Carrots are often thought of as the ultimate health food. You were probably told to “eat your carrots” by your parents and you probably tell your kids the same thing, and when asked why, you explain, “Because they’re good for you!”
But how did the carrot get such a good reputation and why exactly are the root vegetables so good for our health? Here are 10 reasons why you should be eating more of these orange sticks of goodness:
Prevention of Heart Disease: Researchers at the Wolfson Gastrointestinal Laboratory in Edinburgh, Scotland revealed that cholesterol level drops by an average of 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots per day are taken for thee weeks. Also, the coumarin found in carrots also has been linked to reducing hypertension and protecting your heart health!
Blood Pressure: Carrots are rich sources of potassium, which is a vasodilator and can relax the tension in your blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing blood flow and circulation, boosting organ function throughout the body, and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system.
Immune Booster: Carrots contain a number of antiseptic and antibacterial abilities that make it ideal for boosting the immune system. Not only that, carrots are a rich source of vitamin C, which stimulates the activity of white blood cells and is one of the most important elements in the human immune system.
Digestion: Carrots, like most vegetables, have significant amounts of dietary fiber, and fiber is one of the most important elements in maintaining good digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to stool, which helps it to pass smoothly through the digestive tract, and it also stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices. Altogether, this reduces the severity of conditions like constipation, and protects your colon and stomach from various serious illnesses, including colorectal cancer. Fiber also boosts heart health by helping to eliminate excess LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels.
Prevents Cancer: Beta-carotene consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of several cancers, notably lung cancer. British researchers discovered that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams per day reduced lung cancer risk by more than 40 percent. The average carrot contains about three milligrams of beta-carotene.
In a separate study, researchers found that eating fiber-rich carrots reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 24 percent. Another study shows that women who ate raw carrots were five to eight times less likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not eat carrots. Further research into the application of both carrots and beta-carotene in relation to other forms of cancer is ongoing.
Macular Degeneration: This is a common eye disease of the elderly that impairs the function of the macula. Research has found that people who ate the most amount of beta-carotene had a forty percent lower risk ofmacular degeneration compared with those who consumed the least. Beta-carotene can also split itself via an enzymatic reaction to form provitamin A, which is often associated with antioxidant capacity in relation to vision. Therefore, carrots are an all-around vision booster.
Improves Eyesight: Deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light. Since carrots are rich in vitamin A, it is good for improving eyesight and preventing conditions like night blindness from developing as we age.
Oral Health: The organic compounds in carrots all by themselves are good for mineral antioxidants, but carrots also stimulate the gums and induce excess saliva. Saliva is an alkaline substance and combats the bacteria and foreign bodies that can often result in cavities, halitosis, and other oral health risks.
Stroke: Eating a carrot every d 8%. Many studies have strengthened the belief in the “carrot effect” on the brain. Studies conducted on stroke patients revealed that those with highest levels of beta carotene had the highest survival rate.
Diabetes: Carrots are good for blood sugar regulation due to the presence of carotenoids in this delicious vegetable. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar, thereby helping diabetic patients live a normal, healthy life. They also regulate the amount of insulin and glucose that is being used and metabolized by the body, providing a more even and healthy fluctuation for diabetic patients.
Carrots have antiseptic qualities and can therefore be used as laxatives, vermicides and as a remedy for liver conditions. Carrot oil is good for dry skin because it makes the skin softer, smoother and firmer. Furthermore, carrot juice improves stomach and gastrointestinal health.
Thus, carrots, as raw fruits, juice or in cooked form, are always a good choice for your health!
Carrot Salad With Almond Butter Dressing
FOR THE CARROT SALAD
- 10 medium organic carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds shelled
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
FOR THE ALMOND BUTTER DRESSSING
- 1/2 cup raw creamy almond butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut amigos
- Juice of 2 Limes
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/2 " piece of ginger optional
- 2 tbsp almond/coconut milk optional
If your food processor has a shredding blade - this is the quickest way. Simply wash and cut the ends of the carrots and shred away! Or get old school and grate them by hand 😛
Place shredded carrots in a large bowl. Next add raisins, all seeds and chopped fresh cilantro, mix well. Set aside.
In a blender combine all of the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour over the shredded carrots and mix until fully coated.
Enjoy right away or place in the fridge for couple hours to enhance the flavours.