6 Amazing Health Benefits of Carrots
Carrots are one of the easiest vegetables to get your kids (or picky partner) to eat at dinnertime, as they are sweet, tasty and have great texture. This veggie has a nice crunch when raw and a tender, creamy bite when cooked. Carrots also have a whole lot more than delicious flavor to offer us.
Many of us may be aware of carrots' positive impact on our eyesight, but there are many other benefits to this orange veggie. Here, we've narrowed down six of the best health benefits of carrots.
Below, you will find the nutritional information for one medium-sized carrot, per the USDA:
- Calories: 25
- Total Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 42mg
- Total Carbs: 6g
- Dietary Fiber: 2g
- Total Sugars: 3g
- Protein: 1g
- Vitamin A (RAE): 509µg
- Vitamin C: 3.6mg
- Calcium: 20mg
Related: Are Sweet Potatoes Healthy?
1. Eye Health
This is probably the most widely known nutritional benefit of carrots, but it shouldn't be overlooked. This orange veggie gets its color partly from beta-carotene, which is in the carotenoid family of antioxidants. Beta-carotene has been shown to help prevent age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, per a 2020 review in Antioxidants.
Beta-carotene also helps produce vitamin A in the body, which is vital for boosting your body's defense system, especially during cold and flu season. Vitamin A helps our body respond to intruders and regenerate new cells to stay strong, according to a review in the Journal of Functional Foods. Now we know why carrots are an essential ingredient in everyone's go-to sick meal—chicken noodle soup.
3. Heart Health
A 2022 review in the International Journal of Innovative Research in Engineering & Management shows carrots could protect against hypertension and cardiovascular disease—and could even help lower cholesterol. Increasing your vegetable intake, in general, is associated with improved heart health, and yellow-red-orange vegetables (like carrots) all have heart disease-fighting powers, per a 2018 review in Nutrients.
Related: Complete List of Heart-Healthy Foods
4. Skin Health
Whether you're looking for that fresh glow or are wanting a scrape to heal ASAP, carrots can help. According to a 2021 review in Clinical Dermatology, those carotenoids we mentioned earlier—retinol, biotin and lycopene—are skin warriors and are all hidden inside the humble carrot, so keep munching your way to healthier, softer skin.
Nutrients like vitamin A and beta-carotene help fight inflammation, along with the fiber and an antioxidant called luteolin, also found in carrots. Fiber helps prevent chronic disease, keeps you regular and boosts your gut health. Just one medium-sized carrot will get you about 10% of your daily fiber recommendation. According to research in Nature Scientific Reports, luteolin's anti-inflammatory properties could help stave off lung, prostate, stomach and breast cancer. Pretty impressive for a little orange vegetable!
6. Brain Health
Luteolin offers another amazing health benefit—keeping your brain healthy. Carrots not only can help boost your memory but can also help prevent cognitive decline, according to a review in BioFactors. Between boosting your eye, brain and skin health, carrots might just be the new fountain of youth.
The Bottom Line
No food is a miracle cure and scarfing down a bushel of carrots every day is not a guaranteed fix for aging skin and declining eyesight, but this veggie can certainly do some heavy lifting. Eat according to the colors of the rainbow, including trying to incorporate some carrots—or another red, yellow or orange veggie—into your daily diet to get a super-easy and delicious nutrient boost.
Related: Healthy Carrot Side Dish Recipes