Carrot juice provides a colorful and nutritious start to your day. A glass of it offers valuable nutrition and a slightly sweet, earthy taste you'll know right away.
Daucus carota sativus is the domesticated carrot, and it looks nothing like its ancestor, the wild carrot, known as Daucus carota. Wild carrot is native to many parts of Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa, but domestication started in the Iranian Plateau around five thousand years ago. This high elevation area is where Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan exist today.
Groups in this region began favoring plants based on their color and flavor, eventually cultivating two main varieties: the Eastern/Asiatic carrot, which is purple or a deep red-orange, and the Western carrot, which is orange, white, or deep yellow.
Domesticated carrots co-existed with wild carrots, although only the domesticated carrot was used for food. During the 1700s, Europeans began favoring the orange variety. The Dutch were especially fond of orange carrots, and it is from their influence that we have the modern orange carrot.
Today, carrots grow in countries all across the world, with the largest producers being the United States, China, India, and Russia. Orange carrots remain the most popular variety and are used for most carrot juices.
Orange carrots and carrot juice are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A. One 8-ounce glass of carrot juice has about 800% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A and about 16 mg of beta-carotene, more than enough to meet your daily requirement.
Carrots also contain numerous vitamins and minerals that help improve your health:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
One 8-oz glass of pure carrot juice contains:
- 80 calories
- 2 grams of protein
- 0 grams of fat and cholesterol
- 17 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of fiber
- 10 grams of sugar
- 50 milligrams of sodium
Potential Health Benefits of Carrot Juice
Carrots are filled with beta-carotene and vitamin A, strong antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage and lower your risk of some diseases.
Carrot juice can also:
Help your eyes. Carrots are perhaps best known for their connection to eye health. Carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin are especially useful for protecting the lens and retina and for blocking blue light absorption. The beta-carotene found in carrots are also great for overall eye support and protection from ultraviolet light.
Help your heart. Eating carrots can help to lower your chances of cardiovascular complications. Carrots contain vitamin E and other antioxidants, which can help to lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, and lower the odds of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Potential Risks of Carrot Juice
Carrot juice contains more beta-carotene than raw carrots do. Drinking too much carrot juice can lead to carotenemia, a temporary condition where skin takes on a yellowish tint from too much beta-carotene in the blood.
To enjoy the benefits of carrot juice without consuming too much vitamin A or beta-carotene, drink no more than half a glass — or 4 ounces a day.