Slightly sweet and loaded with good things for your body, carrot juice can be a tasty and beneficial addition to your diet, whether you buy it ready-made at your local grocery or jam some raw carrots into your blender at home.
There’s just one caution about this juice. As it turns out, you can get too much of a good thing. Because of its sugar content, experts recommend drinking no more than eight ounces of carrot juice daily. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should drink no more than four ounces daily, experts add.
But even in that limited quantity, carrot juice brings significant dietary advantages. Read on to discover just five surprising benefits of drinking carrot juice.
Carrot Juice Is Amazingly Nutrient-Dense
Looking to boost your energy, improve your immune system, have healthier skin, help your eyesight, and get a hedge against developing some cancers? Carrot juice, especially when it’s homemade, can help you with all of that and more, thanks to its impressive collection of nutrients.
It contains vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K and potassium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. And that’s just a partial listing of everything it can bring to your diet.
What’s more, all of that comes in just one 8-ounce glass containing just 80 calories, along with two grams of protein, two grams of fiber, and no grams of either fat or cholesterol. As just one caution, carrot juice is surprisingly sweet, with 10 grams of sugar per 8-ounce glass. But that shouldn’t be a problem for most people concerning the recommended daily consumption.
Protect Your Vision with Carrot Juice
Carrots have long been associated with healthy eyesight, but that popular conception began as propaganda during World War II. As British pilots began successfully using then-new radar technology to search out and destroy enemy aircraft at night, military officials needed a cover story. So they attributed their aircrews’ success to eating carrots.
As it turned out, there happened to be some scientific basis for the ruse. Carrots contain carotenoids, chemical compounds that protect healthy eye cells and can prevent the growth of cancerous eye cells. Two specific carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, have roles in protecting the lens and retina of the eye.
Carrot Juice Can Give You Better Skin
Want better skin? One cup of this vegetable juice gets you more than 20% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. A water-soluble nutrient, vitamin C is a necessary component of collagen, the protein that keeps skin strong and elastic.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that protects the skin from damage by free radicals and unstable atoms that are linked to aging.
Also, carrot juice contains beta-carotene, a carotenoid that some studies have shown may protect your skin from damage by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Keep Your Brain Healthy with Carrot Juice
In addition to its other health benefits, the beta-carotene in carrot juice may be key to keeping your mind sharp throughout your life. One study has found that beta-carotene can reduce oxidative stress, an inability of the body to counteract the damaging effects of free radicals.
Oxidative stress can damage brain cells, leading to impairment of the brain, including memory loss, that can characterize conditions like dementia. With its beta-carotene, carrot juice could help strengthen both memory and brain function.
Get Stronger Bones with Carrot Juice
Carrots are a great source of calcium and phosphorous, which play significant roles in bone health. Carrot juice is a great tool for boosting bone density and delaying any potential onset of osteoporosis in combination with the other minerals found in carrots, including potassium and magnesium.
It also contains vitamin K, which helps calcium bind to the body’s bone structure. Additionally, it helps the body better absorb calcium from other sources.
Carrot Juice Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions about how and why to integrate carrot juice into your diet, here are answers to a handful of frequently asked questions about making and storing it, as well as some potential issues that some people may face with consuming it.
Can I make my own carrot juice?
After you’ve picked out some carrots from the produce section of your favorite grocery store or found a locally grown variety at a farmers’ market, it’s easy to make your own juice. Your first step is to clean the carrots under cold running water with a vegetable brush. If you’re worried about pesticides, you can trim a thin layer off of your carrots without diminishing their nutritional value.
From there, cut two pounds (about eight carrots) into 1-inch to 2-inch chunks, and give them a spin in your blender or food processor until they are finely mashed. Then, to thin out the taste, mix your blended carrots into a container with two cups of water brought to a boil.
Allow the mixture to stand for 15 to 30 minutes, and then use a hand strainer and a blunt object — the curved bottom of a ladle will work — to press out the juice. For the best taste, serve your fresh juice immediately. You can also store it in the refrigerator but should drink it within 24 hours.
Try this carrot and orange juice recipe to kick your carrot juice up a notch.
Check out our website for more information on other vegetables and fruits to juice and ideas for the best juicers.
What should I look for in store-bought carrot juice?
Making your own carrot juice and drinking it fresh is the best way to take advantage of its full nutritional value. Store-bought versions are pasteurized, a process that involves high levels of heat that can destroy nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and thiamine, all of which are present in carrots.
If you buy carrot juice in the grocery store, it can last in your refrigerator for seven to 10 days, but it’s a good idea to sniff it quickly to detect any “off” odors, even within that time.
Are there any potential problems with drinking carrot juice?
One of the reasons for not drinking more than the recommended eight ounces of carrot juice daily is that it contains high levels of beta-carotene, the pigment that gives carrots their orange color.
Consuming too much can cause your skin to take on a yellowish tinge, which some people might mistake for jaundice, an indicator of serious medical conditions like liver dysfunction. Happily, simply cutting back on your consumption will prompt the skin discoloration to disappear.
People with diabetes also should be careful about consuming too much. While raw carrots have six grams of sugar per cup, juicing them boosts sugar content to nine grams. On a related note, juicing carrots also significantly increases carbohydrate content to 12 grams per cup or raw carrots to 22 grams per cup for juiced carrots.
Finally, you should watch your intake if you are taking blood thinners because they can interact adversely with the vitamin K in carrots, which promotes blood clotting.
Wrapping up the Benefits of Carrot Juice
As you’ve learned, drinking carrot juice is a quick and delicious way to boost your health, as long as you remember to drink it in moderation. Check out our page to learn more about carrots, including how to preserve them so you can whip up a batch of juice even when they’re not in season.