Yes, Carrot is Paleo!
Even Bugs Bunny Loves Carrots!
I always remember how Bugs Bunny munches on carrot on the Looney Tunes cartoons; one of the reasons why I always ask my mom for a carrot when I was still a child! Though rabbits mainly eat on greens in real life, carrot and other root vegetables are not the ideal food for them. But it doesn’t mean carrot is bad for people like us. In fact, carrot has a lot to offer.
Brief Overview of Carrot
Carrot is one of the most popular root vegetable that belongs to the Umbelliferae family. It is related to parsnips, fennel, cumin and dill. Its color is usually bright orange but other varieties may be purple, black, red, white and yellow. Carrot has a crisp texture and a sweet taste. The most edible part of a carrot is the taproot but the greens are beneficial for salads too. It can either be consumed raw or cooked.
Native to Europe and South western Asia, carrot is widely used in many cuisines. It is commonly incorporated in salads and other main dishes.
Carrot as a root vegetable consists of fiber, a fair amount of carbohydrates and much less protein and fat. It is rich in vitamin A, B6, C and K. Carrot is also has significant amounts of calcium, managanese, vitamin B1, panthothenic acid, potassium, phosphorus, folate, copper and Vitamin E .
What gives carrot its orange color is the antioxidant beta carotene which our body converts to become vitamin A. Beta carotene was actually named after carrot. Other antioxidants present in carrot are lutein, anthocyanins and hydrocinammic acids. All these antioxidants gave outstanding antioxidant benefits.
What’s Beneficial about Carrot?
As mentioned above, carrot is perhaps best known for its rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient beta-carotene. Together with all the other phytonutrients it contains, this delicious root vegetable is best when it comes to antioxidant, cardiovascular and anti-cancer benefits.
According to a study from the Netherlands, carrot intake lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This is because of the high beta carotene content of carrot. Carrot is also good in lowering levels of blood cholesterol which in the long run can also prevent having a heart attack.
The vitamin K in carrot can help in regulating blood pressure, relaxing the blood vessels and arteries therefore, increasing the flow and circulation of blood. Coumarin found in carrots has been linked to minimizing hypertension thus promoting heart health.
Carrot contains a lot of antioxidants including vitamin C and carotenoid which are important in fighting oxidative stress in the body. These also have antibacterial properties which is ideal in boosting the immune system. Polyacetylenes are phytonutrients made from metabolism of fatty acids. They are also present in carrots and have been found to help protect the cardiovascular system
Aside from the cardiovascular protection offered by polyacetylenes, they also help inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells and support digestive tract and colon. Consumption of food rich in beta carotene has been associated in reduced risk of lung cancer. Fiber together with polyacetylenes help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Carrot is indeed good for the eyes. This exceptional benefit is brought by beta carotene. Again, beta carotene is converted by the body to become vitamin A. Vitamin A is later on transformed in the retina to rhodopsin, a purple pigment that is necessary for night vision. Beta carotene also helps protect the eyes against macular degeneration.
Carrots have significant amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber is one of the most important elements in maintaining good digestive health by adding bulk to stool, helping it pass through the digestive tract smoothly. It also helps stimulate peristaltic motion and secretion of gastric juice which can prevent constipation and other digestive problems.
Blood Sugar Level
Carotenoids are good for regulating blood sugar. It inversely affects insulin resistance and therefore lower blood sugar. They also help control the amount of insulin and glucose being metabolized by the body. This is one of the reasons why carrot can be a staple for people who are suffering from diabetes.
Other Medicinal Benefits
Carrot is one of the foods that have been used to treat maladies such as digestive problems, tonsillitis and constipation. It was also used as remedy for liver conditions. The oil from the carrot can be applied to dry skin to make it look softer, smoother and firmer.
What Experts Say About Carrot
Something I’ve found that simplifies the process a bit is weighing things like yams, sweet potatoes and carrots. These items usually make up my post work out meal and they tend to be oddly shaped…tough to stay consistent with these lil buggars. – Robb Wolf
All you ever wanted to know about Carrot and Paleo
The Paleo Diet. Are You Eating Enough Carbs for Optimal Recovery?
Robb Wolf. A Different Way to Weigh
Mark’s Daily Apple. Carrot Walnut Bread
Paleo Porn. Are Carrots Paleo?
World’s Healthiest Foods. Carrot
Did we miss anything?
Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?
photo credit: carrots