Carrots: Important Facts, Health Benefits, and Recipes

Carrots are tapered root vegetables from the Apiaceae family that are typically orange but come in a variety of colors including purple, white, and yellow. They are a good source of Vitamin A and antioxidants. This article highlights the health benefits, important facts, and recipes that include carrots.

What is a Carrot?

Carrots are a typically long, tapered root vegetable from the Apiaceae family. They are most commonly orange, but do come in white, red, and purple. The greens on the top of the carrot are also edible.

Are Carrots Good For You?

Yes! They are very good for you. They are a good source of fiber, beta-carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, and antioxidants.

Health Benefits Of Carrots

1. Carrots are a good source of vitamins and minerals: beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A, Vitamin K, potassium, fiber, and Vitamin C.

  • Cooking carrots does help us absorb the beta-carotene better, but there is still plenty of nutrition in the carrots when eaten raw
  • Vitamin A is better absorbed in the presence of fats. So eating carrots with a healthy fat, such as avocado, nuts, or olive oil is ideal.

2. Carrots are a good source of antioxidants (beta-carotene and Vitamin C).

  • The body absorbs beta carotene in the intestines and converts it into vitamin A during digestion, making beta carotene a great provitamin.

3. Carrots are good for eye health.

  • The beta-carotene in carrots is converted into Vitamin A which keeps eyes healthy, protecting eyes against the sun and lowers chances of cataracts and other eye problems
  • Carrots also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The combination of both of these antioxidants may help prevent macular degeneration, an age-related eye problem that can cause vision loss.

4. Carrots may lower the risk of cancer

  • The antioxidants in carrots can help fight free radicals which could reduce our risk of cancer
  • Eating more carotenoid-rich foods and eating a high-fiber diet (carrots have both!) may lower the risk of colon cancer.

5. Carrots may boost your immune system

  • The vitamin C in carrots is an antioxidant and helps strengthen the immune system
  • Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron and prevent infections.
  • Vitamin C is also found in immune cells, which help the body fight disease.

6. Carrots are a good source of fiber.

7. Carrots may help control diabetes

  • The fiber in carrots may help keep blood sugar levels under control and help prevent Type 2 Diabetes and help manage blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes. 
  • Carrots are low on the glycemic index, which means they don’t make blood sugar spike

8. The fiber and potassium in carrots may help manage blood pressure.

  • Potassium helps blood vessels relax which can reduce blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues.

9. The Vitamin C in carrots is good for the skin and for wound healing. 

Vitamin C helps in collagen production. Collagen is an integral component in connective tissue and skin and is necessary for wound healing.

10. Carrots are good for bone health.

Vitamin K, calcium, and phosphorus in carrots may keep our bones healthy and strong.

11. The carotenoids in carrots have been shown to decrease inflammation.

History, Background, and General Facts about Carrots

  • The carrot derived from the wild carrot, which is a whitish/ivory color.
  • The original carrots were white or purple with a thin root. They were grown for their leaves and seeds, similar to parsley and coriander which carrots are related to. 
  • Carrots originated in modern-day Afghanistan and soon after became indigenous to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. 
  • The orange carrot is the most nutritious, with a high amount of Vitamin A, which contributes to eye health.
  • Today’s carrots have 50% more carotene than those of 1970.

What Are The Cuisines That Regularly Include Carrots?

  • Indian - carrot rice, carrot paratha (Indian flatbread)
  • American - carrot cake, carrot ginger soup
  • Moroccan - carrot salad
  • French - carrot salad, souffle
  • Italian - carrot cake
  • Mexican - pickled carrots
  • Singapore - fried rice
  • Chinese - fried rice
  • Jewish - tzimmes

What Is The Best Way To Store Carrots?

  • Store whole carrots in a bag with holes in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator. Cut the greens off before storing. 
  • Store the greens in a produce bag or in a glass of water (stems in the water) for best results.

What Are The Different Types Of Carrots?

  1. Eastern/Asiatic or anthocyanin carrots:
  • Purple-black roots and sometimes yellow roots. 
  • Traditionally grown in Turkey, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, and India. 
  • Not as high in beta carotene as orange varieties
  • Still cultivated in Asia, but are being replaced by orange rooted Western carrots.
  1. Western or Carotene carrots: 
  • Orange, red, or white cylindrical or tapered roots. 


Types of Carotene carrots


  • Danvers
    •  Long and skinny, taper to a point and typically are orange in color, although they are available in other shades. 
  • Nantes
    • Almost perfectly cylindrical, with roundness at the tip and top. 
    • The name Nantes originates from the Atlantic coast of France which has ideal conditions for growing this type of carrot. 
    • Nantes is a quick-growing carrot that matures faster than the other varieties. 
  • Imperator
    • Most commercial growers produce this variety and it is commonly found in grocery stores throughout the US. 
    • They are very similar to Danvers, but thicker in width and often have a higher sugar content than the other types. 
  • Chantenay
    • This variety of carrot was the best to plant in heavy or rocky soil due to its size before the Nantes came about. 
    • They are good for growing in containers or less-nutrient-rich soil. 
  • Ball or Mini
    • Shaped like radishes or are very small. 
    • They grow really well in containers because of the short taproot

Toxicity and Side Effects Of Carrots

  • Carrots are typically safe to consume unless you eat too many.
  • If you eat too much beta-carotene, it can make your skin turn an orange-yellow color, a condition called carotenemia.
  • Too much beta-carotene may cause problems for people who can’t transform it into vitamin A, such as people who have hypothyroidism.


Nutrition infomation is for 1 medium carrot.