How many carrots a day?

In this brief guide, we will be answering ‘how many carrots should you eat in a day?’ Also, we will look into a brief account of carrots, including their health benefits and nutritional value.

How many carrots should you eat in a day?

Carrots are considered to be nutrient-dense (have a higher nutritional value), for this reason, it is recommended to consume 1 to 2 carrots a day.

What is the nutritional profile of carrots?

The following chart delivers the nutritional profile of 100 grams of raw carrots;

100 grams of raw carrots
Calories41 kcals
Carbohydrates9.58 grams
Proteins0.93 grams
Fat0.24 grams
Vitamin A835 micrograms
Vitamin C5.9 milligrams
Vitamin E0.66 milligrams
Potassium320 milligrams
Sodium69 milligrams
Calcium33 milligrams
Phosphorous35 milligrams
Magnesium12 milligrams

Besides these nutrients, carrots also contain several other important nutrients, such as B complex vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc and manganese. Carrots have various antioxidants that protect the body against harmful free radicals. Carrots are high in fiber and can be made a part of your diet if you are looking to maintain or lose weight. The total phenolics in different cultivars of carrots ranged from 10.5

mg/ 100 g to 267.1 mg/ 100 g. Chlorogenic acid is the major present in carrots (1).

What health benefits do carrots provide?

Improved vision

Carrots contain vitamin A and a deficiency of vitamin A may result in xerophthalmia, a progressive eye disease. Xerophthalmia can cause night blindness or difficulty seeing when levels of light are low.

However, your vision is unlikely to improve from eating carrots, unless one already has a vitamin A deficiency. The deficiency of vitamin A is also the leading cause of premature death in children (1).

Carrots also contain antioxidants, like lutein and zeaxanthin, and the combination of the two may help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a type of vision loss. The commercialization and industrialization of carrots in the form of different products is very important in fulfilling the nutrient requirements of the people particularly as a cheap source of vitamin A. Carrots are known to contribute 14% to 17% of the total vitamin A consumption (1)

Cancer preventing

Too many free radicals in the body may increase the risk of various types of cancer and carotenoids in carrots, helps in combating these free radicals. Carrots play a central role as a protecting vegetable against development of cancer, specially breast, gastric, lung and prostate cancer (2).

The antioxidant effects of dietary carotenoids — yellow, orange, and red organic pigments present in carrots and other vegetables — may reduce the risk of many cancers. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two examples of these carotenoids. Polyacetylenic oxylipins are the main health promoter bioactive secondary metabolites found in carrots. These are sensitive to heat, light and oxidation, and blanched or cooked carrots have shown that the content of these bioactive compounds may be reduced up to 70% by thermal processing (2).

Based on controlled research, integrated epidemiological evidence from observational studies supported the hypothesis that carrot consumption may decrease the risk of lung cancer (3),. In another study, the intake of raw carrots at a baseline of 2–4 carrots or more each week (>32 g/day) was associated with a 17% decrease in risk of colorectal cancer (2). 

Blood pressure and cardiovascular health

The fiber and potassium in carrots may help manage blood pressure. The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages people to add less salt or sodium while eating more foods that contain potassium. Potassium helps relax the blood vessels, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues.

One medium carrot provides around 4% of a person’s daily requirement of potassium and 5 to 8% of a person’s daily requirement of fiber. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that the adequate intake value of dietary fiber consumption is 25 to 38 g/d, but a survey shows that the average intake is insufficient, of 17 g/d (4). The insoluble fiber-rich fraction present in carrot is mainly composed of pectic polysaccharides, hemicellulose, and cellulose (1).

Meanwhile, a recent review concluded that people with a high fiber intake are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people who eat little fiber. Eating plenty of fiber may also help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein or ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood. These beneficial effects may be due to dietary fibers’ actions on reducing total serum and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations (4).

Immunity booster and faster healing

Another antioxidant that carrots provide is vitamin C. Vitamin C contributes to collagen production. Collagen is a key component of connective tissue and is essential for wound healing and keeping the body healthy. The vitamin is also present in immune cells that help the body fight disease.

Bone health

Carrots contain vitamin K and small amounts of calcium and phosphorus. All of these contribute to bone health and may help prevent osteoporosis.

Why can’t you eat too many carrots?

Eating 1 to 2 carrots a day is good for your health. Eating carrots in excess, however, can cause a condition called carotenemia. This refers to yellowish discolouration of the skin because of the deposition of a substance called beta-carotene that is present in carrots.

This change in skin color is more obvious in people with lighter skin tones. The yellowish discolouration classically begins in areas with thicker skin, such as the palms, soles, elbows, knees and around the nose folds.

When the affected person continues to eat more beta-carotene-rich foods, such as carrots, mangoes, apricots, apples and pumpkin, more and more skin areas start turning yellowish. Small children and infants are more vulnerable since they are generally fed on the puree of such foods.

Though the change in skin color may be alarming, this is a harmless condition. Yellow colour of skin gets reversed with time (5). The treatment simply involves withholding foods containing beta-carotene, such as carrots, pumpkin, cabbage, apricots, cantaloupe, squash, sweet potatoes, yams and oranges. If the skin continues to stay yellowish, you must consult with your doctor.

The excessive intake of beta carotene by eating too many carrots increase risks of hypervitaminosis, which symptoms are headache, severe weakness, dizziness, inability to exercise, inability to perform daily routine, nausea, sensations of internal tremor, constipation or diarrhea . The chronic forms of hypervitaminosis are associated with the symptoms like dry patchy skin, dry fissured lips, hair loss and brittle nails. It affects the osteoarticular apparatus by altering bone metabolism accompanied by stiffness in movements and pain (5).

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered ‘how many carrots should you eat in a day?’ Also, we have looked into a brief account of carrots, including their health benefits and nutritional value.

Hopefully, you found this guide helpful and informative. In case of any queries or comments please do let us know.

Citation

  1. Raees-ul, Haq, and K. Prasad. Nutritional and processing aspects of carrot (Daucus carota)-A review. South Asian J Food Tech Environ, 2015, 1, 1-14.
  2. Deding, Ulrik, et al. Carrot intake and risk of colorectal cancer: A prospective cohort study of 57,053 Danes. Nutrients, 2020, 12, 332.
  3. Xu, Hongbin, et al. Is carrot consumption associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer? A meta-analysis of observational studies. Brit J Nutr, 2019, 122, 488-498.
  4. McRae, Marc P. Dietary fiber is beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: an umbrella review of meta-analyses. J chirop med, 2017, 16, 289-299.
  5. Roop, J. K. Hypervitaminosis-an emerging pathological condition. Int J Heal Sci Res, 2018, 8, 280.
  6. Yang, Zhifang, et al. Serum carotenoid concentrations in postmenopausal women from the United States with and without osteoporosis. Int J vitam nutr res, 2008, 78, 105.