Who can say no to crunchy, tasty carrots? This vegetable is a favourite because it is full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
Anna Taylor, MS, RD, LD, CDE, a registered dietitian, talks about the health benefits of these tasty veggies.
Good for you
Carrots are a great snack to eat because they are so good for you. Here’s what you need to know about 1/2 cup of raw carrots:
- Total fat: 0.2 grammes
- Sodium: 69 milligrammes
- Total carbs: 9.6 grammes
- Dietary fibre: 2.8 grammes
- Sugar: 4.7 grammes
- Protein: 0.9 grammes
- Calcium: 33.00 milligrammes
- Potassium: 320 milligrammes
- Iron: 0.30 milligrammes
Good for your health
This tasty food is good for your health and has only 41 calories in 1/2 cup. Here are some of them:
- They contain a lot of vitamin A. About half a cup of raw carrots has 51% of your daily vitamin A needs. This vitamin A comes from provitamin A carotenoids, which help your body fight off infections.
- They do a lot of good for your eyes. Studies have shown that a pigment in carrots called carotenoids, which is an antioxidant, may make you less likely to get age-related macular degeneration.
- They can make you less likely to get cancer. Carotenoids may help prevent cancers of the stomach, colon, and prostate. Also, one study found that women who have a lot of carotenoids in their blood may have a lower chance of getting breast cancer.
- They help keep your heart healthy. Heart disease and high cholesterol go together like peanut butter and jelly. But studies have shown that eating more carrots is linked to lower levels of cholesterol, which in turn lowers your risk of getting heart disease.
- You can use them to lose weight. Since 1/2 cup of carrots only has 41 calories, they can help you feel fuller for longer, which will make you eat fewer calories. If you want to lose weight, try including carrots in your regular diet.
Try all the colours of carrots.
Did you know that there are different colours of carrots? That’s right! All carrots are full of nutrients, no matter what colour they are, so why not try them all? Taylor lists the nutrients that make each colour:
- Orange: This is probably the first colour that comes to mind when you think of carrots. Carrots that are orange have more of the antioxidant pigment beta carotene (the carotenoid mentioned above). If you eat too many, your skin might turn orange for a short time.
- Yellow: These also have beta carotene and lutein, which is a carotenoid that researchers think may protect the eyes because antioxidants protect cells from damage.
- Red: Gives you biotin, fibre, potassium, vitamins K, B6, and C, and the trace mineral molybdenum, which is just as important as iron. This important element turns on enzymes that help your body get rid of some toxins.
- Purple: More of the carotenoid anthocyanin is found in these. Researchers are looking into whether or not it can treat inflammation and weight gain.
- White: These may not have any colour, but they are still healthy. Their fibre will help you feel better when you eat them.