask. Just mix grated carrot with a bit of honey. See the full recipe here: carrot face mask. (Care 2)
Protects teeth and gums
It’s all in the crunch! Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste. Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which, being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria. The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage. (Care 2)
- 12 Foods That Lower Cholesterol Naturally
- 9 Early Signs of Diabetes
- Benefit of eating banana peels
- Eat and Lose Weight: 10 Foods That Help Losing Weight