The Benefits of Carrot Juice
The carrot (Daucus carota L.), is a root vegetable part of the Apiaceae family (1). Carrots have been found to offer many nutritional benefits, whose benefits are diverse and relatively easy to find in other plant derived foods, however the versatility and great flavour of carrots, makes it a reliable option for anybody who wants to improve its health significantly, loading each meal with nutrients. Drinking juice derived from carrots, follows one of the most popular strategies to increase consumption of plant-derived products. It is not surprising that carrot juice has been highlighted as an attractive juice in mainstream fitness magazines and/or programmes. The popularity of vegetable juice (such as carrot juice) and fruit derived juice in the fitness field, is one of the main targets and areas of opportunity which may be able to aid in nutritional deficiencies because they are a good source of diverse nutrients, (such as vitamins and minerals); vitamins and minerals found in carrots and carrot juice, aid in immune system related processes, thus improving treatment of lifestyle derived illnesses; drinking carrot juice or eating plain carrots as well is one of the many strategies to augment the consumption and benefits of carrot juice in everyday meals. Carrot juice is significantly high in beta carotene, which is the main precursor of vitamin A (but posses different biological activity) (1). Precursors of vitamins are called provitamins, thus beta carotene present in carrot juice being part of these bioactive compounds can be converted to vitamin A in the human body (1). Other vitamins present are C, E and K and inorganic compounds such as potassium (2).
Vitamin A or Retinol is the most representative of all the other carrot juice vitamin content, accounting for about 254% of vitamin A RAE daily needs in only one cup of carrot juice (3).
Beta carotene is a chemical compound found in carrot juice, part of the provitamin group, which as aforementioned, can function as a good source of Retinol (3).
Pro-vitamin A found in carrot juice functions are diverse against age-related macular degeneration (4); therefore, it can be said that the benefits of carrot juice have a direct impact into the maintenance of a healthy eyesight.
Several studies have shown that the benefits of pro-vitamin A content found in carrot juice, are not only limited to eyesight related illnesses. Carrot juice, through the physiological functions of vitamin A, may promote better immunity against respiratory tract diseases, potentially due to its well-known immune system mediated actions; immune system related functions observed in vitamin A and provitamin beta carotene found in carrot juice, also generate a defensive barrier against UV radiation, therefore preventing skin premature ageing (4, 5). Drinking carrot juice may be a great way to promote a healthy skin, contributing to the perpetuation of skin as a whole organ and slow down other illnesses such as age-related Macular Degeneration.
Vitamin C (or Ascorbic acid) content in carrot juice, functions as a compelling antioxidant that protects our cells from being damaged by free radicals. Free radicals are chemical compounds which lack the presence of an electron, forcing them to steal it from other structures (such as the cells in human body); these compounds are responsible for the pathogenicity of cancer (6). For this reason, drinking carrot juice offers health benefits which involve a considerable amount of vitamin C, which lowers the risk of skin, lung, breast, colon or rectum, stomach, oral cavity, larynx or pharynx, and oesophageal cancers (6). Ascorbic's acid high content in carrots and carrot juice, also plays a role in the biosynthesis of collagen, which is essential for wound healing, preventing scurvy and improves overall skin health. Relationship between carrot juice and improved function of skin, is precisely related to Ascorbic's acid physiological action to biosynthesise collagen, which is a protein found in many connective tissues, such as the human skin (6). Vitamin C deficiency can be related to a diet poor in fruits and vegetables (such as carrots), which is also a diet poor in nutrients; consumption of any fruit and /or vegetable juice such as carrot juice, benefits by preventing malnutrition (6).
Vitamin K (also known as phylloquinone or menaquinone), can also be found in carrot juice; this is a fat soluble vitamin found in many foods and is involved in blood clotting function and bone metabolism (7). Studies have shown that it may help prevent hip fractures and aids in better bone formation (7). Carrot juice has a considerable amount of this vitamin, which explains why its consumption can often be seen as a rich source of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.
Diets rich in nutrients which offer reliable options to consume plant derived products such as the practicability of juice, may also help to obtain all the necessary compounds to prevent vitamin-related illnesses.
Inorganic compounds (also known as minerals) found in carrots and carrot juice include the presence of potassium, an electrolyte which regulates the quantity of sodium in our bloodstream, regulating the cellular exchange of other electrolytes (such as sodium, chloride, etc.); skin, digestive system, muscle and endothelium cells regulate their day to day function depending on the presence or not of these electrolytes (8).
Carrot juice benefits promote and maintain a healthy weight. Carrot juice contains a considerable amount of phytochemicals and flavonols such as quercetin, which aids in anti inflammatory functions, furthermore counteracting the negative inflammatory effects of obesity which participate in the development of unhealthy cholesterol levels and perpetuation of overweight (9-10).
Proper directions to get the most out of drinking carrot juice are that it has to be rapidly consumed, otherwise carrot juices may lose their vitamin content due to oxidation process that interfere with the maintenance of its original content.
Keep in mind that eating carrots may be a better option to obtain alll the necesarry nutrients and a higher phyotchemical content than purely drinking carrot juice.
Carrots juice recipe
Drink carrot juice, first thing in the morning to promote satiety before eating breakfast; carrot juice can help to fill up the stomach's content and reduce your appetite.
- In a big bowl of water, add a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate and dive 5 carrots in for 10 min to wash them thoroughly.
- Take the carrots out of the water and clean them under running water to get rid of the sodium bicarbonate.
- Cut the ends off the carrots.
- Peel one orange for added sweetness if desired.
- Put all the carrots and the orange into a cold press juicer
Beta-carotene in carrot juice, promotes reduction of abdominal adiposity
As mentioned before, beta-carotene is one of the main phytochemicals and provitamin which can be found in juicing carrots; each cup of carrot juice, has been shown to reduce the accumulation of abdominal body fat. Substantial evidence shows that the accumulation of abdominal visceral fat is detrimental for cardiovascular health since it is the main type of fat which promotes metabolic syndrome and its components such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, glucose and lipid metabolism disorders (11).
In conclusion, carrot juice benefits range from skin protection to cancer prevention, weight loss and a reduction of metabolic syndrome, further making carrots and carrot juice an ideal vegetable (aside to others), for a proper health.
- Garcia-Mas J, Rodriguez-Concepcion M. The carrot genome sequence brings colors out of the dark. Nature Genetics. 2016;48(6):589-590.
- Carrot juice, 100% [Internet]. FoodData Central. [cited 22 August 2020]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/787567/nutrients
- Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin A [Internet]. Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020 [cited 22 August 2020]. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
- Guenegou A. Serum carotenoids, vitamins A and E, and 8 year lung function decline in a general population. Thorax. 2006;61(4):320-326.
- Stahl W, Sies H. Î²-Carotene and other carotenoids in protection from sunlight. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012;96(5):1179S-1184S.
- Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin C [Internet]. Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020 [cited 24 August 2020]. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/#:~:text=C%20%5B19%5D.-,Vitamin%20C%20Intakes%20and%20Status,most%20nonsmoking%20adults%20%5B21%5D.
- Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin K [Internet]. Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020 [cited 24 August 2020]. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminK-HealthProfessional/
- Office of Dietary Supplements - Potassium [Internet]. Ods.od.nih.gov. 2020 [cited 24 August 2020]. Available from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/
- Ross C. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia:Wolters Kluwer, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. In: Polyphenols and Flavonoids; 2014: 502.
- USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods [Internet]. USDA. 2020 [cited 25 August 2020]. Available from: https://data.nal.usda.gov/dataset/usda-database-flavonoid-content-selected-foods-release-32-november-2015/resource/da4475b5-a2a1-48dc-8b3a-a5e2142467f1
- Guerendiain M, Mayneris-Perxachs J, Montes R, LÃ³pez-Belmonte G, MartÃn-Matillas M, Castellote A et al. Relation between plasma antioxidant vitamin levels, adiposity and cardio-metabolic profile in adolescents: Effects of a multidisciplinary obesity programme. Clinical Nutrition. 2017;36(1):209-217.