Evidence suggests that eating more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, can help reduce the risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Carrots are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Here are some ways in which carrots might be healthful.
A variety of dietary carotenoids have been shown to have anti-cancer effects, due to their antioxidant power in reducing free radicals in the body.
Studies have found a possible link between diets rich in carotenoids and a lower risk of prostate cancer, but more evidence is needed to confirm whether the link is causal.
Carrots contain beta-carotene. Past studies have concluded that beta-carotene supplementation may reduce the risk of lung cancer.
A meta-analysis published in 2008 found that people with a high intake of a variety of carotenoids had a 21 percent lower risk of lung cancer, after adjusting for smoking, compared with those who did not.
The same pattern was not true for any individual carotenoid, such as beta-carotenoid. Among smokers, beta-carotene supplementation may increase the risk of lung cancer.
Consuming more beta-carotene may reduce the risk of colon cancer, according to researchers who studied 893 people in Japan.
A 2011 study found that carrot juice extract could kill leukemia cells and inhibit their progression.
Can carrots help you see in the dark? In a way, yes.
Carrots contain vitamin A. A vitamin A deficiency can lead to xerophthalmia, a progressive eye disease that can damage normal vision and result in night blindness, or the inability to see in low light or darkness.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a lack of vitamin A is one of the main preventable causes of blindness in children.
Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States (U.S.), but eating carrots contributes to vitamin A intake and helps prevent a deficiency. So, in a way, carrots do help you see in the dark.
However, most people are unlikely to experience any significant positive changes in their vision from eating carrots, unless they already lack vitamin A.
The antioxidants and phytochemicals in carrots may help regulate blood sugar.
Around a quarter of the carbohydrate in carrots is sugar, but the amount of carbohydrate in carrots is relatively small.
According to Harvard Health, the glycemic index of carrots is 39, meaning the impact on blood sugar is fairly low.
A half-cup serving of chopped carrot contains 1.8 grams (g) of fiber and 205 milligrams (mg) of potassium.
Before the age of 50 years, men need 38 g of fiber a day, and women need 25 g. After this age, women need 21 g per day, and men need 30 g.
Health authorities advise people to consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. The recommended intake of potassium is 4,700 mg.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend consuming a fiber-rich diet and increasing potassium while reducing sodium intake to protect against high bloodpressure and heart disease. Carrots offer a good balance of these nutrients.
Carrots contain vitamin C, an antioxidant. This helps boost the immune system and prevent disease. Vitamin C can help reduce the severity of a cold, and the length of time it lasts.