Carrots are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. The health benefits of carrots include providing vitamins and antioxidants that guard against disease.
Carrots are also a low-calorie food that is great for people who are eating for weight loss. When people think of carrots, they typically imagine the orange variety. However, carrots come in many different colors, and each color provides its own unique health benefits.
Orange carrots are excellent sources of beta carotene and vitamin A which promotes eye health and aids in bone growth. The vitamin E in orange carrots protects against cellular damage and boosts the immune system. Orange carrots also contain vitamin K which promotes healthy blood clotting and can improve bone health in the elderly.
Eating yellow carrots can help improve lung and heart health due to the xanthophylls they contain. The xanthophylls and lutein in yellow carrots helps prevent eye disease and macular degeneration plus it can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and some cancers. Sweeter than its orange counterparts, the yellow carrot has a mild taste.
Red carrots contain lycopene which helps prevent heart disease and some cancers. Lycopene can also reduce the risk of macular degeneration and helps support healthy skin. This form of carotene may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Red carrots taste very similar to orange carrots. People seem to find the red color of these carrots appealing. Research shows that most people respond more favorably to recipes that contain red carrots when they can see the red color of the carrots.
People can add anthocyanins to their diet by eating purple carrots, blueberries and red grapes. The anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cell damage. Anthocyanins are known to reduce the risk of heart attack making them a wise inclusion in your regular diet.
Due to these nutrients, purple carrots have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Purple carrots also have more beta carotene than orange carrots. Purple carrots are described as having a sweet taste though some varieties may taste somewhat peppery.
White carrots contain phytochemicals that decrease a person’s risk of stroke and cancer. Because white carrots lack the pigment from nutrients in other carrots, the white carrot is considered the type to have the least health benefits. However, white carrots do have the dietary fiber other carrots have which can help prevent colon cancer. White carrots have a mild taste that is described as sweeter than other types of carrots.
Consuming a variety of carrot colors is an excellent way to harness the different nutrients and health benefits. Juicing carrots is a great way to get those nutrients into your diet. They can also be added to salads. Although raw carrots provide the most nutritional benefit, they can also be steamed as a side dish or added to recipes like soups, stir-frys and coleslaw.