You don’t need to be Bugs Bunny to appreciate the health benefits of carrots! Naturally sweet, these crunchy root veggies are bursting with protective antioxidants, vitamins (A, B6, C, E), and critical trace minerals (potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese).
Carrots are one of the richest plant sources of beta carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant in it’s own right. A 100g fresh carrot averages 8,285 micrograms of beta carotene and 16,706 IU of Vitamin A! Beta carotene, and the vitamin A it helps produce, are vital for maintaining healthy skin, vision, and reproduction (sperm production).
Numerous studies have found that flavanoid compounds in carrots help protect your body from skin, lung, and oral cancers. Studies produced by the British Newcastle University Schools of Agriculture Food and Development found that falcarinol, a protective phytochemical the carrot produces, reduced the risk of cancer developing in rats by one third! (University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 2005, February 18)
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges oxidative free radicals and plays an important role in protecting plants from oxidative damage due to over exposure to sunlight (Stahl W, Sies H).
Interestingly, beta-carotene may have the same function in our own skin. Dietary consumption of a beta-carotene or beta-carotene rich supplements were reported to result in the elevation of beta-carotene levels in the skin and a decrease in the skin’s sensitivity to simulated sunlight (Henrich U, Garner C, et al.)
An analysis of several studies on the benefits of beta-carotene for skin appearance confirmed the results of this earlier study. The results of this analysis showed that dietary beta-carotene has a significant protective effect against sunburn and the longer beta-carotene was taken the greater the protective effects; however, beta-carotene’s skin protective effects in this study were not seen until 10 weeks after adding it to the diet (Kopcke W, Krutmann J).
In addition to protecting the skin from sunburn, it has been reported that consuming a mixture of carotenoids (lutein, lycopene, and betacarotene) improved skin density and thickness, while reducing scaling and roughness (Heinrich U, Tronnier H, et al.).
These recent studies demonstrate the skin health benefits of beta-carotene. Carrots are one of the richest sources of beta-carotene making them an excellent and healthy option for increasing one’s betacarotene intake. Making carrots and other beta-carotene rich foods part of your daily eating pattern is a smart, skin-healthy choice! Always choose organically grown carrots to avoid unnecessary pesticides and health-destroying toxic residues.
Carrot seed oil is a powerful tool in your healthy skin care regimen. It has been shown to exhibit antiseptic, antiviral, detoxifying, and anti-carcinogenic properties! This rejuvenating oil may stimulate cell growth while removing toxins and improving the elasticity of the skin, thus giving skin a more youthful, toned appearance. This can greatly improve the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It has been reputed to be useful in treating burns, scars, and wrinkles.
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