Sweet and crunchy, carrots are also called as ‘Gajar‘ in Hindi, ‘Gajjara gadda‘ in Telugu, ‘Mangal Mullangi‘ in Tamil, ‘Karat‘ in Malayalam, ‘Gajjari‘ in Kannada, ‘Gazar‘ in Marathi, ‘Gajar‘ in Punjabi and ‘Gujar/Gajor‘ in Bengali. Carrots have been an important part of vegetarian diets. Who doesn’t love munching on fresh and sweet carrots?
Table Of Contents
Interesting Facts About Carrots
Carrots are basically root vegetables belonging to the Apeaceae or Umbelliferrous family, which also includes parsley, parsnip, dill, cumin, etc. A carrot plant has green leaves and a long, slender, orange root that is edible. Baby carrots are tender but they also have less flavor because they are yet to mature.
These vegetables are believed to have originated about 5000 years ago. In fact, you will be surprised to know that carrots used to be red, black, yellow, white, and mostly purple in colour, but not orange. They were first cultivated in Afghanistan, and had purple exteriors with yellow flesh. Bright orange carrots were developed by the Dutch in the middle ages and today, they are the most common ones.
Besides their delicious flavor, carrots contain high amounts of beta-carotene and other health-benefitting compounds such as vitamin A, minerals and antioxidants. Carrots offer several health benefits and are particularly beneficial for organs like the eyes, skin, digestive system and teeth. No doubt, they are a favorite of Bugs Bunny and account for his swiftness, energy and intelligence.
Carrots are often used in juice therapy for the treatment of certain diseases. In fact, carrots were initially grown as medicine for treating a variety of ailments. This vegetable can be eaten both in its raw and cooked forms. It serves as a fat substitute when used as a thickener in soups, sauces, casseroles and quick breads. A steaming bowl of carrot soup is a great way to boost your nutrition in winter.
This crunchy power food is low in calories and contains no fat. However, it can provide you with high doses of vitamin A and other antioxidants. Here are the benefits of eating carrot – for skin, hair and health.
Skin Benefits Of Carrots
The benefits of eating carrots for the skin are as follows:
1. Carrots For Glowing Skin:
The consumption of carrots keeps your skin healthy and vibrant as they are loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants. Carrots can also be used to prepare an inexpensive and convenient face mask. All you need to do is to mix grated carrot with some honey and apply it as a face mask to get glowing skin.
2. Treatment Of Blemishes/Scars:
Drinking carrot juice is effective in getting rid of blemishes and scars. You can also apply carrot pulp on your skin to clear the blemishes.
3. Anti-Ageing Benefits:
Carrots also contain Vitamin C that aids the collagen production in the body. Collagen is a type of protein that is vital for the maintenance of the skin elasticity. It helps prevent wrinkles and locks the process of aging. Vitamin A, being an antioxidant, also attacks the free radicals to prevent the signs of aging like wrinkles, pigmentation and an uneven skin tone.
4. Sun Protection:
Beta-carotene, found in carrots, is a skin-friendly nutrient that is converted to vitamin A inside the body. It helps in repairing the skin tissues and provides protection against the sun’s harsh rays. The antioxidants and carotenoids protect and condition the skin to increase its immunity against the sun and heal sunburns. In fact, the consumption of carrot juice in summer acts as a natural sun block.
5. Suitable For Dry Skin:
The deficiency of potassium can lead to a dry skin. Carrots are rich in potassium. Hence, drinking carrot juice can prevent this problem and keep your skin hydrated.
6. Treatment of Skin Ailments:
Carrots are effective in the prevention and cure of various skin ailments. The antioxidants in this vegetable can treat skin conditions like pimples and acne, rashes, dermatitis and other skin problems caused due to Vitamin A deficiency. However, keep in mind not to consume carrots in excess as they can cause your skin to temporarily turn yellowish-orange in color.
7. Healing Qualities:
Carrots possess great healing qualities. Raw or grated carrots can be applied to wounds, cuts, and inflammation for quick healing. Their anti-inflammatory properties help to revitalize and tone the skin.
Carrot Facial Masks For Skin
Wondering about how to use a carrot on the face? Here are a few carrot facial masks for you to check out.
8. Carrot Moisturizing Facial Mask:
Things you will need:
- 2 teaspoons of grated carrot
- A teaspoon of honey
- A teaspoon of milk cream
- Few drops of olive oil
Preparation And Usage:
- Grind the grated carrots to a smooth paste. Collect this carrot paste in a small bowl and add all the remaining ingredients to it.
- Blend well with a spoon and your quick, homemade, carrot moisturizing facial mask is all ready to use.
- Cleanse your face with a gentle facial cleanser and apply this carrot mask evenly over your skin.
- Let it sit on your face for 10-15 minutes. Splash cold water and wash away after that.
- Pat dry to see your soft, glowing and, of course, moisturized skin.
9. Carrot Calming Facial Spray:
How does our facial skin feel after getting exposed to sunlight and dust? Doesn’t it feel uncomfortable and tanned? Give your skin a carrot spray to get that soothing effect.
- Extract the juice from fresh carrots and mix this carrot juice with 2 parts of rose water.
- Store this liquid in an old, cleaned spray bottle and, that’s it!
- Your homemade, calming, carrot facial spray is ready for usage.
You can use this spray all over your body to reduce heat, tan and sun burns!
Hair Benefits Of Carrots
Since ages, carrots have been known to promote hair growth and add thickness to the hair. Being loaded with vitamin A, carrots offer the following benefits for your hair.
10. Treatment Of Hair Loss:
Carrots are great for combating hair loss as they provide your hair with vital vitamins, making them stronger, thicker and shinier. Drinking carrot juice makes your hair healthy. This is the best benefit of carrots for the hair.
11. Stimulates Hair Growth:
Consuming 3 to 4 ounces of carrot juice daily stimulates the hair growth and thickens your hair. Vitamin C and Vitamin E in carrots improve the circulation in the scalp, thus promoting hair growth and prevent premature graying of hair.
[ Read: Carrots For Hair Growth ]
Health Benefits Of Carrots
The health benefits of carrots are surplus. Let’s have a look at those amazing benefits:
12. Eye Care:
Carrots are excellent for the eyes, thanks to the presence of the abundant amounts of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. This vitamin is converted in the retina to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision. Beta-carotene improves the night vision and protects against eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration and senile cataracts. It is also helpful in treating night blindness. A study has proved that the consumption of beta-carotene reduces the risk of macular degeneration by 40%.
13. Cardiovascular Benefits:
Carrots contain a variety of antioxidants and polyacetylenes which, together, provide a protective shield to the heart. Studies have shown that the consumption of foods high in carotenoids lowers the risk of heart disease. Besides being extremely rich in beta-carotene, carrots also contain alpha-carotene and lutein. The regular consumption of carrots protects your heart from oxidative damage, plaque formation and bad cholesterol elevation. This is because they contain soluble fibers which bind with bile acids.
14. Prevents Cancer:
Studies have shown that the consumption of carrots can reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. This is because carrots are rich in the poly-acetylene antioxidant, falcarinol, which fights against cancers by destroying the pre-cancerous cells in the tumors. In this way, carrots possess anti-carcinogenic properties that inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the colon and support the health of the lower digestive tract. This is one of the best health benefits of carrots.
15. Boosts The Immune System:
Carrots contain a variety of nutrients and antioxidants along with vitamin C, and these will boost your immune system. The regular consumption of carrots creates a protective shield for our body.
16. Dental Health:
Carrots are beneficial for your teeth and mouth as they scrape off plaque and food particles. Carrots stimulate the gums and facilitate the formation of a lot of saliva. Saliva is alkaline in nature and balances the acid-forming and cavity-forming bacteria. The minerals present in carrots kill the harmful germs in the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
17. Cleanses The Body:
As stated earlier, carrots contain abundant amounts of Vitamin A which assists the liver in flushing out toxins from the body. It reduces the accumulation of bile and fat in the liver. The soluble fiber, on the other hand, cleanses the colon by facilitating waste elimination.
18. Prevents Ageing:
The high level of beta carotene in the carrots acts as an antioxidant to prevent and reverse the cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. Thus, it helps in slowing down the aging of cells.
19. Beneficial During Menstruation And The Post-Menopausal Phase:
Carrot juice is extremely beneficial for women. This is because the phytoestrogen in carrots helps relieve menstrual pain and regularizes bleeding in those having heavy menstrual flow. It is also beneficial for post-menopausal women as it helps to get rid of hot flushes and stabilizes other menopausal symptoms.
20. Helpful During Pregnancy:
Carrots are particularly helpful during pregnancy as they aid in the proper development of the fetus and reduce the risk of fetal infections and miscarriage. The regular consumption of carrots is known to help in the production of breast milk and improve its quality.
21. Prevents Stroke:
According to a research conducted at Harvard University, people who consumed more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer from strokes in comparison to those who ate only one carrot a month, or less.
22. Source Of Calcium:
Very few of us are aware of the fact that carrots contain calcium that is vital for the growth and development of bones in children and women.
[ Read: Skincare Recipes with Carrot ]
23. Digestive Health:
Carrots are a good source of fiber that helps in regularizing the bowel movements and aids digestion. It is also beneficial in conditions like constipation and acid reflux. Besides, this fiber aids in weight loss and in avoiding sugar hikes in the blood.
24. General Benefits:
Carrots are high in carotenoids that regulate blood sugar. They also contain alkaline elements which purify and revitalize the blood as well as balance the acid-alkaline ratio in the body. The high potassium content in carrots helps in balancing the high levels of sodium associated with hypertension and controls the blood pressure.
Nutritional Value Of Carrots
Carrots are a nutritious addition to your diet as they are one of the richest sources of beta carotene. They also have an amazing combination of phytonutrients comprising of other carotenoids such as alpha-carotene and lutein, hydroxycinnamon acids, anthocyanins and poly-acetylenes like falcarinol and falcarindiol. They are also important sources of vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and potassium. They also contain vitamin B6, niacin, folate, vitamin E, enzyme-supporting manganese and molybdenum, and energy-providing vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. The nutritional value of carrots is explained below. See the table for in-depth analysis of nutrients:
|Carrots (Daucus carota), Fresh, raw|
|Nutrition value per 100 g.Total-ORAC value 666 umol TE/100 g.|
|(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)|
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.24 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.8 g||7%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.273 mg||5.5%|
|Vitamin A||16706 IU||557%|
|Vitamin C||5.9 mg||10%|
|Vitamin K||13.2 µg||11%|
- Calories And fat: Carrots are low in calories with a 100 gram serving providing just 41 calories. They contain negligible amount of fat and absolutely no cholesterol.
- Fiber: Carrots are a good source of dietary fiber. A cup of chopped carrots provides about 3.6 grams of dietary fiber. The recommended daily allowance of fiber is 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 grams for men. Fiber helps in keeping your intestines and arteries clear and clean, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Beta Carotene And Vitamin A: Carrots are renowned for their high content of beta carotene. They are a top source of vitamin A with 1 cup serving of chopped carrots providing 1069 micrograms of this vitamin.
- Vitamin A is vital for healthy eyes, skin, teeth and bones. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A is 700 micrograms and 900 micrograms for women and men respectively.
- Vitamin K: A cup of chopped carrots provides 16.9 micrograms of vitamin K, which is equivalent to 20% of the RDA of 75 to 90 micrograms. This vitamin plays a crucial role in clotting your blood as well as maintaining the bone health, thus reducing the risk of fractures, breaks and osteoporosis.
- Vitamin C: Fresh carrots are also a good source of Vitamin C, with a 100 gram serving providing about 9% RDA of this vitamin. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that helps in maintaining healthy connective tissue, teeth and gums.
- Antioxidants: Carrots contain a variety of antioxidants. They are particularly rich in the poly-acetylene antioxidant, falcarinol. This antioxidant possesses anti-carcinogenic properties as it destroys the pre-cancerous cells in the tumors.
- B-Vitamins: Carrots are especially rich in the B-complex group of vitamins such as folic acid, Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc. that act as co-factors of enzymes.
- Minerals: Carrots also contain healthy amounts of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.
Now that you know the health, beauty and hair benefits of carrots, you are going to definitely include in your diet routine, won’t you? Does your diet include carrots every day? Or it needs to be introduced? Share your thoughts with us through comments.
- 10 Side Effects Of Carrots You Should Be Aware Of
- How To Use Carrots For Hair Growth?
- 15 Amazing Health And Beauty Benefits Of Radish Juice
- 11 Amazing Benefits Of Water Hyssop For Skin, Hair And Health