Can you turn orange from eating carrots?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you turn orange from eating carrots?”, and what are the health benefits of carrots?

This article also includes a brief guide on how to juice carrots and a recipe card for carrots a la Orange. 

Can you turn orange from eating carrots?

Eating too many carrots or a diet rich in beta-carotene can lend a yellow discoloration to the skin, most prominent on the palms and soles. This condition is referred to as carotenemia and is nothing like jaundice. 

Carotenemia is most common in young children and does not have any adverse effects on your health. Dietary modification is the only treatment for this condition. The skin could take several months to get back to its original tinge.

Dietary carotenemia is easily manageable within weeks to months on a low  β-carotene diet. Carotenemia associated with hyper β-lipoproteinemia is reversible by treatment of the underlying cause or with a lipid-lowering diet. There is not yet a satisfactory treatment for metabolic carotenemia (2).

The United States was the third-leading producer of all carrots, just behind Russia, with each producing about 7% of world output, China produced 34% of the world’s carrots. California accounted for 76% of fresh-market output, while Washington produced 34% of the carrots destined for processing (1).

Some other foods that are rich in beta-carotene and can lead to carotenemia are apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, mangoes, oranges, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, yams, eggs etc. In rare situations, carotenemia can also result from eating too many apples, cabbage, leafy greens, kiwi, asparagus. Food supplements containing carotenoids may lead to this phenomenon as well. Liver disease may cause carotenemia due to impaired conversion of  β-carotene into vitamin A. In these cases carotenoderma may be masked by jaundice. Jaundice is caused by hyperbilirubinemia manifested by a yellow pigmentation that is most prominent in the sclerae, and is usually diffuse. Typical findings are constitutional symptoms, which only seldom appear in carotenemia (2).

To develop carotenemia, you will need to have 20 to 50 milligrams of beta-carotene per day (a dose higher than 30 mg/day) (3) for a few weeks and one medium-sized carrot (60 g) provides 54 milligrams of beta-carotene. 

This means you will have to eat at least 5 carrots per day to consume the minimum dose of beta-carotene and continue doing this for several weeks to develop skin discoloration. Therefore, carotenemia is only experience/d by individuals with a carrot-exclusive diet or a restricted diet. 

Other conditions that may cause carotenemia are  hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy and anorexia nervosa (2).

How to juice carrots?

Ingredients 

  • 2.5 pounds carrots

Instructions 

Making carrot juice with a juicer

  1. Peel the carrots if they are inorganic. 
  2. Wash the peeled carrots under cold running water.
  3. Cut the carrots into the size fit for your juicer chute. Then feed the carrots through the juicer chute.

Making carrot juice in a blender

  1. Make sure you have a high-speed blender for juicing the carrots because carrots can be tough to break down by dull blades. 
  2. Peel and wash the carrots.
  3. Then chop the carrots into 1-2″ pieces.
  4. Pour ¼-½ cup water into the blender. This will make it easier for the blender to break down the carrots without significantly diluting the juice.
  5. Blend until a puree or smoothie is formed.
  6. Then sieve the carrot puree. You can use a simple sieve or a nut milk bag for this purpose. Use a spoon to press and squeeze the juice out of the sieve. 

Health benefits of carrots 

Nutrition facts 

Two small-to-medium raw carrots (100 grams) provide the following nutrients.

Calories 41 kcal
Water 88%
Protein 0.8 grams
Carbs 9.6 grams 
Sugar 4.7 grams 
Fiber 2.8 grams 
Fat 0.2 grams 

Carrots are a good source of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Biotin, Vitamin K1, Potassium, and Vitamin B6. Plant compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, and anthocyanins are also present in good amounts in carrots.

Reduced risk of cancer 

Carrots are a rich source of carotenoids that have excellent anti-cancer properties. Carotenoids can help prevent prostate, colon, breast, and stomach cancers (4).

Lower blood cholesterol 

High blood cholesterol lays the foundation for chronic heart diseases. Regular consumption of moderate amounts of carrots has been linked with reduced blood cholesterol levels.

Studies reported that carrots showed cholesterol absorption mitigating effects in experimental carrot fed rats. A significant decrease in liver cholesterol and triglyceride levels was also observed by the investigators (5).

Weight loss

Carrots are low in carbs and rich in soluble fiber. The fiber makes you feel full for longer and helps control food cravings. Therefore, carrots are an effective weight-loss food. Studies suggest that increasing fruit and vegetable intake may be an important strategy for weight loss (6).

Eye health 

Night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A cannot function unless activated by carotenoids. Therefore, eating carrots, which are rich in carotenoids, can help prevent age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A in carrots helps to protect vision, especially night vision and also provides protection against macular degeneration and development of senile cataract, the leading cause of blindness in aged people (5).

How to make carrots a la Orange?

Ingredients 

  • 1 (16 ounces) package carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions 

  1. Fill a pot with water and season it lightly with salt. Bring this water to a rolling boil. 
  1. Then stir in the carrots in the boiling water and let them cook for about 15 minutes. 
  2. Strain the carrots and set them aside on a serving plate.
  3. In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and ginger until homogenous. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir in the orange juice. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer while continuously whisking until the sauce thickens. This should take about 3 minutes.
  5. When the sauce is nice and thick, stir in butter.
  6. Drizzle the boiled carrots with the prepared sauce and toss to coat evenly.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Other FAQs about Oranges that you may be interested in.

Do Oranges Make You Fat

How to preserve oranges

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you turn orange from eating carrots?”, and what are the health benefits of carrots?

References

  1. Darbandi, Elham, and Sayed H. Saghaian. An Empirical Comparison of Price Transmission between Conventional and Organic Products: The Case of Fresh Carrots. No. 1376-2016-109738. 2016.  
  2. Maharshak, Nitsan, Johnatan Shapiro, and Henri Trau. Carotenoderma–a review of the current literature. Int j dermatol, 2003, 42, 178-181.  
  3. Al Nasser, Yasser, Zohaib Jamal, and Mohammed Albugeaey. Carotenemia. StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, 2021.
  4. Druesne‐Pecollo, Nathalie, et al. Beta‐carotene supplementation and cancer risk: a systematic review and metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials. Int j cancer, 2010, 127, 172-184.
  5. da Silva Dias, João Carlos. Nutritional and health benefits of carrots and their seed extracts. Food Nutr Sci, 2014, 5, 2147.
  6. Rolls, Barbara J., Julia A. Ello-Martin, and Beth Carlton Tohill. What can intervention studies tell us about the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and weight management?. Nutr rev, 2004, 62, 1-17.