Is Vitamin A In Carrots

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Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables in the world. They are low in calories, high in vitamin A and potassium, and contain a lot of fiber, which makes them an excellent choice for people looking to lose weight.

But what does that mean for you? What does it mean when you eat carrots? What happens inside your body when you eat these crunchy orange treats?

In this blog post, we’ll explore how much vitamin A is in carrots and how it impacts your health.

Is Vitamin A In Carrots

What Are Carrots?
Carrots are root vegetables that were first grown in Afghanistan around 900 AD. Orange may be their best-known color, but they also come in other hues, including purple, yellow, red, and white. Early carrots were purple or yellow. Orange carrots were developed in Central Europe around the 15th or 16th century.

This popular and versatile veggie may taste slightly different depending on the color, size, and where it’s grown. The sugar in carrots gives them a slightly sweet flavor, but they also can taste earthy or bitter.

Carrot Nutrition
One serving of carrots is a half cup. One serving has:

25 calories
6 grams of carbohydrates
2 grams of fiber
3 grams of sugar
0.5 grams of protein
Carrots are a great source of important vitamins and minerals. A half-cup can give you up to:

73% of your daily requirement of vitamin A
9% of your daily vitamin K
8% of your daily potassium and fiber
5% of your daily vitamin C
2% of your daily calcium and iron

Health Benefits of Carrots
Carrots have a wealth of antioxidants and offer many health benefits. Here are the highlights:

They’re good for your eyes. This is probably the best-known carrot superpower. They’re rich in beta-carotene, a compound your body changes into vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes healthy. And beta-carotene helps protect your eyes from the sun and lowers your chances of cataracts and other eye problems.

Yellow carrots have lutein, which is also good for your eyes. Studies have found that it can help with or prevent age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S.

They can lower your risk of cancer. Antioxidants have been proven to fight off harmful free radicals in your body, and that can make you less likely to have cancer. The two main types of antioxidants in carrots are carotenoids and anthocyanins. Carotenoids give carrots their orange and yellow colors, while anthocyanins are responsible for red and purple coloring.

They help your heart. First, all those antioxidants are also good for your heart. Second, the potassium in carrots can help keep your blood pressure in check. And third, they have fiber, which can help you stay at a healthy weight and lower your chances of heart disease.

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Red carrots also have lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease.

They boost your immune system. The vitamin C in carrots helps your body build antibodies that defend your immune system. Vitamin C also helps your body take in and use iron and prevent infections.

They can help with constipation. If you’re having trouble going to the bathroom, try munching on some raw carrots. With their high fiber content, they can help ease constipation and keep you regular.

They can help control diabetes. People with diabetes are advised to load up on non-starchy vegetables, including carrots. The fiber in carrots can help keep blood sugar levels under control. And they’re loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, which there’s evidence to suggest can lower your diabetes risk.

They can strengthen your bones. Carrots have calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health.

Risks of Carrots
If you eat too much beta-carotene, it can make your skin turn an orange-yellow color. This condition is called carotenemia. It’s relatively harmless and usually can be treated. But in extreme cases, it can keep vitamin A from doing its job and affect your vision, bones, skin, metabolism, or immune system.

Too much beta-carotene also may cause problems for people who can’t change it to vitamin A, such as people who have hypothyroidism.

For some people, eating carrots can make their mouths itch. That’s something called oral allergy syndrome. Your body reacts to the proteins in certain fruits and vegetables as if they were pollens you’re allergic to. It doesn’t tend to happen if the carrots are cooked.

How to Prepare and Store Carrots
Carrots can be part of many popular diets, like vegan, keto, paleo, and more.

To prepare them, wash them thoroughly in water and scrub off any dirt. You can peel them with a vegetable peeler or knife if you’d like, but you don’t have to.

From there, you might slice them into sticks and eat them with hummus or a yogurt-based dip. If you don’t like crunchy carrots, you can steam, boil, or roast them and serve them as a side dish. They also work well in savory dishes like beef stew, chicken pot pie, or stir-fry.

Fresh, whole carrots will keep for several weeks in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. If the leafy green tops are still attached, trim those first. Then store them in a plastic bag with holes in it.

eating raw carrots

The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food.

It is crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious. Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants (1Trusted Source).

They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.

What’s more, their carotene antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.

Carrots are found in many colors, including yellow, white, orange, red, and purple.

Orange carrots get their bright color from beta carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A.

This article tells you everything you need to know about carrots.

Nutrition facts

Carrots’ water content ranges from 86–95%, and the edible portion consists of around 10% carbs (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

Carrots contain very little fat and protein (3Trusted Source).

The nutrition facts for two small-to-medium raw carrots (100 grams) are:

  • Calories: 41
  • Water: 88%
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 9.6 grams
  • Sugar: 4.7 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Carbs

Carrots are mainly composed of water and carbs.

The carbs consist of starch and sugars, such as sucrose and glucose (1Trusted Source).

They are also a relatively good source of fiber, with one medium-sized carrot (61 grams) providing 2 grams.

Carrots often rank low on the glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar after a meal.

Their GI ranges from 16–60 — lowest for raw carrots, a little higher for cooked ones, and highest for puréed (4, 5Trusted Source).

Eating low-glycemic foods is linked to numerous health benefits and considered particularly beneficial for people with diabetes (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

Fiber

Pectin is the main form of soluble fiber in carrots (8).

Soluble fibers can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down your digestion of sugar and starch.

They can also feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, which may lead to improved health and decreased risk of disease.

What’s more, certain soluble fibers can impair the absorption of cholesterol from your digestive tract, lowering blood cholesterol.

The main insoluble fibers in carrots are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Insoluble fibers may reduce your risk of constipation and promote regular bowel movements.

SUMMARY

Carrots are about 10% carbs, consisting of starch, fiber, and simple sugars. They are extremely low in fat and protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Carrots are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially biotin, potassium, and vitamins A (from beta carotene), K1 (phylloquinone), and B6.

  • Vitamin A: Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. This nutrient promotes good vision and is important for growth, development, and immune function (15Trusted Source).
  • Biotin: A B vitamin formerly known as vitamin H, biotin plays an important role in fat and protein metabolism (16Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin K1: Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is important for blood coagulation and can promote bone health (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
  • Potassium: An essential mineral, potassium is important for blood pressure control.
  • Vitamin B6: A group of related vitamins, B6 is involved in the conversion of food into energy.

SUMMARY

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. They are also a good source of several B vitamins, as well as vitamin K and potassium.

Other plant compounds

Carrots offer many plant compounds, including carotenoids.

These are substances with powerful antioxidant activity that have been linked to improved immune function and reduced risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, various degenerative ailments, and certain types of cancer (1Trusted Source).

Beta carotene, the main carotene in carrots, can be converted into vitamin A in your body.

However, this conversion process may vary by individual. Eating fat with carrots can help you absorb more of the beta carotene (19Trusted Source).

The main plant compounds in carrots are:

  • Beta carotene: Orange carrots are very high in beta carotene. The absorption is better (up to 6.5-fold) if the carrots are cooked.
  • Alpha-carotene: An antioxidant that, like beta carotene, is partly converted into vitamin A in your body.
  • Lutein: One of the most common antioxidants in carrots, lutein is predominantly found in yellow and orange carrots and is important for eye health (23Trusted Source).
  • Lycopene: A bright red antioxidant found in many red fruits and vegetables, including red and purple carrots, lycopene may decrease your risk of cancer and heart disease (24Trusted Source).
  • Polyacetylenes: Recent research has identified bioactive compounds in carrots that may help protect against leukemia and other cancers.
  • Anthocyanins: These are powerful antioxidants found in dark-colored carrots.

SUMMARY

Carrots are a great source of many plant compounds, especially carotenoids, such as beta carotene and lutein.

Health benefits of carrots

Much of the research on carrots has focused on carotenoids.

Reduced risk of cancer

Diets rich in carotenoids may help protect against several types of cancer.

This includes prostate, colon, and stomach cancers.

Women with high circulating levels of carotenoids may also have a reduced risk of breast cancer (30Trusted Source).

Dated research suggested that carotenoids could protect against lung cancer, but newer studies have not identified a correlation.

Lower blood cholesterol

High blood cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart disease.

Intake of carrots has been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

Weight loss

As a low-calorie food, carrots can increase fullness and decrease calorie intake in subsequent meals (33Trusted Source).

For this reason, they may be a useful addition to an effective weight loss diet.

Eye health

Individuals with low vitamin A levels are more likely to experience night blindness, a condition that may diminish by eating carrots or other foods rich in vitamin A or carotenoids.

Carotenoids may also cut your risk of age-related macular degeneration.

SUMMARY

Eating carrots is linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as improved eye health. Additionally, this vegetable may be a valuable component of an effective weight loss diet.

Organic vs. conventionally grown carrots

Organic farming uses natural methods for growing the crop.

Studies comparing organic and conventionally grown carrots did not find any difference in the amount of carotenoids or antioxidant content and quality.

However, conventionally grown carrots contain pesticide residues. The long-term health effects of low-grade pesticide intake are unclear, but some scientists have voiced concerns (43Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

While no evidence suggests that organic carrots are more nutritious than conventionally grown ones, organic varieties are less likely to harbor pesticides.

Baby carrots

Baby carrots are an increasingly popular snack food.

Two kinds of carrots are called baby carrots, which can be misleading.

One the one hand, there are whole carrots harvested while still small.

On the other hand, there are baby-cut carrots, which are pieces from larger carrots that have been machine-cut into the preferred size, then peeled, polished, and sometimes washed in small amounts of chlorine before packing.

There’s very little difference in nutrients between regular and baby carrots, and they should have the same health effects.

SUMMARY

Baby carrots are whole carrots harvested before they grow large, while baby-cut carrots are pieces from larger carrots that have been machine-cut, peeled, polished, and washed before packing.

Individual concerns

Carrots are generally considered safe to eat but may have adverse effects in some people.

Additionally, eating too much carotene can cause your skin to become a little yellow or orange, but this is harmless.

Allergy

According to one study, carrots can cause pollen-related allergic reactions in up to 25% of food-allergic individuals (44Trusted Source).

Carrot allergy is an example of cross-reactivity in which the proteins in certain fruits or vegetables cause an allergic reaction because of their similarity to the proteins found in certain types of pollen.

If you are sensitive to birch pollen or mugwort pollen, you might react to carrots.

This can cause your mouth to tingle or itch. In some people, it may trigger swelling of the throat or a severe allergic shock (anaphylaxis).

Contamination

Carrots grown in contaminated soil or exposed to contaminated water may harbor larger amounts of heavy metals, which can affect their safety and quality (48Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Carrots may cause reactions in people allergic to pollen. Additionally, carrots grown in contaminated soils may contain higher amounts of heavy metals, affecting their safety and quality.

The bottom line

Carrots are the perfect snack — crunchy, full of nutrients, low in calories, and sweet.

They’re associated with heart and eye health, improved digestion, and even weight loss.

This root vegetable comes in several colors, sizes, and shapes, all of which are great additions to a healthy diet.

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