Health Benefits Of Carrots


Carrots, also known as Daucus carota, are root vegetables known for their vibrant orange colour, green shoots, and delicious crunchy taste. The many health benefits associated with carrots make them the perfect choice for people who want to improve their diet.1 

About carrots

We  associate carrots with their beautiful orange colour, but in the past carrots used to be a variety of different colours, including yellow and white. After the 16th century, farmers started to selectively breed orange carrots due to their better taste and vibrant colour. Alongside the orange phenotype, the selectively bred carrots also possessed more health benefits due to the high levels of beta-carotene and other micronutrients.1

On average, a carrot is about 86-95% water and around 10% carbohydrates. 100g of carrots has a total of 41 calories and the following nutritional values:

  • 0.9g of protein
  • 9.6g of carbohydrates
  • 4.7g of sugar
  • 2.8g of fibre
  • 0.2g of fat

Compounds found in carrots

One medium carrot contains 4mg of beta carotene which contributes to their orange colour. Our body absorbs the antioxidant of beta carotene and converts it into vitamin A. In addition to beta carotene, carrots are composed of other components that contribute to improving health. These extra components include:1

  • Alpha Carotene is an antioxidant that enhances the immune system and has anti-carcinogenic functions2
  • Lutein is an antioxidant which contributes to eye health by reducing inflammation in the eyes and enhancing vision 
  • Lycopene is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of getting cancer, sunburns, and heart disease 
  • Polyacetylenes have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties helping with reducing the risk of certain cancers like leukaemia
  • Anthocyanins are antioxidants, found in higher concentrations in carrots with darker colours. They have anti-diabetic, anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties and contribute to the prevention of many cardiovascular diseases3

Nutrients we can get from carrots

  • Vitamin A is converted from beta and alpha carotene naturally. Vitamin A has a lot of benefits, including improving eye health, and it is also vital in the growth, development, and improvement of the immune system
  • Vitamin C is an essential vitamin to maintain the health of our gums, teeth, and skin6
  • Vitamin B6 contributes to the formation of myelin, the protein sheath found in the nerve cells. One medium-sized carrot contains approximately the same amount of vitamin B6 as a glass of milk7 
  • Biotin, also known as vitamin H, can metabolise carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids. It can also improve hair, nails, and skin
  • Vitamin K1 is also sometimes referred to as phylloquinone and is used for blood coagulation and improving overall bone health
  • Potassium is an essential mineral used by the body to regulate blood pressure
  • Fibre is found in carrots in both soluble and insoluble forms. Soluble fibres such as pectin can slow the digestion of sugar and starch, regulating and lowering blood sugar levels in the process. Insoluble sources of fibres in carrots include cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, which help reduce constipation1

Health benefits of carrots

The composition of carrots makes them the perfect health food with a lot of health benefits. Some of the health benefits associated with carrots are listed below:

  • Improving eye health - Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which improves eyesight and overall eye health. This is because vitamin A is one of the crucial components involved in sending visual signals to the brain and helps the eyes adjust to dark surroundings more efficiently4 
  • Reducing the risk of chronic disease and cancer - Carrots have been linked with lowering blood cholesterol levels, hence reducing the chances of getting heart disease. In addition, the high levels of carotenoids in carrots reduce the risk of certain cancers such as prostate, colon, breast, and stomach cancers1 
  • Improving digestion - The fibre in carrots helps to stimulate bowel movements and prevent constipation5
  • Enhance the immune system- the different minerals, vitamins, and core components of carrots like anthocyanins and polyacetylenes strengthen the immune system

Including carrots in our diet

The good thing about carrots is their versatility, meaning that we can incorporate carrots into our daily lives in various ways.The main ways in which carrots can be incorporated into your diet are listed below:

  • Raw Carrots can be incorporated into your diet in salads or just as an afternoon snack. Moreover, if you dislike the taste of carrots, shredded carrots may be the ideal solution for you as you can add them to any food source. Eating the skin of carrots is also beneficial after it has been thoroughly washed. In general, carrots are at their healthiest when eaten raw6
  • Boiled Carrots are better absorbed by the body due to the high level of carotenoids. In addition, by cooking the carrots, the flavour of the carrots can intensify. This may be a better option for those who struggle to chew hard foods8
  • Carrot Juice can be the perfect refreshing drink on a hot summer's day, especially when combined with fruits such as oranges. This method increases the daily uptake of carrots and can be easier to digest

How much is enough?

The recommended portion is 3 medium-sized carrots or 1 or 2 regular carrots. This portion ensures that you consume sufficient nutrients without any unwanted side effects9

In general, carrots are safe vegetable to consume. However, eating too many carrots can have unwanted effects. Due to the high beta carotene in carrots, the main problem that can occur after eating carrots is a change in skin phenotype. According to the Cleveland Clinic, consuming an average of 20 to 50 milligrams of beta carotene every day for a week is sufficient to gradually make your skin slightly orange in a process known as carotenemia. Carotonemia mostly affects the palms and soles, but in severe circumstances, it can spread to other body parts. It is also important to note that there are other vegetables that are not necessarily orange or yellow that also contain high levels of beta-carotene. Some of the vegetables containing beta carotenes include spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.11 

Whilst the possibility of turning orange can be scary and shocking, it is good to know that it is completely harmless and can be easily reversed simply by reducing the amount of carotene-rich foods consumed.10


Due to their wealth of vitamins and nutrients, carrots are the perfect healthy food. There are many ways to add carrots to your diet, so make sure you take advantage of this healthy and delicious vegetable.


  1. Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, LN. Carrots 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits [Internet]. Healthline. Healthline Media; 2019 [cited 2023 Feb 23]. Available from:
  2. Tanumihardjo SA. Carotenoids: Health Effects [Internet]. Caballero B, editor. ScienceDirect. Waltham: Academic Press; 2013 [cited 2023 Feb 23]. p. 292–7. Available from:
  3. Khoo HE, Azlan A, Tang ST, Lim SM. Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: Colored Pigments as food, Pharmaceutical ingredients, and the Potential Health Benefits. Food & Nutrition Research [Internet]. 2017 Aug 13 [cited 2023 Feb 23];61(1):1361779. Available from:,plants%20are%20potential%20pharmaceutical%20ingredients
  4. Sanchez-Bustamante C. It’s True – Carrots (and Other Vegetables) Can Help You See in the Dark [Internet]. Military Health System. 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 24]. Available from:
  5. 10 reasons to eat carrots! [Internet]. Shippensburg Produce and Outreach. [cited 2023 Feb 24]. Available from:
  6. Services H and S. Carrots [Internet]. [cited 2023 Feb 24]. Available from:
  7. Rose Wilson D. Best 15 Vitamin B-6 Foods: Benefits and Recipes [Internet]. Healthline. 2017 [cited 2023 Feb 24]. Available from:
  8. Wainwright M. Boiling carrots whole boosts health benefits, researchers find. The Guardian [Internet]. 2009 Jun 17 [cited 2023 Feb 24]; Available from:
  9. The Healthy Journal - Gluten, Dairy, Sugar Free Recipes, Interviews and Health Articles [Internet]. [cited 2023 Feb 24]. Available from:
  10. Wells S. Can carrots really turn your skin orange? Scientists explain the famous claim [Internet]. Inverse. 2021 [cited 2023 Feb 24]. Available from:
  11. Beta-carotene Information | Mount Sinai - New York [Internet]. Mount Sinai Health System. Available from: 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Maariya Rachid Daud

MSc Molecular biotechnology, University of Birmingham

Hi, my name is Maariya and I am currently a student at the Univeristy of Birmingham studying a masters in molecular biotechnology. I love reading and writing articles about a wide range of topics with the hope of allowing everyone to learn how to live a healthier happier life. I especially enjoy writing articles that are targeted to people with non-scientific backgrounds giving everyone the opportunity to learn more about biology. I really hope that you find all my articles interesting and insightful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818