Carrot: Amazing Health Benefits
Carrot (Daucus carota) belongs to family Apiaceae is a root vegetable full of carotenoid, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. Carrot because of its mineral and vitamin-rich nature is ranked 10th in terms of nutritional value (1).
Some of the amazing qualities of carrot
1. Rich source of dietary fibers
a. Healthy stomach
Dietary fibers are very essential for a healthy body. It helps in normal bowel movement and thus keeps the stomach healthy.
b. Weight loss
Dietary fibers help in absorbing the bad cholesterol from the body thus keeps a check on the weight of the body. So if you are dieting you must eat a carrot in order to reduce weight.
2. Molybdenum source
Carrot is a good source of minerals. One of the rarest mineral found in carrot is molybdenum. Some of the benefits of molybdenum are
a. Fat metabolism
Molybdenum helps in the metabolism of fat thus helps in weight reduction.
b. Carbohydrate metabolism
Molybdenum also helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate helps in regulation of blood sugar and keeps heart healthy and also helps in weight loss.
c. Iron absorption
Molybdenum present in carrot also helps in absorption of iron. Thus carrot is good for the people who are anemic (2).
d. Essential for enzyme activity
Molybdenum is very essential for many enzyme activities of our body. Molybdenum helps in releasing cellular energy
3. Rich in beta carotene
Carrot is rich in antioxidant beta carotene. The amount of carotene in carrot is between 60-120 mg/100 g some varieties even contain a higher amount of beta carotene around 300 mg/100g (3). Beta carotene furthermore is an important part of our daily diet as it is a major source of vitamin A. Health benefits of beta carotene are as follows
a. A major source of Vitamin A
Beta carotene is the main source of vitamin A for the human body. Therefore is very beneficial for human health. Studies show that a single molecule of beta carotene subsequently breaks into two molecules of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for the eye as it helps in preventing xerophthalmia a type of eye diseases (4,5).
a. Prevents cancer
Beta carotene also helps in lowering the risk of lung cancer and prostate cancer (5).
b. Immune booster
Vitamin A because of its anti-infective in nature helps in keeping the immune system healthy and strong (6).
c. Growth and development
Vitamin A is also required for the normal growth and development of the body from the beginning of the birth. Vitamin A helps in the metabolization of iron and thus take part in the production of red blood cells which are the oxygen carriers (7).
d. Other mental problems
Vitamin A also helps in controlling schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. Vitamin A which is produced from beta carotene thus helps in the production of retinol and retinoic acid (RA) which again finally helps in regulating the expression of the gene.
Carrot health benefits
Carrot is abundant in vitamins, minerals and other types of compounds like dietary fibers, sugar, fat, proteins, and antioxidants. Therefore eating carrot is very beneficial for health it not only keeps a check on cancer probability but also helps in keeping the heart, liver, eyes and other organs healthy. Some of the best health benefits of carrot are as follows
Studies done on cancer cell line shows that carrot juice because of its presence of beta carotene and falcarinol able to kill the cancerous cell or leukemia cell growth and stops their further progression (8).
2. Protects liver
Eating carrots also help in protecting the liver from harmful chemicals. An animal model based study showed the significant effect of carrot on elevated serum enzyme level due to CCl4 administration (10). Therefore eating carrot of taking carrot juice is beneficial for the liver and makes it healthy and strong.
Carrot or carrot juice is rich in antioxidant thus helps in reducing the risk of cancer. The antioxidants present in the carrot helps in neutralizing the harmful effect of free radicals in the body thus decreases the risk of a certain form of cancer (11).
4. Protects Kidney
Carrot or carrot juice is also beneficial for the kidney. A study was done on the animal model suggested that carrot extract has antioxidant activity which ultimately helps in healing kidney injury by controlling the activity of superoxide dismutase, other catalase, and glutathione. And increase the activity of malondialdehyde level (12). Therefore, drinking carrot juice helps in keeping kidney healthy.
5. Healthy heart
Carrot because of its high fiber content, antioxidant activity, and vitamin E helps in reducing the cholesterol level of the body thus helps in preventing the heart attack and artery-blocking.
Carrot extract is rich in vitamin A and carotenoids thus helps in controlling the serum glucose level in diabetic patients. Another study suggests that the dietary fibers present in carrots have glucose adsorption capacity and amylase inhibition activity thus keeps a check on the diabetes level (17).
7. Enhances the memory
Research done on the animal model shows that seed extract of carrot has an anti-Alzheimer effect and also helps in enhancing the memory. Carrot seeds have choline-rich quaternary base chlorides which help in increasing the cholinergic transmission of the brain(16). In ancient Ayurveda system, carrot extract is thus used as a brain tonic.
8. Lowers cholesterol level
Antioxidant activity in addition to high dietary fibers of carrot helps in reduction of the cholesterol level of the body. Along with this carrot intake also increases the vitamin E level of the body and also regulate the bile acid secretion. Carrot thus helps in reducing the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases linked to atherosclerosis (15).
9. Improves fertility
Carrot seeds have generally higher antioxidant activity than that of carrot root. The seeds of carrot help in improving male fertility by increasing the sperm count on the contrary the seeds exhibit antifertility property in females (14, 15).
10. Wound healing property
Carrots have antioxidant and antimicrobial property thus helps in fast healing of the wound. Another study also suggests that carrot regulate the collagen expression and inhibits the inhibit elevated level of lipid peri=oxide thus acts fast on healing wounds (16).
11. Immune booster
Carrot has compounds namely alfa and beta carotenoids, these compounds help in maintaining the body’s normal immune system. In research done on albino rats, it was concluded that carotenoids significantly increases the of white blood cells count and platelets concentration (9).
Carrot extracts help in reducing the risk of ulcer. In a study it was found that carrot extract helps in healing the stomach wall by increasing the ph level, decreasing the free acid level and increasing the mucus content (13). Thus during acidity instead of medicine, a whole raw carrot will be enough to decrease the uneasiness and that is without any side effects.