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Health benefits of carrot juice

8 impressive health benefits of carrot juice

Brightly colored carrot juice is a part of many people's routines. Here are 8 impressive benefits of carrot juice.

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Last updated on May 11, 2022, and last reviewed by an expert on December 18, 2021.

Carrot juice is extracted from whole carrots and is extremely nutritious.

It not only provides potassium and vitamin C but also is very rich in provitamin A. Drinking carrot juice is thought to boost immunity and improve eye and skin health, among other benefits.

Here are 8 impressive benefits of carrot juice.

1. Carrot juice is highly nutritious

Carrot juice is low in calories and carbs while packing numerous nutrients. One cup (240 mL) contains:

Carrot juice also provides the carotenoid pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants fight unstable molecules called free radicals.

The main carotenoid in carrot juice is beta carotene, which is responsible for carrots’ orange color. Your body converts it into the antioxidant vitamin A.

Summary: Carrot juice is loaded with vitamin A and high in vitamins C and K. It also contains plant compounds called carotenoids, which act as antioxidants.

2. Carrot juice may improve eye health

Carrot juice contains high amounts of nutrients that benefit your eyes.

Specifically, 1 cup (250 ml) of carrot juice packs over 250% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A, mostly in the form of provitamin A carotenoids like beta carotene.

Vitamin A is vital for eye health. Several studies associate the intake of fruits and vegetables that contain provitamin A with a decreased risk of blindness and age-related eye diseases.

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What’s more, carrot juice is an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two other carotenoids that accumulate in your eyes and shield them from damaging light.

A high dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin may lower your risk of eye issues, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One analysis of 6 studies linked a high dietary intake of these compounds to a 26% lower risk of late AMD, compared with a low intake.

Summary: Carrot juice is a very good source of carotenoids, including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are vital for eye health and may protect against AMD.

3. Carrot juice may boost immunity

Carrot juice may give your immune system a boost.

Both vitamins A and C found in carrot juice act as antioxidants and protect immune cells from free radical damage.

Additionally, this juice is a rich source of vitamin B6, providing over 30% of the recommended daily intake in 1 cup (240 mL). Not only is vitamin B6 necessary for optimal immune response, but a deficiency in it is also linked to weakened immunity.

One rodent study found that inadequate dietary intake of vitamin B6 prohibited the growth of immune cells called lymphocytes.

All the same, human studies are needed.

Summary: As a rich source of vitamins A, B6, and C, carrot juice may help strengthen your immune system.

4. Carrot juice may provide anticancer effects

Test-tube studies suggest that certain compounds in carrot juice may protect against cancer.

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Specifically, polyacetylenes, beta carotene, and lutein from carrot juice extract may be effective against human leukemia cells.

One test-tube study found that treating leukemia cells with carrot juice extracts for 72 hours led to cancer cell death and stopped the cell growth cycle.

Another test-tube study reported similar results but indicated that polyacetylenes — not beta carotene or lutein — are the main anticancer agents in carrot juice.

While these results appear promising, few human studies are available.

A 2-week study in 22 healthy young men found that drinking approximately 1.5 cups (330 mL) of carrot juice per day didn’t significantly affect biomarkers in feces related to colon cancer. Still, this was a short study with limited sample size.

Overall, more extensive research is needed. Carrot juice should not be considered a cancer treatment.

Summary: Compounds in carrot juice have been shown to trigger cancer cell death in test-tube studies. However, more human research is needed.

5. Carrot juice may improve blood sugar control

Drinking small amounts of carrot juice may help lower blood sugar levels.

In particular, studies in rats with type 2 diabetes show that fermented carrot juice decreases blood sugar and improves other related markers. That’s because the juice contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that affect gut bacteria associated with diabetes.

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Another rodent study found that purple carrot juice boosts blood sugar control due to the anti-inflammatory effect of its anthocyanin pigments.

Yet, these are very specific types of carrot juice. It isn’t known whether regular carrot juice has similar effects.

Even so, carrot juice has a low glycemic index (GI) — a measure of how much a certain food increases blood sugar levels. Consuming low glycemic foods and beverages may help improve blood sugar management in people with diabetes.

Thus, carrot juice may be a good replacement for high GI fruit juices. However, it’s important to keep portion sizes in check, as too much may spike blood sugar levels.

Summary: Limited animal studies suggest that fermented and purple carrot juice improve blood sugar control. While regular carrot juice also has a low GI, you should be sure to drink it in very moderate amounts.

6. Carrot juice may improve skin health

The nutrients in carrot juice may be particularly beneficial for skin health.

One cup (250 ml) of carrot juice provides over 20% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient necessary for collagen production. This compound is the most abundant fibrous protein in your body, and it provides elasticity and strength to your skin.

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Additionally, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect your skin from free radical damage.

The beta carotene in carrot juice may likewise aid your skin. One study found that a carotenoid-rich diet may protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) damage and improve skin appearance.

Summary: Carrot juice provides vitamin C and beta carotene, two antioxidants that may protect your skin from damage. Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of collagen, which strengthens skin.

7. Carrot juice may boost heart health

Carrot juice may help reduce risk factors for heart disease.

First, carrot juice is a good source of potassium, a mineral that plays an important role in proper blood pressure regulation. A high potassium diet has been shown to protect against high blood pressure and stroke.

Antioxidant compounds in carrot juice may also benefit your heart.

A 3-month study in 17 adults with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels found that drinking 2 cups (480 mL) of carrot juice per day significantly increased blood antioxidants and decreased the oxidation of blood lipids that may lead to heart disease.

Still, more human research is needed.

Summary: The potassium and antioxidants in carrot juice may help lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for heart disease.

8. Carrot juice may protect your liver

The carotenoids in carrot juice are thought to promote liver health.

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Several studies indicate that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of carotenoids protect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD occurs when fat accumulates on your liver, typically as a result of poor diet, excess weight, or obesity. It may eventually progress to liver scarring and lasting damage.

An 8-week study in rats found that carrot juice reduced some markers of NAFLD. Another rodent study produced similar results, revealing that carrot juice didn’t reduce fat on the liver but decreased inflammatory blood markers.

Nonetheless, human studies are needed.

Summary: Due to its high amount of anti-inflammatory carotenoids, carrot juice may protect your liver against conditions like NAFLD. Yet, more research is necessary.

Carrot juice precautions

While carrot juice is perfectly safe for most people, there are a few precautions to keep in mind.

Some carrot juices, especially freshly prepared varieties, may not have been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. Pregnant women, older adults, young children, and those with compromised immune systems should avoid unpasteurized carrot juice.

Additionally, drinking very large amounts of carrot juice may lead to carotenemia, a condition that turns your skin yellow-orange as a result of high blood levels of beta carotene.

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While it’s not harmful, it can be alarming. Temporarily removing sources of beta carotene from your diet typically resolves the issue.

Finally, carrot juice has less fiber than whole carrots and contains natural sugars. Since the lower fiber content means that its sugars are absorbed more quickly, drinking too much may spike your blood sugar levels.

While carrot juice’s low GI means that it doesn’t increase your blood sugar as much as other juices, you should still be careful to moderate your intake if you have diabetes — especially if you drink it on its own.

Summary: Some varieties of carrot juice may not be pasteurized and should be avoided by certain populations, including pregnant women. Drinking too much may also temporarily change your skin color.

Summary

Carrot juice is incredibly nutritious, providing potassium, several carotenoids, and vitamins A, C, and K.

Drinking this veggie juice may help improve eye health, boost your immune system, and strengthen your skin. However, more extensive human research is needed.

Since it contains natural sugars, you may want to drink it in moderation.

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