Carrots are a popular and versatile veggie that we all love to dip in hummus or roast as a side dish. Plus, they’re full of benefits thanks to vitamins and antioxidants that not only strengthen our eyes, but can help nix wrinkles, banish bad breath, and protect our hearts!
We’ve all seen carrots in many different forms at the store. You might prefer the pre-shredded kind, baby carrots, regular whole carrots, or even the purple variety. Whichever way you go, the delicious veggie can help boost a lot more than your eye health.
If you assume stocking up on pricey anti-aging beauty products or supplements are the only way to turn back the clock, think again. “For sure, we’d all like to pop a harmless pill or two to stay healthy and look great,” Susan McQuillan MS, RDN, jokes in Psychology Today. However, she offers a better way to age-proof our skin: Eating “a carrot a day to keep the wrinkles away.” The veggie contains vitamin A (or beta carotene), which protects skin cells against any damage and premature skin aging (including wrinkles) over time.
She adds that other important vitamins in carrots, like C and E, are rich in antioxidants that protect our skin against harmful sun exposure. They also help produce collagen — a protein that promotes skin’s elasticity and firmness.
As tempting as it is to snack on candy, chips, or cookies throughout the day, we all know they’re not the best for us. They might taste great, but they can increase our cholesterol levels and eventually lead to poor heart health. Thankfully, carrots are a guilt-free alternative treat to curb cravings, whether you eat them raw or cook them to bring out the natural sweetness.
According to the experts at Cleveland Clinic, a half a cup of raw carrots offers 320 mg. of potassium. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume about 4,700 mg. of potassium a day. This mineral helps keep our blood pressure in check by flushing out the excess sodium in our bodies when we urinate and reducing the tension within the blood vessels. Over time, maintaining a stable blood pressure decreases our chances of developing heart disease and stroke. Regularly adding carrots into our diet is a perfect way to ensure that we’re getting that recommended daily intake!
Carrots can also act as a natural cure for bad breath. The American Dental Association notes that crunchy foods such as carrots and apples require a lot of chewing. This causes us to produce more saliva — which helps to clean our mouth frequently and keep it moisturized. Eating salty foods like fries and pretzels, on the other hand, can cause dry mouth and eventually bad breath. So ditching those less healthy snacks for this vibrant veggie can keep our breath smelling fresh.
These health benefits of carrots give us more amazing reasons to pick up a bag or two during our next trip down the produce aisle!