Carrot juice is not one of the popular juices that most of us have in our fridge. To most of us, juice means ‘from fruit’; but with more and more people becoming interested in superfoods and nutritious eating, vegetable juices are starting to become a little more in-vogue.
And of these juices, carrot juice is one of the more accessible, tasty and highly beneficial. Read on and we’ll examine the health benefits of carrot juice and why it’s a very worthy addition to your diet…
Drinking carrot juice or any vegetable juice is a great idea if you want top fuel your body with nutrients because it will provide the same nutrients but without the large amounts of sugar found in fruits like apples and oranges. This makes it less damaging to your teeth, less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin and actually less fattening too. Whereas apple juice contains 46 calories per 100 grams, carrot juice contains 39 calories.
Carrots contain something called ‘lutein’. This is a carotenoid that is found in the macular (in the eye) and which many people seek out in order to improve their vision and their eye health. Specifically, lutein is generally considered to be a very good ingredient for preventing macular degeneration and supplementation can be effective to this end according to research (1).
What really makes lutein exciting though is more recent research that shows it can increase energy levels by enhancing the efficiency of the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the small ‘energy factories’ that live inside our cells and that allow our bodies to convert glucose into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) as useable energy. The more mitochondria we have, the more energy efficient we become which makes us better at getting more energy from our diet and helps us to burn through fat as well.
One study into the effects of Lutein was recently published in PLoS One (2). In this study, it was shown that rats that were given Lutein would spend more time on their wheels than other rats and burn more fat as a result. The rats were running from their own volition, presumably because they had more energy. When the lutein was combined with milk to aid absorption, the rats ran 10km more than the control group over a period of 5-6 weeks.
Carrot juice also contains B vitamins which are actually also beneficial for improving energy levels. B vitamins once again help us to extract energy from our food and carbs and this means that the same food will go further in terms of our energy levels. At the same time, B vitamins also help to provide the blood with more red blood cells thereby transporting more oxygen around the body when we are taxing our aerobic system.
Carrots are a good source of a range of vitamins and minerals. Beta-carotene and vitamin A both help to improve the immune system while protecting the body from free radicals. Vitamin C also helps to do the same thing and also increases the amount of serotonin in the brain – thus boosting our mood.
All this means carrots can help you to prevent illness and even reduce your chances of cancer for a long, healthy life and youthful looking skin!
On top of this, carrots are also beneficial in numerous other ways. For instance, potassium is useful for stabilizing blood sugar when combined with manganese and magnesium. Likewise, the fiber is great for blood pressure and cholesterol and you also get a good amount of protein in your carrot juice. Vitamin K also helps to strengthen the bones.
When you combine all these benefits, it’s clear to see that carrots are a great choice if you want to enjoy a tasty drink that will help fortify your body against disease and improve your eyesight, bone strength and more! Why not add carrot to a vegetable smoothie and combine that with some other ingredients that are low in sugar and high in all the good stuff?