Carrots Health Benefits and Heart Health
Carrots are one of the most nutritious vegetables and should be a part of the healthy diet. These deep orange edible roots are great source of beta-carotene. Carrots belong to the family of Apiaceae and come in various colours - white, yellow, red, or purple. Scientifically carrot is called Daucus carota and there are over hundred different varieties of carrots. Orange carrots are the best ones; more orange means more beta-carotene is present in the carrot. Besides carrots are excellent source of – Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Dietary Fiber and Potassium. Adding to these, carrots are also good source of Vitamin B3, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Phosphorous, Magnesium and Folate.
History of carrots goes back to thousands of year. Carrots were first cultivated in central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Later these orange root vegetables used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for their medicinal use. Orange-coloured carrots appeared in the Netherlands in the 17th century and become very popular throughout Europe and America in the early 1800s. Today, the China, Russia, United States, Poland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Italy and Japan are among the largest producers of carrots.
Carrots and Heart Disease
Carrots contain beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a provitamin A which body converts to Vitamin A. Many researches suggest that high-carotenoid diet is good for the heart health. It reduces the risk of heart disease. For keeping the heart healthy we need good amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Carrots contain both the vitamins in good amount. These two are extremely important to keep the heart healthy and prevent heart diseases. Carrots are also very helpful to lose weight and because of this carrots prevent heart diseases. Eating carrots is extremely beneficial to those who are suffering from hypertension. Regular consumption of carrot juice reduces the risk of heart attack. Also, consumption of carrots reduces the blood cholesterol levels and thus prevents heart related problems. For beta-carotene you should always prefer carrots rather than any beta-carotene pills.
Carrots are delicious whether you eat raw or cooked. Good thing is that beta-carotene is not destroyed by cooking. But you must ensure not to overcook carrots to get the maximum nutrients.
Caution: It’s not a good idea to eat carrots excessively. Because excessive consumption of carrots or carotene-rich foods can cause carotoderma. Carotoderma is a condition in which palms or other skin develops a yellow or orange cast. In this scenario, you should reduce or stop the consumption of carrots.