8 Health Benefits Of Carrots That You Should Know
Table of Contents
1. They’re Great for Weight Management
In addition to the fiber carrots provide, they’re chock-full of water—a carrot is actually 88% water. This combination boosts fullness.
Compared to other vegetables, carrots have also been associated with lower body mass index and lower rates of obesity, according to a study published in Nutrients in 2021.
What’s more, carrots are low in calories. One cup chopped contains just 52 calories. Scooping up your hummus or guac with a cup of raw, sliced carrots in place of 10 pita chips saves 80 calories and increases total fiber and nutrients.
2. They Lower Cancer Risk
Antioxidants found in carrots have been tied to a reduced risk of several cancers, including lung, colorectal, prostate, and leukemia. The carotenoid antioxidant called beta-carotene was found to be linked to a low rate of cancers, including colorectal cancer.
Carrots also contain another carotenoid called lycopene. Lycopene has the potential to fight cancer, like stomach, prostate, lung, and breast cancer—and it may also be linked to vascular health and the prevention of cardiovascular disorders, according to a 2022 study.
3. Carrots Help With Blood Pressure Regulation
The potassium in carrots plays a key role in regulating blood pressure. This mineral balances sodium levels and helps sweep excess sodium and fluid out of the body, which takes the pressure off the heart. This also makes carrots a good choice if you want to de-bloat after consuming too much salty food.
Research from a 2020 meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that carrots, among a few other fruits and vegetables, had some of the greatest benefits on cardiovascular health.
4. They Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
One review article published in the journal Foods in 2019 reported that the phenolic compounds in carrots have the potential to reduce cardiovascular diseases. These compounds have antioxidant properties, which also help maintain normal blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
5. Carrots Support Your Immunity
The 2019 article published in Foods also mentioned two vitamins in carrots that are beneficial to the immune system: vitamin C and vitamin A. The vitamin C in carrots helps keep your immune system healthy.
Vitamin A supports the immune system by playing an important role in forming and protecting mucous membranes. Mucous membranes act as barriers to keep germs out of the body. They make up the lining of the respiratory, digestive, and urogenital tracts.
6. They Boost Brain Health
Natural compounds in carrots have been shown to act as anti-inflammatories. One of them is lutein—that same antioxidant that protects the retina from macular degeneration—and it may be involved in brain function, too. A 2021 study published in Nutrients suggests that lutein has beneficial effects on brain health in healthy older adults.
7. Carrots Promote Healthy Vision
Just one large carrot (one cup) can provide 100% of the daily target for vitamin A. This important nutrient (which acts as a cell-protective antioxidant) may even help protect against cancer, age-related macular degeneration, and measles. A deficiency of vitamin A can lead to a condition called xerophthalmia, which can damage normal vision and result in night blindness.
The vitamin A you get from carrots comes from two carotenoids called alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. But these aren’t the only nutrients in carrots that are important for vision. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in carrots also enhance eye health. These two natural compounds protect the retina and lens.
8. Carrots Balance Your Blood Sugar
Although carrots are known to be higher in sugar compared to other vegetables, they do have anti-diabetic properties, which was reported in a review published in Food and Nutrition Sciences. The review cites that people who had lower levels of carotenoids—the pigments that give carrots its orange color—had higher blood sugar levels and higher fasting levels of insulin. This suggests that carotenoids might help in the management of diabetes.
The soluble fiber in carrots has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels after eating. Raw or slightly cooked carrots are also low on the glycemic index, which helps them provide a steady energy supply.