The carrot is a vegetable that is grown all year round, although depending on the growing season its characteristics are different. It has a high content of vitamin A, water, fiber and carbohydrates, much higher than that of other vegetables.
The carrot is a vegetable that stands out, mainly, for its vitamin A content . A medium-sized carrot covers 89% of the daily needs of vitamin A for men between 20 and 39 years old and 112% for women of the same age, specifically in carotenoids with provitamin A activity , that is, once ingested they are transformed into vitamin A.
It also stands out for its water content , an appreciable amount of carbohydrates and a high content of fiber , both soluble and insoluble. Other vitamins present in more discrete amounts are vitamin C and vitamin B 6 . They also contain small amounts of minerals like potassium, iron, and iodine.
Vitamin A is necessary for the proper functioning of the retina and especially for night vision or in low light and for the good condition of the skin and mucous membranes . In addition, it participates in the formation and maintenance of teeth, soft tissue and bone. Vitamin A is found in two ways in food:
- Retinol : it is the active form of vitamin A. It is present in foods of animal origin such as liver or whole milk.
- Carotenoids : they are dark-colored pigments found in foods of plant origin and once ingested, the body is capable of transforming them into their active form of vitamin A. The most abundant carotene in carrots is beta-carotene .
Soluble and insoluble fiber
The carrot has both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps food pass more quickly through the digestive tract. On the contrary, soluble fiber is one that captures water, forming a bulky gel-like substance that aids in digestion, softens and helps eliminate stool.
This mineral typical of vegetables is an essential mineral for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse, it participates in muscle contraction , as well as in the water balance , both inside and outside the cell. One of the consequences of the loss of electrolytes due to dehydration can be suffering from cramps, so a diet rich in vegetables, vegetables and fruits, legumes and nuts will help to obtain enough potassium to prevent cramps .
Benefits of eating carrot
The beta-carotene contained in carrots protects cells from damage caused by free radicals , which contribute to the development of certain diseases and play a role in aging processes.
Studies give beta-carotene a preventive role against diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataracts and senile macular degeneration, given its antioxidant and immune response modulatory capacity . The carrot contains 6,628 μg / 100 g of edible portion of b-carotene. It also contains less a-carotene, whose serum levels have been inversely related to the presence of coronary disease and the formation of arterial plaque.
The retinol is essential for proper vision, participates in the formation of rhodopsin , a fundamental retinal pigment which is sensitive layer of the eye, through which we can see images.
In carrots, there is also another type of carotenoid called lutein that helps prevent oxidative damage induced by light and therefore protects against age-related deterioration of the eye such as cataracts and senile macular degeneration. The carrot contains 288 μg / 100 g of edible portion of lutein.
What you should know:
- Being a vegetable, it does not contain vitamin A, but a precursor of vitamin A called carotenoid that, once in the body, is capable of being transformed into vitamin A.
- Vitamin A is necessary for the proper functioning of the retina and especially for night vision or in low light and for the good condition of the skin and mucous membranes. In addition, it participates in the formation and maintenance of teeth, soft tissue and bone
- Studies grant beta-carotene a preventive role against diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataracts and senile macular degeneration, given its antioxidant and immune response modulating capacity.