What are the benefits of drinking carrot juice? Do you need to peel carrots before juicing? How much carrot juice should you drink a day? Can you lose weight by drinking carrot juice? So many questions about what seems like such a simple topic. This article will provide you with the answers to these questions, the nutrition facts about carrots and carrot juice, a quick run-down of how to make carrot juice with or without a juicer, and then our own special carrot juice recipe to make drinking carrot juice an even tastier prospect.
Health Benefits of Carrots
Carrots are full of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin D, vitamin K, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B, vitamin E, and potassium. Carrots and carrot juice are great for liver function, for eye health, and for keeping your hair, skin, and nails healthy and strong. Let’s explore some of these vital nutrients and what they can do for your health.
One of the most well-known benefits carrots can bring is beta-carotene for eye health. Beta-carotene is a type of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that aids strong vision by protecting the surface of the eye. Drinking carrot juice can help you avoid eye disorders like blindness, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Macular degeneration can also be warded off by the lutein in carrots, another antioxidant that guards against damage from light and that a study found was linked to reduced rates of macular degeneration among older people.
The potassium in carrot juice can help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level balance, possibly without the need for medication. Lower cholesterol means a lower rate of stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular conditions, and carrots can contribute to your overall heart health in this way.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Carrots can also help reduce your risk of cancer. Since carrots have such strong antioxidants that help guard against cell damage, thus discouraging the growth of abnormal cells that make up various cancers, a greater intake of carrots could mean arming yourself with anti-cancer nutrients. One study even showed that carrot juice extract applied to leukemia cells and non-tumor cells over 72 hours induced cell death in the leukemia cell line and stopped the progression of the disease, suggesting that carrots might be effective in leukemia treatment. On top of that, dietary beta-carotene is associated with lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Carrot juice is low in calories, filling, and an excellent substitution for sodas and sugary drinks, making it an aid to weight loss right from the jump. However, carrot juice also helps increase your bile secretion, which speeds up weight loss and helps to increase fat-burning metabolism in lab rats, and may have the same or similar result in humans. So yes: drinking carrot juice is good for weight loss in more ways than one.
Immune System Strength
Carrots contain vitamin C, which provides an immune system boost to accompany the antioxidant protection already mentioned above. With more vitamin C in your system, you may be able to get through cold and flu season without the hassle of getting sick, taking off work or school, or bringing a virus home to your family. Make a big enough batch of carrot juice, and get the whole family drinking it for added protection.
Speaking of family, drinking carrot juice is valuable during pregnancy due to its content of folate, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and magnesium. Calcium helps build strong bones, and folate helps to prevent birth defects. The American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women get at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, and carrot juice can help women reach that goal a lot more easily. Along with vitamin A, the vitamin C in carrot juice boosts the immune system, lowering the risk of dangerous infections during pregnancy.
Improves Skin Health
Especially for those who have struggled with maintaining clear skin, such as those with frequent rashes or psoriasis, both vitamin C and beta-carotene help to heal skin and reduce inflammation. This means that skin can recover faster from any damage done to it, and that the regular inclusion of carrots in your diet might improve the health and appearance of your skin overall.
Cognitive Function and Protection
The beta-carotene in carrot juice might also help improve cognition and reduce the risk of memory issues like dementia as we age. The weakening of the brain’s nerve cells is linked to oxidative stress, which then leads to reduced cognition as the brain’s cells fail to regenerate fully. Beta-carotene may improve memory and strengthen brain function, as was seen in one study in which workers exposed to lead while taking beta-carotene over a 12-week testing period exhibited less oxidative stress than the control group.
Possible Downsides of Carrot Juice
Juicing a carrot does remove its fiber content, which is itself a health benefit far more often than not, excepting those who need to be on a temporary low-fiber diet to rest their digestive system.
Too much beta-carotene can turn your skin yellowy-orange, as it is the nutrient which gives carrots their bright orange color. This is not harmful to you, but it could be alarming if you were unaware of this side effect, and suddenly woke up to skin that appeared jaundiced.
Outside of these mild concerns, juicing carrots is a fantastic way to get raw carrots into your diet quickly, thus gaining the health benefits of increased vitamin content without the extra fiber, which allows for increased absorption during digestion.
How to Make Carrot Juice With or Without a Juicer
Whether you’ve got a juicer ready to go or are using a blender or a food processor instead, this section will quickly explain how you can make your own carrot juice at home. Read on after the step-by-step to find general recipe ideas, including our own detailed Orange-less Orange Juice concoction.
1. Gather and Wash Your Carrots
For fresh carrot juice, gather together two to three medium-sized carrots and wash them. No, you don’t have to peel the carrots to juice them, but if you find it easier to peel rather than scrub the carrots, feel free to do so. For washing, simply take a scrub brush to your carrots to remove the dirt on their skin and rinse them clean.
2. Chop and Blend
If you have a juicer, you don’t need to chop your whole carrots or other ingredients (recipe ideas below), but for those without: chop them up for easy blending or dropping into a food processor. Add a little filtered water or ice cubes to help the processing along.
3. Strain the Purée
Either use a hand strainer set atop a glass or put the purée into a nut milk bag and squeeze the liquid out by hand to strain the juice.
4. Save the Pulp
No need to throw out the pulp when you’re done juicing, instead freeze it for use in other recipes. We did discuss that there’s valuable dietary fiber in carrots that juicing removes, so take that carrot pulp and consider including it in soups, casseroles, scrambled eggs, stir fries, thicker smoothies, or mixed with butter, ghee, or cream cheese for a healthy spread.
You’ve got your carrot juice now, and if you want to learn about some creative ways to flavor and enjoy it, keep reading.
Carrot Juice Recipes
Use organic carrots for the best possible final product, and take a look at these other ingredients you can incorporate into your own carrot juice recipes.
- Sweet and simple: For the easiest recipe of all, simply add some orange juice or lemon juice to the top of your glass at the end. That will give you a sweet/tart flavor to cut through the carrot taste and make it more enjoyable to drink.
- Savor and spice: Onion, garlic, black pepper, and turmeric can be included in a spicy, healthy vegetable juice medley that further boosts your immune system.
- Tropical twist: Add mango, pineapple, and ginger during the processing phase, and get a tropical twist on your carrot juice.
Those are some basic ideas, but for a specific recipe, try out our Orange-less Orange Juice for a multi-person treat, especially great for giving kids a carroty orange juice that comes with all the vitamins of a helping of vegetables without any added sugar. The recipe calls for:
- 5 carrots
- 2 apples
- 1 cucumber
- 1 piece of ginger
Discover even more vegetable and fruit juice recipes here, and get creative when experimenting to find your perfect fit.
24 Carrot Gold
Carrot juice is a great, healthy option whether you’re on a vegetarian, vegan, or low-calorie diet. Dairy free (obviously), gluten free, and full of vitamins and nutrients, carrot juice doesn’t have to stand alone. You can add carrot juice to multi-vegetable and fruit juice concoctions, and really concentrate the valuable nutrients that all those different foods can provide into one refreshing glass.