Colorful, fragrant and pleasantly crunchy, we are talking about carrots, the vegetable that goes well with fish or meat dishes or to enrich salads. Carrots, however, are not only tasty but also incredibly healthy, as evidenced by several scientific studies. For example, we can cite the 1995 research in which an Australian team analyzes the benefits of orange and carrot juice (Abbey et al, J Am Diet Assoc, 1995), or a slightly more recent research performed by a group of American scientists about the antioxidant capacity of carrot juice (Potter et al, Nutr J, 2011) or the Chinese work on the protective effect of carrots on the breast (Chen et al, Medicine, 2018).
What emerges from these researches is that carrot is rich in substances particularly beneficial for health, such as phenolic compounds, carotenoids and ascorbic acid that give this vegetable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and protective properties for the heart. For example, taking once a day for three weeks a juice of orange and carrot, capable of bringing together both vitamin C and beta-carotene, has been shown to prevent, at least partially, oxidation of LDL cholesterol in smokers. Oxidized LDL cholesterol is considered one of the main causes of arteriosclerosis. Another study analyzed the effects on heart health of 470 ml of fresh carrot juice drunk once a day for three months. What emerged was that carrot juice decreased systolic pressure, significantly increased the antioxidants circulating in the blood and reduced the action of free radicals on LDL cholesterol, thus protecting the health of the cardiovascular system. Finally, the scientists also observed that, in people who consumed more carrots, the risk of developing gastric, prostate but also breast cancer was reduced.
In short, a nice carrot salad as a side dish or tasty appetizer is a healthy choice to fill up on antioxidants and keep diseases away.