8 Impressive Benefits of Carrot Juice
Carrot juice is extracted from whole carrots and 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.
Carrot juice is low in calories and carbs while packing numerous nutrients. One cup (240 mL) contains:
- Calories: 96
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: less than 1 gram
- Carbs: 22 grams
- Sugars: 9 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin A (as provitamin A): 255% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 23% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 31% of the DV
- Potassium: 15% of the DV
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.
Carrot juice contains high amounts of nutrients that benefit your eyes.
Specifically, 1 cup (250 ml) of carrot juice packs over 250% of the DV 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 disease.
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.
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 DV in 1 cup (240 mL). Not only is vitamin B6 necessary for an optimal immune response, but deficiency in it is also linked to weakened immunity.
In fact, one rodent study found that inadequate dietary intake of vitamin B6 prohibited the growth of immune cells called lymphocytes.
Test-tube studies suggest that certain compounds in carrot juice may protect against cancer.
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 a limited sample size.
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.
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.
The nutrients in carrot juice may be particularly beneficial for skin health.
One cup (250 ml) of carrot juice provides over 20% of the DV 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.
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.
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 diseases
The carotenoids in carrot juice are thought to promote liver health.
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.
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.
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 (15).