Whether you love them as a snack, in your juice or in your favorite home cooked meals, carrots have more than just great taste. Carrots are one of the healthiest natural foods you can eat and have a multitude of health benefits. They are also inexpensive and widely available just about anywhere in the world.
One major health benefit of carrots are the amount of antioxidants in every serving. Antioxidants help fight off the oxidization of cells in the body. Oxidization occurs from free radicals that are naturally formed in the body when your cells use oxygen. Over time, oxidization kills cells.
Carrots are also part of a heart healthy diet. This is because of their high content of carotenoid. Those who eat a diet high in carotenoids have a 60 percent less chance of heart attack compared to those with little or no carotenoid intake.
One of the most talked about benefits of carrots is their effects on vision, especially night vision. This is because the beta-carotene in carrots gets converted into vitamin A in the body.
The vitamin A is then transported to the retina where it is converted into rhodopsin, the pigment associated with night vision. The high antioxidant content also protects against damage to the eye due to the normal aging process.
Carrots may also be beneficial for those that struggle with high blood sugar and insulin resistance. Carrots help by using the carotenoids to regulate your blood sugar levels. This keeps the blood sugar from experiencing the extreme high and lows seen in health problems such as diabetes.
Recent studies being done at Kansas State University have discovered that carrots may also play a large role in lung health, especially for those who smoke, or who are often exposed to second hand smoke.
The carcinogen benzopyrene, which is most commonly associated with the formation of lung cancer and emphysema, also causes the body to become vitamin A deficient.
Eating a diet high in vitamin A foods, such as carrots, may be a way to help combat some of the effects of cigarette smoke on the lungs.