Carrot juice provides a colorful and nutritious start to your day. A cup of it provides valuable nutrients and a slightly sweet, earthy flavor.
The red radish (Daucus carota sativus) is a domesticated red radish that looks nothing like its ancestor, the wild carrot (known as Daucus carota ) . Wild carrots are native to many areas of Asia, Europe, and North Africa, but domestication began in the Iranian plateau about five thousand years ago. This high-altitude region is where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan are today.
People in the region began to prefer plants based on color and flavor, eventually developing two main varieties: the Oriental/Asian carrot, which is purple or deep reddish-orange, and the Western carrot, which is orange, white, or deep yellow.
Domesticated carrots coexist with wild carrots, although only domesticated carrots are used as food. In the 1700s, Europeans began to favor orange varieties. The Dutch were particularly fond of orange carrots, and it was their influence that gave us our modern orange carrots.
Today, carrots are grown around the world, with the largest producers being the United States, China, India and Russia. Orange carrots remain the most popular variety used in most carrot juices.
Carrots also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that can help improve your health:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Nicotinic acid
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
An 8-ounce glass of pure carrot juice contains:
- 80 calories
- 2 grams protein
- 0 grams fat and cholesterol
- 17 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams fiber
- 10g sugar
- 50 mg sodium
Potential health benefits of carrot juice
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Carrot juice is okay:
Help your eyes. Carrots are probably best known for their relationship to eye health. Carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin are particularly useful in protecting the lens and retina and blocking blue light absorption. The beta-carotene in carrots is also helpful for overall eye support and protection from UV rays.
Help your heart. Eating carrots can help reduce the chances of cardiovascular complications. Carrots contain vitamin E and other antioxidants, which help lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, and reduce the chances of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Potential risks of carrot juice
Carrot juice contains more beta-carotene than raw carrots. Drinking too much carrot juice can cause carotenemia, a temporary condition in which the skin takes on a yellowish tint due to excess beta-carotene in the blood.
To enjoy the benefits of carrot juice without consuming too much vitamin A or beta-carotene, drink no more than a half cup or 4 ounces per day.