Nutrients in carrots

As a child, you may have been told that eating too many carrots will make your skin turn yellow-orange. While the skin won’t turn as orange as a crayon, this is not a myth; an “overdose” of beta-carotene (which is abundant in just one carrot) can give the skin a yellowish-orangish tint. It’s not a permanent discoloration and the cessation of eating carrots will reverse the effects. Regardless of this crazy little happenstance, carrots are a great nutritional choice. The beta-carotene is just one good thing about them. This vegetable has a crispy texture and can be eaten in a variety of ways: raw, by themselves, in ranch dip, in salads, cooked, sautéed, or in soups; carrots also taste great in homemade fresh carrot juice! We typically think of orange carrots, but there are also yellow, white, purple, and red varieties. Read on to learn about the nutrients available in carrots.

Carrots, like all vegetables, are very nutritious. The characteristic orange color comes from the beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A, present in carrots, and other health benefits are offered by beta-carotene is well. Carrots are low in calories, about 50 calories per cup of slices; they have no fat, cholesterol, and very little sodium, and plenty of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin K, vitamin C, B vitamins, fiber, potassium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, magnesium, biotin, folate, and some phytonutrients are in carrots.

Beta-carotene: As mentioned above, beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. When beta-carotene enters the body, it goes through a process and is converted into vitamin A. After all this is said and done, carrots ultimately contain over 400% of the daily value for vitamin A. The beta-carotene also gives carrots their yellow/orange color. Vitamin A is needed for proper vision, and to help maintain healthy teeth, tissues, mucous membranes, and the skin.

Vitamin K: Vitamin K is needed in the body to help clot the blood. Blood clotting is necessary so when a person gets a cut or other injury, he or she doesn’t bleed excessively.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an immune system booster; in addition, it helps promote wound healing and assists in the synthesis of collagen, which is a protein that is the main component of connective tissue in the body for the skin, tissues, ligaments, and tendons.

B vitamins: The B vitamins present in carrots include B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B7 (biotin). All of the B vitamins play a major role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats, changing them into energy that the body can use.

Fiber: Fiber is necessary for the health of the digestive tract. It keeps the bowel movements regular, helping to prevent constipation. In addition, fiber helps prevent certain diseases, such as colon cancer and diverticulitis.

Potassium: Potassium acts as an electrolyte and a mineral in the body; without it, the body could not fully function. As an electrolyte, it performs some very important functions. It helps regulate heart function, the nervous system, smooth muscle contractions, and fluid balance in the body.

Manganese: Manganese is a trace mineral, meaning the body only needs it in very small amounts. It plays a role in many enzymatic functions in the body.

Molybdenum: In the body, molybdenum acts as a cofactor for many enzymes.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body, next to calcium. With calcium, phosphorus helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Magnesium: Magnesium is another one of the electrolytes in the body. And once again, the heart, muscles, and nerves would be non-functioning without it. It also helps the bones and teeth stay strong. Additionally, magnesium helps activate certain enzymes, contributes to energy production, and keeps levels of calcium in check.

Folate: Folate is considered one of the B vitamins; it is water-soluble. It helps the body break down, use, and create new proteins. It also helps produce new red blood cells and DNA.

Phytonutrients: Phytonutrients are antioxidants, meaning they fight off damaging free radicals that can harm cells in the body, causing disease and other conditions.

Last updated on Dec 11th, 2010 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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