#HealthBytes: From eyesight to weight-loss, here are benefits of carrots
Carrots were not always the crunchy, sweet, orange-colored goodness that you know of today. This root vegetable was first cultivated thousands of years ago and was initially purple, yellow, and white in color with a nutty taste. The orange varieties that are popular today came into being around the 16th century, and they have since been associated with several health benefits.
Carrots are fiber-rich and aid in weight loss
This might come in as a surprise as carrots are not usually associated with weight loss. But in reality, carrots are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers, making them a perfect addition to weight loss diets. This is because fiber-rich foods take a long time to digest, and thus leave you with a feeling of fullness and reduce the overall calorie intake.
Contains beta-carotene that is good for the eyes
Carrots are a powerhouse of beta-carotene, a compound that changes into vitamin A and that is essential for healthy eyes. Beta-carotene also protects the eyes from the sun and lowers the risk of cataracts and other eye problems. Furthermore, yellow carrots contain lutein, a compound that helps in preventing age-related vision loss, one of the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness.
Neutralizes effect of harmful free radicals, reduces risk of cancers
Antioxidants play an important role in fighting the free radicals of the body that are responsible for life-threatening diseases like cancer. Carrots contain carotenoids and anthocyanins: two antioxidants that are known to reduce the risk of several types of cancers, including prostate and stomach cancers. It is also believed that women with high levels of carotenoids have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Reduces the cholesterol levels and improves heart health
High levels of LDL and total cholesterol are linked with several heart diseases. The high fiber content of carrots helps in reducing LDL cholesterol that is accumulated in the walls of arteries and blood vessels. In addition to this, the potassium present in carrots also enhances the blood flow circulation in the blood vessels, thus bringing down elevated blood pressure.