Carrot is probably the second best vegetable that grows on our planet, after of course the most popular, potato. Carrots have evolved from being purple to orange and so much potent is this orange color that it’s said a person would turn orange if all he had were carrots.
Carrots get their name from the Greek word ‘karaton’. Beta carotene also gets its name from carrots as the vegetable is packed with the nutrient. Considering the health benefits of carrots, it is recommended to have as much of the vegetable as you can while the season lasts.
GREAT FOR VISION
Carrots are rich in beta carotene, as mentioned earlier. The carotene is transformed to vitamin A by the liver which, when transported to the retina, gets converted into rhodopsin. It is a purple pigment that is vital for night vision. Therefore, vitamin A is recommended for people suffering from night blindness. Beta carotene also keeps eyes protected from senile cataracts and macular degeneration. These problems hit people when they are over 45 years of age.
Falcarinol and falcarindiol found in carrots might have anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Carrots are a common source of falcarinol, which is a rare compound. It has antifungal properties and protects carrots roots which make it a natural pesticide.
SLOWS DOWN AGING
Beta carotene also plays a role in anti-aging. Since regular metabolism causes damage to the body, beta carotene acts as an antioxidant to the damage caused.
GREAT FOR SKIN
Adults deficient in vitamin A face issues like dry skin, hair and weak nail problems. Vitamin A prevents aging by keeping away wrinkles, dry skin and pigmentation. It also helps with reverse skin damage acquired by excess sunlight. It can also be applied on the skin as a face mask. A paste made from pealed, boiled and mashed carrots with a few drops of lemon and honey makes the perfect mask for glowing skin.
PREVENTION OF INFECTION
Some herbalists believe that applying shredded raw or boiled and mashed carrots can help prevent infection in open cuts and wounds.
GOOD FOR HEART
Carrots contain soluble fibers that bind with bile acids and excrete cholesterol out of the body. This reduces cholesterol levels in the blood and reduces risk of heart disease. They also contain alpha carotene and lutein.
CLEANS THE BODY
Once converted into vitamin A in the liver, beta carotene also flushes out toxins in the liver formed due to excess fat and bile. The fiber content of carrots helps clean out the colon and enhance bowel movement.
GUMS AND TEETH PROTECTION
It’s all about the crunch. The process of chewing and swallowing carrots cleans teeth and gums. Chewing carrots scrapes off food particles and plaque. The saliva produced in the process balances the acidic medium which can cause colonization of acid forming bacteria in between gums and teeth. It also makes teeth stronger as it is a crunchy and hard vegetable.
With so many variable uses, who wouldn’t want to get their hands on some delicious carrots this winter?