The carrot, native to Asia, is one of the most widely cultivated vegetables in the world. Its orange colour, very famous, is due to the presence of pigments, the carotenoids. This vegetable has a particular richness in beta carotene or provitamin A, which gives it many health benefits.
What Are The Health Benefits?
Many of the benefits of carrots come from the beta-carotene it contains. It is a powerful antioxidant that fights against free radicals responsible for ageing. Thus, it improves the condition of the skin by promoting its regeneration and healing. A few drops of carrot oil in the day cream helps nourish and strengthen the skin against the sun’s rays while giving it a healthy glow thanks to its orange pigments.
When applied to the hair, its nourishing, regenerative and repairing properties are effective against dry and brittle hair but also helps to control the volume of curly and frizzy hair. In addition, its high fibre content plays an essential role in the proper functioning of the digestive system. It acts as well by regulating transit to fight against constipation as an anti-diarrhoea, in the form of soup or mash, thanks to its fibres’ strong water retention power (and in particular, pectin).
These also contribute to a feeling of fullness earlier, which, added to its low-calorie content and anti-cholesterol power, make the carrot a slimming ally. The National Health Nutrition Program recommends consuming at least five servings (of 80 g minimum) of fruits or vegetables every day and making the most of their seasonal variety. A portion represents the volume of a closed fist. Regarding vegetables, it is, for example, one carrot.
What Is Its Nutritional Contribution?
A raw carrot consists mainly of water (88%) and 7.6% carbohydrates (7.6% average). This carbohydrate concentration is higher than those of other vegetables. On the other hand, it contains a low protein content (0.6%) and almost zero lipids. With a fibre concentration of 2.7%, the carrot is above the average vegetable. In addition, it is very rich in vitamins and minerals, mainly provitamin A or beta carotene, vitamins B9, C and E, potassium and calcium.
|Nutrients||Carrot: Content Per 100||Vegetables: Average Of Food|
|Protein||0.8 g||1.7 g|
|Carbohydrates||6.6 g||4.4 g|
|– With Sugar||4.9 g||2.3 g|
|– Of Which Starch||0.8 g||0.9 g|
|Dietary Fibre||2 g||2 g|
|Lipids||0.3 g||0.6 g|
|– of which cholesterol||< 0.1 mg||0.2 mg|
|– of which saturates||0.1 g||0.1 g|
|– of which monounsaturated fatty acids||0.0 g||0.2 g|
|– of which polyunsaturated fatty acids||0.2 g||0.1 g|
|Water||89 g||90 g|
How Many Calories?
The raw carrot provides on average 36.40 kcal per 100 g and the cooked carrot 19 kcal.
How Much To Eat Per Day?
Half a carrot (approximately 35 to 45g) is sufficient to meet the total recommended daily intake of beta-carotene. To be associated with other vegetables, it can be eaten every day in varying forms: in juice, grated, seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice, steamed, in a planter, in julienne or simmered in a cooked dish, without forgetting that it sweet taste allows it also to be used for dessert in a “carrot cake” for example.
In What Form Is It Better For Your Health?
As seen previously, the best is to vary its shapes, according to your tastes. Because all of them have their advantages, the raw carrot has a lower glycemic index (more negligible effect on the blood sugar level) and a higher satiating power due to their high fibre content. It also retains its vitamin C, not degraded by cooking. Cooked carrots, for their part, are more digestible and more interesting for their beta-carotene content released by cooking. The latter, associated with a bit of oil, also becomes more soluble and better assimilated.
What Harm If We Overeat?
High consumption of carrots does not cause any actual harm apart from an orange colouring of the skin by the accumulation of pigments, carotenoids, in the cutaneous microcirculation.
Does The Carrot Constipate?
No, not specifically. As seen previously, the fibres contained in the carrot regulate transit and allow a better consistency of the stool in one direction or the other.