What are the Health Benefits of Carrot Powder for your eye and skin?
Have you heard of carrot powder? Maybe carrot juice powder or carrot root powder? It is made from dehydrated carrots, the taproot vegetable. Sometimes leaves and seeds are included. There is also organic carrot powder, made from organically-cultivated carrots. To grow organic vegetables, farms must be certified by a United States (U. S.) Department of Agriculture National Organic Program accredited certifying agency.
Carrots are scientifically known as Daucus carota L. They are part of the root system of a biennial plant in the Apiaceae family. China produces more of the crop than any other country around the globe. According to a Research Gate online article, carrot is “one of the popular root vegetables grown throughout the world.” The article also states that carrots are the world’s, especially the Western world’s, major source of dietary flavonoids. By the way, most of the U.S. carrot crop is grown in California.
Carrot roots were originally purple or red. But in the 1500’s, the Dutch created the orange variety we are familiar with today. The Japanese gave us the yellow cultivar in the 1600’s and Europeans chimed in with the white version in the 1700’s.
A Carrot Legend
During World War II, the British publicized that consuming large quantities of carrots gave them clear night vision, so they were able to shoot down German aircrafts. The fable was concocted to hide the fact that it was really the use of radar that gave them success. Today we can “weaponize” carrots in the form of carrot powder for our good health and we don’t have to lie about it.
What is Carrot Powder?
Carrot powder is manufactured from grinding dried or dehydrated carrots. The technique ensures the preservation of the vital nutrients found in the root vegetable, while making it into a more readily available supplement for individuals such as athletes and those who want to boost their nutrition or diet . Organic carrot powder/ carrot juice powder is free of GMOs, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, fillers, sweeteners, and other additives. The color of the powder depends on the variety of carrot used.
Where did it originate? Who developed it first? We would have to travel 5,000 plus years back to Afghanistan, the native land of the carrot. Early Afghans had a choice of wild varieties and cultivated them mostly for their seeds and flavor.
What are the Benefits of Carrot Powder?
What is carrot powder used for? Researchers suggest that the nutrients in carrot powder/ carrot root powder/ carrot juice powder may provide us with a number of important health benefits. The carotenoids, phenolic acids and vitamin C for instance, have vital antioxidant properties which prevent free radical cell damage, inflammation, and microbial infections. Other benefits from the flavonoids and the other nutrients include promoting good eye health, supporting heart and cardiovascular function, maintaining appropriate blood glucose levels, preventing cancer, and promoting skin health and overall wellness. Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before taking any supplements. There’s no medical evidence to support carrot powder curing, treating or preventing disease.
Antioxidant Properties/ Immune Support
Several studies imply that vitamin C, carotenoids such as beta carotene and lutein, and phenolic acids such as the hydroxycinnamic acids, which are abundant in carrot powder or carrot juice powder, may support our immune system in three crucial ways:
1. Battling free radicals from damaging our immune cells by decreasing their ability to create oxidative stress. Damaged cells often lead to chronic diseases and abnormal growths such as cancer. Research suggest that the antioxidant compounds may be effective in lowering those risks by gobbling up the free radicals before they can do any harm.
2. Preventing inflammation. Evidence has established that carrots, and by proxy carrot powder, contain high concentrations of the anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds. These compounds may have the ability to treat issues such as inflammatory bowel disorders (IBD), asthma and rheumatism.
3. Strengthening the immune system to help fight off infections from viruses, bacteria and other microbes. A strong immune system also enhances our overall health and well-being.
How does carrot root powder promote good eye health? Beta carotene (which is converted into vitamin A) along with lutein and zeaxanthin, are crucial for eyesight. Studies show that they are especially important in preventing or reducing issues such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and night blindness. These conditions become more prevalent as one ages. For instance, the macular or retina, which is at the center of our eyes, need healthy concentrations of both lutein and zeaxanthin to stimulate or enhance healthy vision. These compounds tend to decrease as we get older.
The antioxidant vitamin C is another vital compound for healthy vision. Studies show that it has the potential to protect our eyes from free radical damage as it does for the other cells in our bodies.
Heart and Cardiovascular Function
Studies indicate that the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and stroke may be lowered by phytochemical flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and fiber. How do these bioactive compounds improve heart and cardio function?
As we have seen, carrot root powder has these compounds, especially the flavonoids and vitamin C, in high enough quantities that their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can benefit our heart and circulatory system. Studies also show that flavonoids and dietary fiber may help lower the bad LDL cholesterol in our bloodstream. Additionally, the mineral potassium may support healthy blood pressure levels.
Help with Diabetes
How can carrot powder help people with diabetes? Scientists determine that the dietary fiber in carrot powder may lower blood glucose levels, which diabetics must keep under control. The fiber also increases satiety because it is slow to digest. This prevents diabetics from gaining weight, a situation that can also cause adverse effects.
According to research, beta carotene, lutein and lycopene, which are found in carrot juice powder, may help to promote healthy glowing skin and skin color. These carotenoids are also crucial in wound healing. They help the skin heal faster, while staving off infections and inflammation. As a matter of fact, the early Afghans realized that the nutrients in carrots had the potential to heal their cuts and infections. Carotenoids may also have the potential to reduce wrinkles, age spots and other signs of aging.
How to Use Carrot Powder
How to take carrot juice powder? As a dietary supplement, 5g (grams or about 2 tsp) of carrot powder can be taken once a day or as directed by your physician. The daily value is not established. There’s no medical evidence to support carrot powder’ curing, treating or preventing disease. Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before taking any supplements.
Possible Side Effects of Carrot Powder
Like all food items and supplements, consumption may result in adverse effects. There is always the possibility of being allergic to the particular food or plant family. It is not rare. Symptoms can include nausea, skin rashes, itching, acid reflux, swelling, and even anaphylaxis.
Be aware that since carrot powder has such a high concentration of beta carotene, excess use can result in the skin having a yellow or orange color. This temporary condition actually has a name: carotenemia.
Carrot powder may also interfere with diabetic medications, lowering blood glucose to dangerous levels. Again, always consult your healthcare provider for diagnoses, accurate medical information and permission before taking any supplements.