Growing up your parents may have told you, “Eat your carrots – they’re good for your eyes.”
A Harvard research study suggests your parents were right all along.
Pigments called carotenoids—which give orange hues to carrots, sweet potatoes, and orange peppers—may help ward off a common cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 55.
Age-related macular degeneration causes blurred or reduced central vision due to the breaking down of the inner layers of the macula, which is part of the retina.
Researchers found that people who consumed the highest amounts of two carotenoids both found in carrots were linked to a 25 to 35% reduced risk of the condition.
Carrots Are a Great Source of Vitamin A
Carrots also contain a large quantity of vitamin A, which is critical for good vision. Carrots contain a whopping 210% of the recommended daily dose. Vitamin A helps form the eye cells that are necessary for night and color vision.
From Humble Veggie to Superfood Status
Thanks to the number of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants packed into each carrot, many experts have elevated this humble veggie to “superfood” status.
Here’s something to chew on — while eating carrots can certainly benefit your eyes, carrots offer so much more.
Carrots Can Improve Your Skin
Move over eye cream; carrots contain some of the most important nutrients to protect your skin from sun damage, dullness, and signs of aging. In addition to vitamin A and antioxidants, carrots also contain retinoic acid, which supports the skin’s resiliency.
Carrots Promote a Healthy Heart
Carrots are high in fiber with approximately 2g in a medium carrot. Diets that are high in fiber have been shown to improve digestion and may also help decrease blood pressure by reducing the amount of cholesterol found in the blood.
Carrots Support Bone Health
The mix of vitamin K1, vitamin A, and potassium in carrots can help support bone mass for excellent bone health.
Carrots Can be Good for Your Gut
The fiber in carrots (and any high-fiber vegetable) acts like a natural vacuum cleaner in your gut, cleaning out debris as it runs through your body. Carrots also help keep gut cells healthy, supporting a decreased risk of illness and improving overall health.
Carrots Can Help Support Your Immune System
There’s a good reason carrots are a key ingredient in chicken soup. They’re full of antioxidants, which support your body in fighting free radicals, inflammation, and cellular damage.
Carrots Can Help Balance Blood Sugars
Carrots can be a safe choice if you have diabetes and are watching your blood sugar levels. Even though carrots taste sweet, they are quite low on the glycemic index. A small portion of carrots should not cause a sugar spike after eating them.
Senior Star + Superfoods
Your local Senior Star community has all kinds of creative ways to learn more about this month’s superfood.
Perhaps you’d like to check out a cooking demonstration or unwind at one of our Mixology Experiences.
Contact your Senior Star location to find out what’s available in your local community and how to participate. You can also reach out for monthly recipes and other fun ideas.