There’s a reason health fanatics are taking a cue from Bugs Bunny and adding carrot juice into their meal plans. Jam-packed with beta-carotene, fiber, and antioxidants, the brightly-colored veggie is a nutritional powerhouse that can provide you with some pretty impressive health benefits.
And while munching on carrots for a snack is already a smart, high-fiber choice that will energize you through your day, drinking them up in juice form lets you reap even more of their vitamins and minerals. Blending carrots into a smoothie is the most nutritious way to enjoy them as a drink because it keeps the blood-sugar-stabilizing fiber intact, but some people are sensitive to too much fiber, so juicing the veggie is a healthy alternative to reap its benefits.
So stock up on this crunchy veggie and take full advantage of these seven ways the juice can help improve your health.
It helps boost your immunity.
Now that cold and flu season is officially in full swing, there’s no better time than now to focus on boosting your immune system in order to fight off all the nasty viruses coming your way. Aside from following a healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep, another great way to protect your body is to drink carrot juice. “Carrot juice provides an excellent amount of immunity-helping vitamin C,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. “Our bodies are not able to synthesize vitamin C on their own, so we must get the nutrient from food or supplements.”
It helps strengthen your eyesight.
When you think of the health benefits of eating carrots, their ability to strengthen your eyesight is probably the first thing to come to mind. And it’s true: Their vitamin profile makes for a great vision-booster. “Carrots contain vitamin A, which is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also one of the most important nutrients for the eyes,” says Lisa Samuels, RD, founder of The Happie House. “A deficiency in vitamin A can cause night blindness and Bitot’s spots-a buildup of keratin on the conjunctiva of the eye.”
It can stop you from reaching for unhealthy snacks.
When you’re hungry between meals, one of the first things you might be tempted to reach for is what’s easy, like a bag of chips or a candy bar from the vending machine. Drinking a glass of carrot juice can help diminish the need, though, thanks to how well it keeps you feeling satisfied. “A cup of carrot juice provides a surprising amount of protein-more than two grams. It also provides about two grams of fiber. Both of these nutrients help to keep you fuller for longer,” Gorin says.
It can improve your skin.
Chugging H2O can majorly improve the appearance of your skin, but so can carrot juice. It can also help heal wounds more quickly. “Aside from vitamin A, carrot juice is a rich source of another important immune-boosting antioxidant: vitamin C,” says Samuels. “Vitamin C is important in wound healing because it’s required for the production of collagen, the main protein found in our skin and connective tissues. And as an antioxidant, it can also help prevent cell damage in the body.”
It can help control your blood pressure.
If high blood pressure is an issue, drinking a glass of carrot juice could be a simple way to help get it back under control. “Potassium is a mineral that’s important for helping counteract the effects of sodium and helping control our blood pressure levels,” says Gorin. “Because carrot juice is a great source of potassium, providing 689 milligrams per cup, it could do a lot of good for your body.”
It can help reduce bloating.
There’s nothing worse than dealing with a case of bloating-especially when you just want to wear your favorite pair of jeans. To make sure you’re feeling your best, Samuels recommends sipping on some carrot juice. “It can help reduce bloating in two different ways: by reducing the amount of abdominal gas you’re experiencing, and by helping you urinate more regularly,” Samuels says.
It’s a great way to lower cholesterol.
Your blood pressure isn’t the only thing carrot juice can help you manage. According to Samuels, it can also help lower your cholesterol levels. “Carrot juice contains a large amount of potassium, which has been shown to have an inverse relationship with cholesterol. Diets high in potassium are typically those that lower cholesterol,” she says.
Don’t own a juicer but want to reap the benefits of carrot juice? Pick up these healthy carrot juice products. Be sure to choose vegetable juices made with 100 percent carrot juice and don’t contain added sugars, which can lead to hunger and cravings.
This article first appeared in prevention.com, a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.