Ah, the carrot. The carrot and our relationship first became notable with Bugs Bunny (at least, for some of us old folks). Throughout our lives, the carrot has been a staple of salads and party dips and sometimes it’s hanging out as a side to bar wings.
The carrot is just, well, underwhelming to most of us.
But are we “blind” to how healthy the carrot actually is?
Yes, you SEE what I did there, right?
Most of us like carrots and they are simple to prepare, so why aren’t we eating more?
Sometimes, when it comes to healthy foods, simple is king. And that’s the case with the good old carrot.
And here’s another thing…
That’s right, carrots are sexy. They make us sexy. Because carrots have loads of nutritional density that targets our skin, eyes, and weight.
Carrots Are Ripe With Plant Compounds
You’ve probably heard of carotenoids. A carotenoid is a potent antioxidant found in the carrot. Its one of the driving reasons that people will tell you to eat more carrots. But did you know that the carrot actually has six other powerful plant compounds?
I’m sure you had no idea.
When it comes to plant compounds and antioxidants in carrots, color is everything. The color of your carrot can tell you a lot about which antioxidants and compounds are more densely present in your carrot of choice.
Here’s what we think of when we think of a carrot.
That’s your “basic carrot.” It is orange.
But here’s what’s really happening with carrots.
Carrots can be orange, yellow, brown, even purple. And the diverse color schemes of carrots aren’t just for your kitchen’s display purposes, they give us insight into each carrots nutritional density.
What Is A Baby Carrot?
Once you begin adding carrots back into your diet, you are sure to be presented with the baby carrot. And you are sure to have a lot of questions over it.
Is the baby carrot just as healthy as a regular carrot?
Does the baby carrot taste the same?
Baby carrots are popular because they are smaller, making them easier to eat and easier to carry. Baby carrots can pack simply in a small lunch container and serve as a work snack to help fend off appetite for less healthy options.
Here’s the thing – baby carrots are regular carrots, they’ve just been cut, cleaned, and end up with a rounded appearance. So there is no difference in the nutritional profile. In fact, their convenience may make them the healthier option because people are more likely to pack them for a healthy snack.
Benefits Of Carrots
Expect to be surprised by a few of these.
Remember those carrot colors we discused above?
Here’s a list of antioxidants found in carrots and how often the corresponding colors tell us which has what:
- Beta-carotene – if your carrot is bright orange, that means it is loaded with beta-carotene. Cook that same carrot and the beta-carotene content is amplified. That’s right, this is one of those rare cases where cooking helps to bring out more nutritional density.
- Alpha-carotene – helps influence the production of vitamin A.
- Anthocyanins – These antioxidants are found in carrots that possess a deeper shade.
- Lycopene – Both purple and red carrots carry lycopene. This antioxidant could lower your chances for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Polyacetylenes – Potentially helps to stave off Leukemia.
- Lutein – Bolsters eye health, often found more densely in your orange and yellow carrots.
From a general perspective, here are some well-known benefits of carrots.
Yes, carrots can help you lose weight. You’ve eaten a carrot before, right? You should know how dense they are. Carrots satiate your appetite but don’t fill you full of calories and carbs. While the science may be simple, many people don’t realize that adding carrots to their daily diets can truly help with weight loss goals.
Improved vision is the most well-known benefit of the carrot. Pretty much everyone has heard that carrots improve vision. Carrots are high in carotenoids and Vitamin A, both of which influence improved eye health.
Fewer Cancer Risks
Cancer is the world’s biggest killer. Carrots may reduce the risk of colon, prostate, and stomach cancers. And women may improve their ability to fight off instances of breast cancer by eating more carrots.
Carrots just may help to lower your bad cholesterol numbers.
Another easy way to take in your daily carrot is through carrot juice. Carrot juice tastes amazing and carries along with it the same nutritional benefits, except for one. It is typically missing the fiber, particularly if you run your carrots through a juicer.
The fiber is a big benefit of the carrot. This is why I don’t always recommend this method. Yes, carrot juice tastes awesome, but missing the fiber is a big loss.
Carrots are the perfect snack to help fight off “bad” cravings. They are easy to handle and taste great. They are super dense, making them an incredibly satiating. You can lose weight by adding in carrots to your daily diet.
Carrots come in a number of different colors, but they are all relatively the same experience.
Carrots can easily be added to salads or lunch boxes as a snack or party trays to help quell bad food cravings.
Their fiber content can help your digestion, while their dense nutritional profiles can help stave off cancer.