A popular root vegetable incorporated by many into their regular diets, carrots have many benefits for the human body, including weight management.
But why are carrots great for weight loss, and what else are they good for?
Carrots & Weight Loss
Carrots can be great additions to a healthy diet, and can be good for aiding weight loss due to their low calorie content, their high levels of fiber, and the large amount of water they hold.
They also have appetite suppressing properties, meaning that despite the low amount of calories they possess, you can actually still feel full and satisfied.
This appetite control is facilitated by the high fiber and water levels of carrots.
This is because fiber takes a long time to leave the stomach, which means we feel fuller for longer.
It is for this reason that a fiber rich diet can be incredibly effective for weight loss, weight management, and for maintaining digestive regularity and gut health.
Carrots are also about 88% water, and these kinds of vegetables can be great for keeping us fuller for longer.
Combine with similarly water rich vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers for an enriching, healthy diet that will yield wider benefits.
Low Calorie Content
The low calorie content of carrots makes them both a good addition to any meal – either as a filler ingredient (such as in pasta sauces), or as part of your daily vegetable intake – as well as a nutritious, healthy snack that can be consumed on the go.
A cup of raw carrots only contains around 50 calories, whereas boiled carrots have 54 calories, and canned carrots have around 37 calories.
Vitamin A Content
Vitamin A can be great for weight loss, as the body converts this into useful chemicals called retinoids.
These interact with your cells and tissues, and are widely used in the cosmetic industry thanks to their revitalizing effect on the skin.
Retinoids have also been used to treat psoriasis by reducing inflammation and the amount of skin cells produced, limiting aging of the skin by increasing collagen production, producing pigments that can help alleviate skin conditions (such as melasma), reducing the risk of certain kinds of skin cancers, and reducing the appearance of pseudofolliculitis barbae – a common inflammation that occurs after hair removal.
Vitamin C Content
The vitamin C in carrots can also be greatly beneficial towards weight loss, especially as a source of energy when working out.
One cup of raw carrots contains around 12 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake, and can be a great way of providing yourself with energy and fuel for high intensity cardiovascular exercise.
Other Health Benefits Of Carrots
There are also several key health benefits associated with a carrot-rich diet.
Promoting Healthy Vision
The stereotype of carrots is that they are good for helping you see in the dark, and while there is no substantial proof that your night vision will specifically improve, carrots are good for maintaining healthy vision as a whole.
One large carrot can contain more than 200% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin A, which is great for supporting lung and skin health, as well as protecting against cognitive decline.
Vitamin A is also good for promoting healthy eyesight, along with the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the lenses and the retinas, and help to enhance ocular health.
Balancing Blood Sugar
Carrots contain soluble fiber, which helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and regulate insulin.
It is also good for digestive health, and their low position on the glycemic index helps to provide a slow supply of energy.
Lowering Cancer Risks
The same antioxidants found in carrots have been linked to a reduced risk in several kinds of cancer, including lung cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and leukemia.
A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with a high intake of carotenoid antioxidants had a 21% lower risk of developing lung cancer.
Regulating Blood Pressure
Potassium, a key ingredient in carrots, has been shown to help properly regulate blood pressure.
This is because potassium balances the levels of sodium in the body, and helps to cleanse excess sodium from the blood, which in turn takes pressure off of the heart.
Lowering Heart Disease Risk
A study in the Netherlands investigated the extent to which the color of foods can impact bodily health.
The findings suggested that those consuming plenty of orange vegetables and fruits had a much lower chance of developing heart disease later in life.
Carrots are laden with vitamin C, which is great for improving the immune system and promoting general healing throughout the body.
Vitamin C promotes the production and protection of mucous membranes, which in turn act as lines of defense against germs and harmful bacteria.
The anti-inflammatory compounds found in carrots have also been linked to better brain support, liver health, and bone reinforcement, reducing inflammation at the joints, and helping with energy production.
Best Ways To Consume Carrots
The best ways to consume carrots are raw, boiled, or grilled.
Raw carrots are the lowest in calories and have the most nutritional potential, while boiled and grilled carrots mean that you can maintain many of the beneficial nutrients in the carrots, without losing them during the cooking process.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about the relationship between carrots, weight loss, and their impact on the wider health of the body.
Carrots can be a tasty treat, and are incredibly versatile to cook with, which means it is very easy to implement carrots into your existing diet.
So if you are trying to eat healthier, or to lose a few pounds, then why not up your carrot intake? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!
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