Eat Your Carrots!

January 16, 2014

Carrots are one of our most popular root vegetables, in fact Americans eat an average of over 10 pounds of fresh carrots each year. Sweet and succulent, they have a higher natural sugar content than any other vegetable except beets. They're a popular snack, we add them to soup, stews and salads, and they're a popular juice ingredient. They're also a very healthy part of anyone's diet! The health benefits are shown in a new 10-year study published in the British Journal of Nutrition from the Netherlands. The study looked at the affect of eating fruits and vegetables on risks of cardiovascular disease. The study found that participants who ate the least carrots had the least amount of risk reduction. Although consistent intake of carrots reduced the risk for all participants, those who who ate at least 25 more grams of carrots per day -- less than a quarter cup -- had a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Surprisingly, the group that ate 50 to or 75 more grams of carrots per day had an amazing 32%  reduction of risk for heart disease! In fact, carrots were found to be the single most risk-reducing fruit or vegetable followed in the 10 year test! These are amounts that are easily added to anyone's daily nutritional regimen and offer great results! And there's more:
  • Improved Vision. Carrots really are good for your eyes! They are a rich source of beta-carotene, which the liver converts into vitamin A. The retina then converts the vitaminA into rhodopsin, which is necessary for night vision. Beta-carotene also protects against macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Cancer Prevention. Different studies have shown that carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have just discovered the presence of  falcarinol and falcarindiol which they feel cause the anticancer properties.
  • Anti-Aging. The beta-carotene that is good for your eyes also protects against cell damage that occurs through regular metabolism and slows the aging of cells.
  • Prevent Heart Disease. Carotenoids, found in carrots, lower risk of heart disease, and as a regular addition to your diet can help reduce cholesterol.
  • Prevent Strokes. A recent large-scale Harvard study that tracked nearly 90,000 women nurses for eight years. They found that eating carrots five times a week or more reduced risk of stroke by 68% compared with eating carrots once a month or less!
So, eat your carrots! They really deserve their popularity!

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