The humble carrot typically serves as nothing more than a small snack or a colorful garnish (or maybe just the healthiest ingredient in a carrot cake!). But when you discover how many health benefits this orange wonder has, you may want to start warming up that juicer. Here are 5 reasons why you should include carrot juice in your daily diet.
1. Promotes Good Vision – No Matter Your Age
Apart from vitamin A, which helps support the retina, carrot juice contains antioxidant compounds such as lutein and zeaxanthin that can prevent vision loss associated with age. One study found that high dietary intake of antioxidants, such as those found abundantly in carrots, can substantially reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration in the elderly.
2. Supports Smooth Digestion
Fiber, found abundantly in fresh vegetables, is essential for smooth bowel movements and preventing constipation. A standard serving of carrot juice has about 0.8 grams of fiber in every 100 grams. This accounts for about 3% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. If loading up on fiber is a priority, chowing down on a raw carrot may actually be better, with a single carrot giving you about 2.8 grams of fiber for an equal sized serving (100 grams). But that doesn’t take away from the fact that carrot juice has a good amount of fiber on offer too.
3. Keeps The Heart Strong And Healthy
Carrot juice also has benefits for cardiovascular health. Researchers have found that drinking carrot juice can decrease lipid peroxidation in the body and increase total antioxidant capacity. Put simply, carrot juice is rich in antioxidants, the compounds your body needs to fight oxidative free radicals. What’s more, carrot juice can also help the liver process fats more effectively. This translates to lower levels of cholesterol, protecting against heart disease as well.
4. Helps Fight The Big C
Cancer is always a cause for concern, mostly because of the intensive treatment that goes along with it. Which is what makes findings on the possible impact of carrots so important. The polyacetylene compounds in carrot juice help treat leukemia (blood cancer) by inducing cell death in cancer cells. Also, dietary intake of beta-carotene (abundant in carrots) has been shown to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, even in high-risk individuals.
5. Supports Oral Health
Carrot juice may actually help keep your teeth and gums healthy. The phenols present in shredded carrot extracts have an antimicrobial effect, which has been shown to prevent the growth of food-borne bacteria and yeast. And the taste of carrot juice sure beats that of your off-the-shelf mouthwash!
OK, So Why Juice?
Raw carrots are rich in all of the compounds and active ingredients present in the juice. So, why not just eat the carrots? That’s because juicing carrots packs more nutrients into a more easily consumed form. For instance, you’d need between three and six carrots (depending on the size) to come up with a 200 ml serving of carrot juice. And you’d probably down that in a few gulps! Contrast that with the time and effort it will take you to chomp your way through three to six carrots. You’d probably have no more than one or two in any case. The math, therefore, is simple. You can consume more carrots, faster and easier, when they’re juiced. By extension, you’ll get more nutrition (and benefits) this way too.