Beta-carotene has been shown to have the greatest amount of Vitamin A activity. And when it comes to antioxidants and building up your immune system, Vitamins A, C, and E are your best friends.
Have you ever wondered why anybody would pay around $4.00 for a bottle of carrot juice? I mean…it’s a carrot. You know that thing that Bugs Bunny was always chomping on. What could be so special that you would sip away at this unusual vegetable cocktail?
Well, it seems that ole’ Bugs knew something that we don’t. There is a whole lot of goodness packed into a carrot; however, to get half of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin E, and over 50% of the RDA for Vitamin C, you would have to eat a bunch of carrots (literally) but only need to drink 1 cup of carrot juice.
The reality is that most of us are not going to eat that many raw carrots…that would be really filling!
So when you run them through a juicer you can get a powerful glass of nutrients that your body craves including:
- Vitamin E – antioxidant
- Vitamin C – antioxidant, along with Carotenes this helps repair skin damage from the inside out
- Vitamin K – helps with blood clotting and bone health
- B6 – aids with hormone synthesis and red blood cell function
- Thiamine (B1) – often called the “stress” vitamin because it strengthens the immune system
- Riboflavin (B2) – helps make B6 usable, important for body growth and red cell production
- Potassium – bone health, healthy nervous system
- Phosphorous – bone health, healthy nervous system
*These are just some of the benefits for each of these individual nutrients
Health Benefits of Carrot Juice
The Beta-carotene and Vitamin E found in carrot juice are great antioxidants. Why is that important?
Even the person with the cleanest diet is exposed to substances throughout the day that are harmful to our body. Through the food we eat, the air we breathe and the environment we live in, chemicals are absorbed into our body. That’s just a fact of our modern life.
When your body is given the right tools through proper nutrition, you allow it to filter out all those chemicals and reduce the amount of oxidation to your cells…thus the term “anti-oxidant.”
*For those that don’t know, oxidation is the same process seen when a piece of metal get rusty. You can easily understand why you wouldn’t want your cells to get rusty!
Beta-carotene has been shown to have the greatest amount of Vitamin A activity. And when it comes to antioxidants and building up your immune system, Vitamins A, C, and E are your best friends. And while you can get these vitamins in a supplement through a high-quality multi-vitamin (which I recommend), because some of these vitamins are water soluble, your body cannot store them. Remember, supplements are just that…they supplement your daily food intake to be sure you get everything you need. But they are meant to provide a supporting role to your diet, not be the main character.
The rule of thumb is to get as much nutrition as possible every day from real food. There are macro and micro nutrients in each bite that your body can use.
The nutrients in carrot juice are also great for your skin. It does a great job of repairing damage to your skin caused by the sun from the inside out. And while it’s been called a natural sunscreen, you should still use actual sunscreen each day to limit exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.
A little sunshine is perfect (Vitamin D). But too much, that which causes burns is not healthy.
Beta-carotene: Some Quick Facts
Carrots have beta-carotene. That’s a good thing. It was interesting to find out that healthy fats help your body to absorb this vital nutrient. Keep this in mind when you serve raw or cooked carrots. For example, salads with a bit of oil dressing will help your body use all the nutritional yumminess.
However, don’t add oil to your carrot juice! I tried added a teaspoon of coconut oil to a glass of ice cold carrot juice. The result – lumpy (icky) carrot juice!
“…Dietary fat is required for intestinal absorption of ß-carotene and facilitates incorporationof ß-carotene into mixed micelles (3). The amount of fat that is required for optimal absorption of ß-carotene has been reported to range from 2.4 to 5 g/meal for cooked vegetables…
…Larger amounts of dietary fat may be required for optimal absorption of ß-carotene from raw vegetables than from cooked vegetables because the food matrix of uncooked vegetables may reduce bioavailability to a greater extent. In contrast, sucrose polyester, a nonabsorbable fat found in some processed foods, has been shown to reduce the plasma ß-carotene response by 21%…”
Carrots as a Pre-cursor to CoQ10
Studies have shown the nutrients in carrots are a pre-cursor to CoQ10 production.
“…Carrot juice and tomato juice acted as natural precursors, and enhanced the yield of CoQ10 from 15.58 to 29.22 mg/l and 24.35 mg/l, respectively….”
So….what does that mean?
There are ongoing studies for the benefits of CoQ10. What they have discovered so far is that CoQ10 plays a beneficial role in heart health, exercise duration (less fatigue), hypertension, gum health (reduced inflammation) and supporting the immune system.
There is also speculation that maintaining levels of CoQ10 could help with the negative effects of aging. This comes from studies that show we have a higher level of this antioxidant in our body early in life, through our 20’s. However, as we age those levels decrease. It’s been suggested that maintaining higher levels may contribute to the anti-aging of our body’s cells, even as we continue to add years to our life. (God willing!)
What about the Fiber?
When you juice anything, there is a lot of fiber left behind. Fear not! You can use that too. Experiment by adding the fiber to other meals you make or include it in your compost pile to nourish your plants.
Here is a recipe I used with my left over fiber. I simply added a handful of the carrot fiber (about a cup) to this Banana Bread Recipe. The result: A healthed-up version of this bread and a whole lot of YUM!
Here’s the Banana Bread Recipe:
Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
Serves 1 Loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1hr 15min
Wow! This could be the easiest banana bread recipe on the earth…and the taste is absolutely heavenly. The original recipe called for more sugar, but I cut it in half and used raw sugar to make it healthier.
Gather Your Ingredients:
- 3-4 ripe bananas
- ½ cup raw sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 handful of carrot fiber (optional)
Here’s What you Do:
Prep: Heat the oven, prep the pans
- Preheat the Oven 325 degrees
- Spray a 9’ x 5” x 3” loaf pan with non-stick spray
Here’s a tip: You can freeze over-ripe bananas for future use by peeling the bananas first and then placing them in a zip-lock bag.
- Mash the Bananas
Peel the bananas and place them in a large bowl. Using a fork or masher, mash the bananas (to the consistency of lumpy baby food!)
- Add the Remaining Ingredients
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well. I used a wooden spoon to mix
- Pour Batter into Prepared Loaf Pan
- Bake for 1hour
Once baked through, cool on a rack and then remove from the pan when cooled.
Other Carrot Juice Drink Combinations
Finally, you don’t have to stick with plain carrot juice. Try these juice and smoothie combinations to keep it fresh and yummy:
Carrot Cake Smoothie
Combine the following
- Carrot Juice
- Coconut Milk
- Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- Frozen Banana Slices
Carrot Orange Juice
- Carrot Juice
- Orange Juice (1 orange)
- Ginger (1 inch piece)
- Carrot Juice
- 2 strips Bell Pepper
- Small handful of Parsley
Carrot Tomato Juice
- Carrot Juice
- 2 Tomatoes
Blended Chia/Carrot Smoothie
- Carrot Juice
- Sweet potato
- Fennel bulb
- Chia Seeds
- Coconut milk
- Orange zest
*Juice all the fruits/veggies then combine with the other ingredients in your blender.
Although I’m a passionate researcher and student of nutrition in the process of obtaining nutritional certifications, I am not a scientist. The science of nutrition is an ever-changing field. Our discovery methods improve, and the collection of research increases, so knowledge expands. It’s a very exciting field!
My intention with articles like this is to bring information to you that will help you make educated choices for your family that are good for your health and your wallet. The reality is that any time a food is processed, it moves a little farther from the source. Eating as close to the source as possible is best because you are getting your nutrition as Mother Nature intended.
However, for various reasons, our modern life can make that impossible. That’s where the world of food science steps in. There are a lot of benefits to this science and each person will decide for themselves what’s best for them. Take what works for you and I believe that if you get it right 80% of the time, your body will forgive you the other 20%!
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