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Why Carrots Should Top Your Shopping List

By Sandy Schroeder

We know brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as red bell peppers and oranges are full of healthy antioxidants that fight heart disease, protect eyesight and strengthen bones, but you may be surprised to find carrots right at the top of the list.

Check their credentials and then start adding them wherever you can. Shred carrots and mix them into meatloaf, soups, casseroles and salads. Add them to roasted plates of vegetables along with zucchini, little potatoes, broccoli and asparagus, or bake them with poultry and beef. Tuck carrot and celery sticks into lunches and serve them with healthy dips for snacks. Easy Health Options lists some of their benefits.

Fight stroke and heart disease – Texas A&M University researchers recommend a daily glass of carrot juice to build the body’s cardiovascular defenses. 

Guard against cancer – Researchers have found carrots In carrot juice, snacks and cooking help to fight breast, lung and ovarian cancer.

Protect eyesight – Good vision benefits from carrots, asparagus, sweet potatoes and yams. One cup of raw sliced carrots provides 100 percent of the daily requirement for Vitamin A. Carrots also help fight diabetic damage to blood vessels in the eyes.

Fight inflammation – Asthma, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease are linked to inflammation, but carrot extract fights back with a strength comparable to aspirin.

Strengthen the liver – Carrot extract counters the impact of toxins in the liver.

Fight Alzheimer’s and dementia – Researchers have found carrots counter the toxic effects of lead and cadmium and may improve memory.

More Things to Know about Carrots

Here are few more ways to make the most of your carrots.

Skip baby carrots – They are not born that way, they are cut from a special variety, or are created to salvage odd shaped carrots, and they are often rinsed in bleach.

Choose organic – As a root vegetable, carrots absorb pesticides and toxins from the soil, and carrot juice can concentrate that effect.

Scrub but don’t peel – Use a sturdy vegetable brush to clean carrots instead of peeling them. There are a lot of nutrients and fiber in the skin.

Multi-colors work, too – Heirloom carrots in purple or yellow are equally healthy.

Keep them fresh – Store carrots wrapped in wet paper towels or plastic in the coldest part of the fridge.

Steam for nutrition – Lightly steamed carrots provide more beta carotene than raw carrots.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brea, Calif.

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