June 3, 2014

Carrot - Health Benefits & Home Remedies

Carrot is a bright orange, crunchy vegetable that is extremely popular and abundant. Whether you like it or not, you cannot ignore this superfood that is full of healthy nutrients. It is said that it's best for health when eaten raw. However if you want to cook carrots, the the healthiest way is by steaming.

Carrots can be taken either whole, sliced or grated in a salad. If the carrots are organic, the skin should not be scraped off but should be thoroughly cleaned, as its mineral contents are very close to the skin. Also do not discard the leaves of this vegetable - they are highly nutritious and health-building.


Nutritive value
Carrot is an extremely rich source of beta-carotene. The carotene is converted into Vitamin A by the liver and it is also stored in that organ. The carrot is also rich in other food nutrients. An analysis of carrot shows it to consist of moisture 86.0 percent, fat 0.2 percent, minerals 1.1 percent, fibre 1.2 percent and carbohydrates 10.6 percent per 100 grams of edible portion.  Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids). In addition, they are a very good source of biotin, vitamin K, dietary fiber, molybdenum, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They are a good source of manganese, niacin, vitamin B1, panthothenic acid, phosphorus, folate, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin B2.

Medicinal  Properties
Carrot is full of  antioxidants and a powerful cleansing food. It is rich in alkaline elements which purify and revitalize the blood. It nourishes the entire system and helps in the maintenance of acid-alkaline balance in the body. It fights cancer, protects arteries, boosts the immune system and combats infections. The juice of carrot makes a fine health-giving drink for children and adults alike. Intake of carrots or carrot juice strengthens the eyes and keeps the mucous membranes of all cavities of the body in a healthy condition.

Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Raw carrots are highly beneficial in the treatment of high blood cholesterol. They reduce the bad LDL cholesterol and raise the good HDL cholesterol. According to a US study conducted by Philip Pfeffer and others, carrots are rich in anti-cholesterol soluble fibre including pectin. Dr. Pfeffer believes that the fibre in a couple of carrots a day can lower cholesterol by 10 to 20 percent, which would bring many people with moderately high cholesterol into the normal range. Low LDL cholesterol in turn leads to a healthy heart.

Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
A Netherlands study conducted over a period of 10 years has also come to a conclusion that eating 75 grams or more greatly reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. The various antioxidants present in carrot work synergistically to provide cardiovascular benefits.

Carrots have been found especially valuable in strokes. A Harvard study has shown that eating carrots five times a week or more can reduce the risk of stroke drastically by two-thirds, compared with eating carrots only once in a month or less. This conclusion was reached after observing nearly 90,000 women nurses for 8 years.

Decreased Cancer Risk
In certain studies, regular intake of carrots have been found to reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.

Fights Tooth decay
Eating raw carrots helps to keep the teeth and gums in a healthy condition. Chewing a raw carrot immediately after a meal kills all the harmful germs in the mouth. It also cleans the teeth, by increasing saliva production and removes the food particles lodged in the crevices and stimulates the gums.  The minerals in carrots prevent bleeding of gums and tooth decay.

Digestive disorders
The regular consumption of raw carrots has been found beneficial in the treatment of several digestive disorders. Chewing of raw carrots increases saliva and quickens digestion by supplying the necessary enzymes, minerals and vitamins. It also prevents the formation of gastric ulcer and other digestive disorders.Carrot juice is an effective food remedy for ailments like intestinal colic, appendicitis, peptic ulcer and dyspepsia.

Elimination of Thread worms
Raw carrots are valuable in the elimination of thread worms from children as they are repulsive to all parasites. A small cup of grated carrot taken early in the morning on an empty stomach can get rid of this worm infestation quickly.

Better Eye Health
Parents often goad their children to eat carrots for better vision and they are 'right' in this respect. While carrots may not be of much help in myopia or near sightedness they definitely helps improve night vision. A deficiency of vitamin A causes night blindness and carrots being rich in vitamin A will most certainly help those having this problem.. Furthermore as we age, our ability to see clearly at night does diminish; so consumption of carrots on a regular basis can help slow the progression of poor night vision.  Consumption of just 1 serving of Carrots per day can actually decrease your risk of developing age related macular degeneration by 40%.  A University of California study has also found out that that women who consume carrots at least twice per week - in comparison to women who consume carrots less than once per week - have significantly lower rates of glaucoma, a progressive vision loss disorder that has no cure.Geranyl acetate , one of the photonutrients present in carrot seeds is found to reduce the risk of cataracts in animal studies. However more research is required in this matter.

Carrots in Skin Care
Carrots being a powerhouse of antioxidants provide immense benefits to the skin. Antioxidants attack free radicals,  that cause premature wrinkles, pigmentation, dermatitis, rashes etc. and provide you with healthy looking skin.  It can even help in healing sunburns. The benefits of vitamin C, A etc.  boost collagen production, promote skin elasticity, prevent sun damage and thus keep the skin youthful.  Consumption of carrots either in raw form as in salads , in juice form or as soups will surely improve uneven skin tone, prevent premature wrinkles, revitalize skin, prevent and /or heal pimples and acne, lighten blemishes and unsightly marks and promote smooth, soft and supple skin.

Instead of drinking sugar-laden bottled and canned juices or aerated drinks, go for fresh carrot juice. The fresh juice is full of healthy nutrients like : vitamin K , folate, manganese, B6, panthenic acid, potassium, iron and copper. You may even mix it with other vegetable /fruit juices and prepare your own flavorful drink and enhance its nutrient value.

For beautiful skin on the outside, use it in a DIY, homemade face pack. Just grind grated carrot with milk and add a tsp of honey to it and slather it on your face for around 15-20 minutes. Trust me, you'll get the smoothest and softest skin as soon as you rinse it off.  Also try this carrot and turnip mask.

Carrot Seeds As Natural Birth Control
It is believed that chewing dry carrot seeds can prevent pregnancy. This simple birth control method is being practiced by the rural population of Rajasthan for generations.

A team of scientists from the University of Rajasthan investigated that practice of rural folk and found that chewing carrot seeds indeed prevented pregnancy. Their experiments suggest that extract of carrot seeds taken for a few days after intercourse prevents pregnancy by inhibiting implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus.

Pregnancy and lactation
It will be advisable for nursing mothers to take carrot juice  throughout lactation, so as to improve the quality of breast milk. When the baby is on the way, it is advisable to not only drink the juice but also nibble a carrot when one feels hungry.

The use of carrot seeds should be avoided during the early phase - the first trimester of pregnancy, because it increases the toxicity of uterine walls and may cause abortion.

 Home Remedies With Carrot
* Place  fresh grated carrots on a clean, thin cloth wrung in ice cold water and use place it on your tired eyelids as eyepads  and lie down for for half an hour or more. This will soothe red / bloodshot eyes, tired eyes, burning sensation in the eye, eyelid inflammation etc.

* When suffering from diarrhoea, bloody dysentery and  intestinal inflammation, drinking boiled carrot juice with a pinch of salt provides relief to the bowels and loose motion / stools will stop.

* Having  Carrot Halwa / Gajar Ka Halwa with 1 tablespoon of milk will help underweight kids, frail pregnant women, those suffering from memory lapses and sleeplessness.

* To a glass of carrot juice add 1 tsp of gooseberry (Amla) juice and 1 tbsp of honey and have it once a day regularly. This improves your immunity or the resistance power against diseases, helps with chronic cold and gives a glowing complexion sans blemishes and wrinkles.

* And as explained before, nibbling a raw carrot regular promotes better eye health.

* Eating raw carrots or in the form of salads and the like will also help those who have the problem of constipation.


Contributed by Smitha

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  1. Dr Aravind3:24 PM

    One cup of chopped carrots supplies 16.9 micrograms of vitamin K, Vitamin K supports the health of your bones as well, which can reduce your risk of fractures, breaks and osteoporosis as you age.

  2. Ragini3:26 PM

    Eating carrots raw or steamed provides the most nutritional value.

  3. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in carrots help with blood sugar regulation, delay the effects of aging, and improve immune function


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