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The Nutritional Food Value of Carrots

Nov 25, 2009

The nutritional food value of carrots changes depending on whether you serve them cooked or raw. While raw carrots provide you with many of the same antioxidants found in cooked carrots, there is one major difference. Studies have found that cooked carrots actually contain more of the antioxidants than raw carrots do. This is because cooking carrots releases these antioxidants. However, it's important to remember that carrots in any regard are known to contain powerful antioxidants and, in many cases, raw carrots are given to young children as a substitute for snacks that are high in sugar. They can also be used in your diet as a convenient snack that can be cleaned and eaten almost immediately. So while cooking carrots may be slightly better for you, the convenience of raw carrots is what makes them a great addition to your diet.

Vitamins

Regardless of how you eat carrots, they provide your body with many of the essential vitamins and nutrients that are necessary for your body to function properly. Here are some of the key vitamins and nutrients that come from raw carrots:

  • Vitamin A (almost 700 percent of the daily value your body requires in a single serving!)
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B3
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium
  • Folate

The Health Benefits of Eating Carrots

Because of all the vitamins and nutrients contained in carrots, your body will benefit from eating more of them. For starters, carrots contain pro-vitamin A carotenes, and carrots are the greatest vegetable source of them. The powerful antioxidants found in carrots help protect your body from cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer, and they're also great for helping your vision due to the high levels of beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A within your body). As a result of the increased levels of vitamin A, carrots can also help prevent postmenopausal breast cancer and also protects your body from other forms of cancer in the bladder, colon, larynx and prostate. They can even cut your risk of lung cancer by up to 50 percent.

Aside from doing all this, carrots help in some of the body's basic functions, too. For instance, they help to regulate the blood sugar in your body. They also help those who may be deficient in vitamin A because of the carcinogens found in cigarettes. Overall, carrots provide your body with the necessary amount of vitamin A to function fully.

Adding Carrots to Your Diet

Just one carrot every day could help to keep you healthier than ever before. When purchasing carrots, you should look for carrots that are firm and bright orange. These are guaranteed to contain all the vitamins and nutrients you'll need to get the biggest benefits from eating them. Carrots also typically stay fresh for much longer than other vegetables. There are also a variety of ways to prepare and serve them.

Though you should look for healthy dips, carrots may a great addition to any dip platter and also work well within a salad. Try adding more carrots to your diet to increase the amount of vitamin A you have in your body. It's a simple addition that could help you live longer.

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