Health Benefits of Carrot Juice
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices can be purchased at most grocers, farmers’ markets, and shops dedicated to fresh juice. They can also be made at home with juicing equipment.
Carrots are a common ingredient in many juices, as they provide a flavor that pairs well with many other fruits and vegetables.
Aside from taste, carrot juice may also provide numerous health benefits. Read on to learn more about the potential health benefits and possible risks of drinking carrot juice.
Carrot juice is nutritionally dense and a more healthful alternative to many fruit juices.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of canned carrot juice contains:
- 94 kilocalories (kcal)
- 2.24 grams (g) of protein
- 0.35 g of fat
- 21.90 g of carbohydrate
- 1.90 g of fiber
The same amount of juice provides a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
- 689 milligrams (mg) of potassium
- 20.1 mg of vitamin C
- 0.217 mg of thiamin
- 0.512 mg of vitamin B-6
- 2,256 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A
- 36.6 mcg of vitamin K
Health benefits for carrot juice
Carrot juice is nutritious and may be beneficial for a range of health conditions:
Carrots contain antioxidants, which may explain their role in cancer prevention. In a review of studies, researchers looked at the effect of eating carrots on the risk for stomach cancer.
They concluded that eating carrots were associated with a 26 percent lower risk for stomach cancer. However, they did not specify how many had to be eaten to lower stomach cancer risk. More controlled studies are needed to confirm this association.
More research is needed, but carrot juice may have a future role in leukemia treatment.
In one study, researchers looked at the effect of carrot juice extracts on leukemia cells. The carrot juice extracts caused the leukemia cells to self-destruct and stopped their cell cycle.
The high levels of carotenoids in carrot juice may help to lower the risk of breast cancer returning,
A study of breast cancer survivors looked at the effect of carrot juice on levels of carotenoids, markers of oxidative stress, and markers of inflammation in the blood.
The researchers reported that higher levels of carotenoids in the blood were associated with a lower risk of breast cancer returning.
During the study, participants consumed 8 ounces of carrot juice daily for 3 weeks. At the end of the study, the women had higher blood levels of carotenoids and lower levels of a marker associated with oxidative stress.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Carrot juice is high in vitamin C. Researchers looked at the association between dietary vitamin C intake and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Korean adults aged 40 years or older.
They found that people with COPD had significantly lower intakes of multiple nutrients found in carrot juice, including carotene, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, than people without COPD.
However, people with COPD also ate significantly less food overall than people without COPD.
For people who smoked heavily, the risk of COPD is lower in those who consumed more vitamin C than those who consumed very little.
Possible risks and considerations
People with weakened immune systems — such as those receiving cancer treatment, pregnant women, young children, and older people — may need to avoid certain foods if there is a risk of these carrying food-borne illnesses.
Fruit and vegetable juices that are freshly squeezed or have not been pasteurized may have a higher risk of carrying germs.
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center state that people who have been told to follow a low-microbial diet should avoid unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices unless they are made at home.
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), pregnant women should choose juices that have been pasteurized or treated to have a long shelf life. Freshly squeezed juices, which may be sold at farmers’ markets or juice bars, should also be avoided.
Carrots contain a type of carotenoid called beta-carotene that the body can convert into vitamin A.
Eating large amounts of carotenoids from foods has not been linked with harmful effects. However, the skin can turn yellow-orange if a person consumes large amounts of beta-carotene for a long time. This effect is called carotenoderma.
Juicing tips and recipes
Carrot juice contains less fiber and more sugar than raw carrots.
According to Stanford Health Care, the vitamin and mineral nutrients in 1 cup of carrot juice are almost equivalent to the amounts in 5 cups of chopped carrots.
While fresh fruit and vegetable juices do provide plenty of nutrients, they do not contain as much fiber as fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, they contain more sugar per cup than whole fruits and vegetables.
For example, 1 cup of carrot juice contains 2 g of fiber and 9 g of sugar, while 1 cup of cubed, raw carrots contains 3.5 g of fiber and 6 g of sugar.
Making fresh carrot juice at home requires a juice extractor. These appliances are sold online, in department stores, and at other retail stores that sell small kitchen appliances.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using a juicer and clean it after each use. Juice extractors may also come with recipe suggestions.
Carrots can be combined with other fruits and vegetables to make tasty juices. A person can try the following recipes at home:
Carrot juice may offer many health benefits due to the concentrated levels of nutrients it contains.
However, carrot juice has less fiber and more sugar than whole carrots. Fiber is associated with weight management and lowering cholesterol levels.
Carrot juice may not be appropriate for everyone, especially pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and people with certain illnesses, depending on how it is prepared.
Carrot juice in moderation can be included as part of a healthy diet. However, drinking juice is not a replacement for eating whole fruits and vegetables.