What's up doc'? The benefits of carrots

A long time favorite of the beloved Bugs Bunny, carrots are emblematic of fall and winter. Root vegetables are particularly in-season during cold weather, as they are protected by the earth from the colder temperatures.

Health Benefits:

  1. I Spy with My Little Eye: Carrots are high in beta-carotene which helps to protect vision, especially night vision, as well as provides protection against macular degeneration and senile cataracts.
  2. Heart Protection: Carrots are very high in carotenoids, a type of antioxidant. Studies have shown that diets high in carotenoids showed reduced risk of heart disease.
  3. Cancer Prevention: Also, because of their high antioxidant content, carrots are helpful in reducing risk for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer among others.
  4. Healthy Lungs: Diets deficient in Vitamin-A are said to potentially increase chances of emphysema…especially in those who smoke, or who are often exposed to second-hand smoke. Cigarette smoke contains benzo(a)pyrene, a carcinogen, which tends to cause vitamin A deficiency. Eating carrots, however, boosts your Vitamin A intake which can help ward off lung disease.
  5. Blood Sugar Stabilization: Studies show that intake of carotenoid rich foods may be inversely associated with insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.
  6. Colon and Digestive Health: Because of their high fiber content, carrots help promote regularity. Further, because they contain a phytonutrient called falcarinol, which may be beneficial in reducing the risk of colon cancer.
Ways to Enjoy Carrots
  1. Soups: Carrots are a strong vegetable which makes it hold up in soups and stocks.
  2. Salads: Raw carrots provide a great flavor and crunch to salads.
  3. Muffins and Breads: They provide a natural sweetness which helps you to cut down on the sugar required during baking.
  4. Snacks: Dip raw carrots into hummus or yogurt dips to have a balanced, nutritious snack.
  5. Side: Steam carrots to create a healthy side-dish with dinner or lunch.
  6. Smoothies: Mix with spinach, tomato juice and cucumber to get a delicious veggie smoothie, rich in vitamins and minerals.

How do you eat carrots? Are you getting a healthy dose a day?

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