You’ve probably noticed that this season has been filled with squash and pumpkin recipes. It’s fantastic to cook with seasonal ingredients, because it’s one of the safest and surest ways to know that your product hasn’t been sprayed to protect it, then processed to transport it. But squash isn’t the only seasonal all-star of the colder months. Carrots are versatile root vegetables that are packed with flavor, color, crunch, and eight fantastic health benefits of carrots.
1. Rich in carotene
The benefits of carrots are packed with alpha and beta-carotene, as are many squashes. Carotene is great for improving the pigment and overall tone of skin, so if you are prone to dull or uneven skin tones, try making a carrot juice (or at least incorporate a big dose of carrots in your next green juice).
2. Full of crunch
In Mario Batali’s cookbook, he writes about how the word “crispy” instantly makes customers more likely to order the dish. We tend to gravitate toward foods that have a crunch (or crispy) effect because it gives us something to chew and makes us truly feel the act of eating. Carrots are one of the crunchiest vegetables out there, and they’re perfect for snacking because they are healthy as can be! They will make you feel more satisfied, full, and less likely to snack on less healthy foods.
3. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
According to a 10-year study, carrots came out on top of the vegetable list when it came to fighting cardiovascular disease. Vegetables that were orange or yellow in color were the top performers in the study that looked at the risk of developing cardiovascular disease when consuming 4 different groups of vegetables. Carrots are as heart-healthy as any veggie gets!
4. Fight age-related diseases
The benefits of carrots are high in vitamin K, which appears to have a preventative effect when it comes to age-related illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Studies also show that vitamin K can help fight blood clots. If you’re deficient in this nutrient, try incorporating carrots into your soups, salads, and even appetizers—they’re perfect for dipping into your favorite side.
5. Boost immune system function
In addition to Vitamin K, carrots are also full of Vitamin C, which is essential for tissue production and helps strengthen your bones, teeth, and muscles. Vitamin C is also helpful for restoring muscles back to health, so if you’ve had a challenging workout then make sure to incorporate this vitamin into your diet that day (and the following day, when your muscles may really be feeling it). Because they’re so packed with Vitamin C, carrots are also great for your immune system, keeping your body healthy and capable of fighting off infections
6. Improve skin and hair health
Because these orange powerhouses contain a great supply of both Vitamin C and Vitamin A, they’re fantastic for maintaining healthy skin and hair. According to experts, a deficiency in these vitamins can lead to damaged or dry hair, an unhealthy scalp, or even hair loss. The vitamins in benefits of carrots can help your system store what it needs to create healthy hair follicles, along with brightened, nourished skin.