Carrot a useful vegetables that prevents Heart Diseases and Cancer
April 24, 2013
By Mr. Allah Dad
The carrot can trace its ancestry back thousands of years, originally having been cultivated in central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. These original carrots looked different from those that we are accustomed to today, featuring deep purple coloring, ranging from lavender to deep eggplant. This coloration was a reflection of the anthocyanin phytonutrient pigments these carrots had. In pre-Hellenic times, a yellow-rooted carrot variety appeared in Afghanistan and was further cultivated and developed into an earlier version of the carrot we known today. Both types of carrots spread throughout the Mediterranean region and were adopted by the ancient Greeks and Romans for their medicinal use.
It seems that carrots did not become a popular vegetable in Europe until the Renaissance. This was probably related to the fact that the early varieties had a tough and fibrous texture. Centuries later, beginning in the 17th century, agriculturists in Europe started cultivating different varieties of carrots, developing an orange-colored carrot that had a more pleasing texture than its predecessor. Europeans favored the growing of this one over the purple variety, which was and still is widely grown in other areas of the world, including southern Asia and North Africa. Carrots were subsequently introduced into the North American colonies. Owing to its heightened popularity, in the early 1800s, the carrot became the first vegetable to be canned. Today, the United States, France, England, Poland, China and Japan are among the largest producers of carrots.
Nutritional Value of Carrot:
Nutrition Facts and Information about Carrot: Carrot is a good source of minerals such as potassium, andmanganese. It also contains some amount of sodium, fluoride, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, and calcium.
Vitamin Content: Carrot is an excellent source of beta carotene (which is converted into Vitamin A by the body). It also contains large amount of Vitamin K. Further carrotcontains traces of Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), and Vitamin B (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate,Niacin).
Calorific Content of Carrot: 100g of carrot contains about 43 to 48 calories.
he health benefits of carrot include reduced cholesterol, prevention from heart attacks, warding off certain cancers and many others. Most of the benefits of carrot can be attributed to its beta carotene and fiber content. This root, which has a scientific name of Daucus Carota, is a good source of antioxidant agents as well. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium.
Both adults and children like carrots because of its crunchy texture and sweet taste. Even though the color of original carrot is orange it grows in other colors including white, yellow, red or purple.
The health benefits of carrot include the following:
• Prevent heart diseases: In a study meant to reveal therapeutic value of carrots researchers at the Wolfson Gastrointestinal Laboratory in Edinburgh, Scotland revealed that cholesterol level reduces by 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots a day is taken for thee weeks. High cholesterol is a major factor for heart disease. Since regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol level it is good to prevent heart related problems. A group of Swedish scientists discovered that root vegetables can reduce the chances of having a heart attack. A study conducted at the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Italy found that those who ate more carrots had one third the risk of heart attack as compared with those who ate fewer carrots.
• Better Vision
Beta-carotene helps to protect vision, especially night vision. After beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the liver, it travels to the retina where it is transformed into rhodopsin, a purple pigment that is necessary for night-vision. Plus beta-carotene’s powerful antioxidant actions help provide protection against macular degeneration and the development of senile cataracts, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
• Prevent cancer: Beta-carotene consumption has been linked to reduced risk of several cancers, notably lung cancer. British researchers discovered that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams a day reduced lung cancer risk more than 40 percent. The average carrot contains about three milligrams of Beta-carotene. In a study, researchers found that eating fiber rich carrots reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 24 percent. Another study shows that women who ate raw carrots were five to eight times less likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not eat carrots.
• Macular degeneration: This is a common eye disease of elderly. It impairs the macula. Researches found that people who ate the most Beta-carotene had a forty percent lower risk of macular degeneration compared with those who consumed the least.
• Improves eyesight: Deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light. Since carrot is rich in vitamin A it is good for improving eyesight.
• Stroke: A carrot a day reduces stroke risk by 68 percent. Many studies have strengthened the “carrot effect” on brain. Studies conducted on stroke patients revealed that those with highest levels of Beta carotene have the best survival rate.
• Diabetes: Carrot is good for blood sugar regulation because of the presence of carotenoids in carrot. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar.
Health Benefits of Carrot:
1. Carrot can enhance the quality of breast milk.
2. Carrot can improve the appearance of the skin, hair and nails.
3. When taken daily it can lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
4. Raw contain beta-carotene, a strong antioxidant that can prevent cancer.
5. Carrot juice when taken everyday prevent bodily infections and is claimed to be valuable for the adrenal glands (the small endocrine glands situated above the kidneys).
6. Carrot can help improve eyesight.
7. Carrot can help increase menstrual flow.
8. Carrots can regulate blood sugar.
9. Carrot can promote colon health, because carrot is rich in fiber.
Carrot is also helpful in the following cases: Obesity, Poisoning of the blood, Gum disease, Insomnia, Inflamed Kidneys, Liver, Gallbladder, Alzheimer’s disease, Colitis, Ulcer Painful urination
• Boosting immunity (especially among older people).
• Reducing photosensitivity (beta-carotene protects the skin from sun damage).
• Improving symptoms of HIV.
• Easing alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
• Helping to heal minor wounds and injuries.
• Reducing the risk of heart disease.
• Reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
• Cleansing the liver, and when consumed regularly, can help the liver excrete fats and bile.
• Fighting bronchitis.
• Fighting infection (vitamin A keeps cell membranes healthy, making them stronger against disease-causing microorganisms)
• Improving muscle, flesh, and skin health.
• Helping fight aneamia.
• Reducing acne. >
• Improving eye health.
• Carrot is an important ingredient of a healthy diet, as it offers a complete nutrition. It provides all the nutrients essential for the normal growth of the body. Carrot is rich in beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant. It is converted into vitamin A, which is beneficial for healthy eyes. Deficiency of vitamin A leads to poor vision.
Carrot, if taken in a raw form, is believed to possess antiseptic properties. Fresh carrot juice offers a relief from fatigue and stress and makes the individual feel energized. Carrot juice is known to prevent several infections. It is also beneficial for the adrenal glands. Carrot soup is a very popular home remedy for diarrhea.
Carrot is found to be playing an outstanding role in anti-cancer effect. It is used to treat cancers in different body parts. It is helpful in treating lung cancer by providing the antioxidants such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Carrot is good for the health of stomach and spleen. It is also believed to improve impotence, sexual dysfunction, night blindness and long term cough. It is good for diabetic people, as it controls blood sugar levels. Carrot is also known for strengthening kidneys and eliminating excessive cold and wind in the body.
Potash succinate is a nutrient found in carrot. It is supposed to possess anti hypertensive drug properties and is useful for patients with high blood pressure. Carrot also helps maintain an appropriate level of cholesterol and keeps blood pressure at a desirable level. Carrot is beneficial for the health of hair, skin and bones. It is also useful in body cleansing. It enhances the quality and quantity of breast milk. It can also help increase the menstrual flow.
Carrot is used for treating the inflammation in various body parts. It is one of the best natural remedies to treat cuts and wounds due to different reasons. It is also known for treating some other health problems such as coughing, dandruff and itching.
Carrot juice is great for natural skin care. Given below is a list of carrot juice skin benefits.
• Vitamin A is essential for tissue growth in the body. Carrots contain vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Therefore, with daily intake of carrot juice, one doesn’t need to take vitamin A supplements.
• Vitamin A in carrot is an excellent natural antioxidant. Antioxidants slow down the process of aging by scavenging on free radicals. These free radicals cause many health problems like eczema, dermatitis, wrinkles and even rashes. Thus, vitamin A in carrot juice plays a major role in skin care.
• One of the most important carrot juice benefits for skin, is that it fights sun damage. Carrots contain carotenoids and powerful antioxidants. Carotenoids help to protect, and condition the skin. Antioxidants in carrots increase the skin’s immunity against sun and also help in healing sunburn. Drinking carrot juice in summer will act as a natural sunblock.
• Vitamin C in carrots help in collagen production in the body. Collagen is an essential protein for skin elasticity. Collagen helps to prevent wrinkles and locks the process of aging.
• Lack of potassium can make your skin dry and also cause muscle spasms, which can be prevented by drinking potassium rich carrot juice.
• Carrot juice helps to reduce blemishes. Apply carrot juice regularly on blemishes to see the effect.
• Drinking carrot juice and plenty of water will keep your body and skin well hydrated.
• Carrot is used for the prevention and cure of many skin ailments. So, carrot is used as the main ingredient in many skin products.
• It is a very good alternative medicine for the skin. Regular drinking of carrot juice will keep your skin smooth, soft and supple.
• Carrot juice is also helpful for treating uneven skin tones due to pigmentation.
• Juice of carrots contain essential oils, which help in proper digestion. This helps in eliminating and preventing acne. Thus, carrot juice for acne is one of the best natural acne cures.
• Another known sobriquet for carrot is herbal healer. Carrot juice is beneficial in preventing and curing of scars.
• Carrot has anti-inflammatory property, and helps to revitalize and tone the skin.
Prevention of Strokes
The chances of a person suffering from strokes are reduced by 68% if carrots are included in the daliy diet. As per studies conducted, those with high levels of beta carotenoids in the body have a greater chance of surviving strokes.
Reduces Macular Degeneration
The beta-carotene present in carrots reduce the risk of macular degeneration by 40%. The disease affects the macula and is mostly found in elder/aging people.
By Mr. Allah Dad Khan Agriculture Expert Khyber Pukhtun Khwa Peshawar
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