Juicing is not dumping a bunch of fruits and vegetables into a blender and making a smoothie. Instead, juicing carrots and other produce is like making a concentrated extract. Freshly squeezed carrot juice doesn’t contain much fiber, but it's rich in various nutrients and is easily digested. Drinking carrot juice on a regular basis may positively impact your eyesight, skin and immune system. Carrot juice also makes an excellent drink base that goes well with other juiced vegetables and fruits, such as beets, celery, apples and oranges.
Carrot juice is particularly rich in beta-carotene, which is an orange-colored pigment that your body converts into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is essential for strong eyesight, especially night vision, and for the maintenance and repair of mucous membranes that line your eyes, nose, mouth and most body cavities. Vitamin A is also a potent antioxidant capable of destroying free radicals, which harm and age tissues such as blood vessels, internal organs and skin. Healthy fetal development also relies on vitamin A, as well as another vitamin in carrots called folate. Directly consuming vitamin A in high doses is toxic, but mega-dosing beta-carotene via carrot juice is not dangerous at all, and it may potentially be very beneficial.
Other compounds in carrot juice that are potent antioxidants and provide protection for your eyes are classified as phytonutrients and include lutein and zeaxanthin. These particular phytonutrients along with beta-carotene could help reduce your risk of eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts and astigmatism. Another important phytonutrient in carrot juice is falcarinol, which is a powerful antioxidant able to deter the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.
Carrot juice is a good source of vitamin C, which is needed by your body to build an elastic-like compound called collagen. Collagen is found within many tissues, such as blood vessels, skin and cartilage, and because it promotes elasticity, it allows the skin to stretch without damage. A lack of vitamin C and collagen is linked to skin degeneration, sagging and wrinkles. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and it stimulates the immune system by activating specialized white blood cells.
Carrot juice also contains a variety of trace minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and sulfur. These minerals are important for the strength of your bones, but some such as potassium and sodium also act as electrolytes, which support electrical nerve transmission and the distribution of various body fluids.
Drinking carrot juice is an efficient way to get virtually all the goodness from carrots without risking the gastrointestinal discomfort that sometime occurs from eating so much fiber. However, some of the nutrients such as vitamin C are sensitive to heat, so use a slow-speed masticating juicer instead of a high-speed commercial juicer that generates heat. In addition, drink the carrot juice soon after making it because some nutrients degrade quickly because of oxidation from air exposure.
- Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition; Benjamin Caballero et al.
- Textbook of Nutritional Medicine; Melvyn Werbach and Jeffery Moss
- Nutrition and Wound Healing: a Vital Role in Wound Management; Wendy Reardon
Sirah Dubois is currently a PhD student in food science after having completed her master's degree in nutrition at the University of Alberta. She has worked in private practice as a dietitian in Edmonton, Canada and her nutrition-related articles have appeared in The Edmonton Journal newspaper.