What are the benefits of carrots?

carrotsNo, you are not a Bugs Bunny but you should eat carrot!!

So you thought that only rabbits and Looney Tunes bunnies should go crazy over carrots. If you only knew the many carrot benefits in store for you, then perhaps you would be more enthusiastic the next time you see that bright speck of orange in an ocean of greens. The benefits of carrot as a source of everyday nutrients should not be disregarded, as this vegetable has a lot more to offer than what its blunt appearance suggests.

[divider]Nutritional Value[/divider]

Known by the scientific name Daucus carota, the natural benefits of carrot include the primary nutrient of which it is a rich source: Carotenoids. You would know that this vegetable is truly a rich source of carotenoids when the nutrient itself has been named after it. While Beta-Carotene appears to be the dominant Carotenoid present, carrots also have Alpha-Carotene and Lutein, as well as other antioxidants such as Vitamin C. Needless to say, there is no arguing when it comes to the nutritional value of carrot as a vegetable.

[divider]Natural Benefits[/divider]

When one says carrot, what automatically comes to mind are the many benefits it could give for your eyes. If we are to believe urban legends, there are even some myths about the ability of carrots to give you superhuman powers. Remember that story about British soldiers during World War II who were said to have eaten many carrots that it enabled them to see at night? While the benefits of carrots for your eyesight could not be denied, such stories are best left for fiction writers. Aside from healthy eyes, carrots also do wonders to your heart thanks to the rich antioxidants that they have. The very same antioxidants also decrease the risk for cancer.

[divider]Illnesses It Can Treat[/divider]

In terms of what illness and diseases carrot cures, we cannot really say that they can really cure them per se, but rather help avoid them. As doctors would like to say, prevention would always be better than cure. Given this vegetable’s stellar reputation in helping maintain good eyesight, regular intake is said to be helpful in decreasing the risk of glaucoma and cataracts. The risk of cancer, particularly that of the colon could also be lessened, again thanks to the rich antioxidant content. Aside from this, a lot of people are not aware of the carrot’s antiseptic properties. Whether shredded or boiled, applying carrots on cuts and bruises could hasten recovery.

[divider]When to Avoid It[/divider]

Having specified all these benefits, is there really an instance when to avoid carrot consumption? Who should avoid carrot intake for health reasons? Well, there is indeed one rare illness that could be associated not with too much carrot intake per se, but that of too much Beta-Carotene. This is called Carotoderma, wherein some parts of the body turn yellow or orange due to excessive Beta-Carotene that the body is unable to filter and convert into Vitamin A. This excess in Beta-Carotene fortunately, is very rare. So while there is undoubtedly some side effects, the benefits of carrots far outweigh the problems—if there are any at all!

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