No juicing regimen would be complete without finding a way to add carrots into the mix. Rich in beta carotene, carrots are also packed with vitamins A, B, C and E as well as folate, calcium, iron potassium, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.
What is Beta Carotene?
Beta carotene is a carotenoid, and it is responsible for the deep orange color of carrots. Like all carotenoids, it is a powerful antioxidant that works to reduce the oxidation of healthy molecules in the body and protect them against the damage done by free radicals. Regular consumption of foods, and in this case juices, that are high in antioxidants can help prevent illnesses caused by free radical cell damage as well as reduce the risks of the development of certain cancers and heart disease.
It is converted by the body into vitamin A and while beta carotene is not a necessary nutrient for the body, vitamin A is.
Health Benefits of Carrot Juice
With its nutrient profile, especially beta carotene, drinking carrot juice on a regular basis can have measured health benefits throughout the body. After reading some of the ways that this veggie can have an positive impact on your overall well being, you will want to make sure and try some of the various carrot juice recipes available for those that own a juicer. Below are some of the areas that can gain improvement.
Vitamin A deficiency can be a factor in poor vision, night blindness and drying or scarring seen in certain parts of the eye. Since the body naturally converts beta carotene into Vitamin A that the body can use, an increase of its consumption can help strengthen eye function.
Carrots also contain two other carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are believed to aid in the prevention of macular degeneration in certain individuals.
Skin, Hair & Nails
Nutrients found in carrots can aid in the appearance of the skin, keeping it hydrated, radiant and glowing. Its high antioxidant content can help slow down the signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and dark spots. It can also ease some of the symptoms of eczema. It may also promote nail and hair growth.
For years, carrot juice has been used as a liver cleanser, helping remove toxins and flush out the system. Antioxidants work against free radicals that may be found in the liver improving its overall health.
Eating carrots is a great source of dietary fiber, but juicing them also provides digestive benefits. Regular consumption of carrot juice can help prevent gastric ulcers and can also normalize the functioning of the digestive tract. Up to 12 ounces a day is the normal threshold as consuming more may contribute to digestive upset.
Carrots also contain a phyto-nutrient called falcarinol which also helps in promoting overall intestinal health.
Cancer and Disease Prevention
An overall healthy diet is one of the easiest ways to reduce the risks of long term diseases such as cancer. Taking advantage of this nutrient rich vegetable on a regular basis can go a long way in this area. A diet rich in antioxidants can help prevent the onset of certain diseases caused by free radical cellular damage.
In addition to the major health benefits discussed above, it has been found that daily intake of carrot juice can also be beneficial for relieving menstrual pains and problems, spleen enlargement, jaundice, worms, wounds and burns, nose and throat diseases, kidney diseases, urinary bladder and gall bladder stones, rheumatism and many more.
Which Type of Juicer Should I Get For Carrots?
Luckily, both masticating and centrifugal juicers do a wonderful job of extracting most of the nutrients from carrots. The only thing to keep in mind is that if using a masticating juicer, you will have to cut up them up into smaller pieces so that they will fit into the feed chute. Juicing this vegetable is a fantastic way to get a concentrated and powerful dose of the the goodness that carrots have to offer.
How Much Carrot Juice Should I Drink?
For maximum benefit, 4 to 10 ounces of carrot juice daily, or regularly, can provide significant health benefits.
Drinking too much of the juice can also cause some problems. Because carrots have such high levels of carotenes, consuming large amounts of the juice can lead to a condition called carotenemia. While, not health threatening, it will discolor the skin, especially in areas around the nose and mouth as well as the palms and soles of the feet.
Pure carrot juice also contains high sugar concentrations. Those with diabetes and other conditions where blood sugar levels need to be monitored should use caution and consult with their doctor before starting on any sort of juicing regimen.
Moderation, as with most things in life, is usually the smartest course of action. The power of carrots can be felt all throughout the body, and adding them to any juicing recipe can not only help the overall taste but it can help your overall health.