The fall means it’s peak carrot season, and whether you like to throw them into soups or you prefer to braise or roast them up on their own, now’s the perfect time to soak up all their health benefits. Carrots are notoriously good for your eyes, and they can even improve the health of your skin, brain, and heart. What’s more, there’s an even better way to get all the nutrient goodness from carrots — drinking carrot juice.
Carrot juice is simply the juice extracted from carrots, but the extraction process gives it a highly concentrated nutrient profile. To make a single serving of carrot juice, you'd be using up to four or five carrots and thus, get most of those nutrients (minus the fiber that’s removed during juicing). For most of us, that's way easier than eating all those carrots!
The nutrients in carrot juice have a slew of impressive health benefits. For example, you've probably heard about the benefits carrots have for eye health and vision. Carrot juice is extremely high in beta carotene, a kind of vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant, and it’s required for strong vision as it protects the surface of the eye. One review of studies found that beta-carotene consumption from carrots was associated with lower risk of macular degeneration (or age-related vision loss), cataracts, and glaucoma. Carrot juice is also high in lutein, another antioxidant that protects the eye from bright, damaging light. Another study showed that lutein was linked to a decreased risk of age-related vision loss!
Carrot juice is also good for your skin, especially if you struggle with skin conditions or disorders. Beta-carotene is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can reduce inflammation associated with skin conditions like psoriasis. Carrot juice is also high in vitamin C, another antioxidant that you’ve probably noticed in a lot of anti-aging skin products. That’s because vitamin C has healing properties for aging skin, increasing cell turnover to fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
If that weren’t enough, carrot juice can benefit a few other important bodily systems in more ways than one. Firstly, it’s great for your brain and could even prevent age-related brain conditions like dementia. Oxidative stress causes damage to the brain cells that can lead to cognitive impairment and memory loss. The beta-carotene in carrot juice, however, combats oxidative stress and could strengthen brain function and memory. One study found that taking beta-carotene significantly reduced levels of oxidative stress. This means that carrot juice could help preserve those precious brain cells and help you keep your memory!
Some of the other notable benefits of carrot juice include improving heart health and immunity. Vitamin C is also a known immune-system enhancer, so carrot juice may help you prevent sickness and disease. One study of patients with leukemia showed that treatment with carrot juice induced cancer cell death, stopping the disease from progressing. Carrot juice is also potent in potassium, a nutrient required for good heart health. Potassium helps to trigger your heart to pump blood throughout the body, and it also plays a role in filtering the blood of lipids (or fat-like compounds) in the kidneys. This can help you keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check! Oxidative stress also puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke, so the antioxidant qualities of carrot juice help to fight these conditions.
How to Make Carrot Juice
Making carrot juice is simple, whether you’re doing it in a juicer or a blender. If you have an actual juicer, first cut the ends from five carrots, then run them through it. For an added gut and immune boost, add an inch of fresh ginger and a dash of turmeric (about ⅛ teaspoon). If you’re making your juice in a blender, cut the ends of your carrots and throw them in the blender with about a cup of water and blend on high until juice is smooth.
Keep in mind, it’s possible to consume too many carrots, so don’t go overboard. If you notice that your skin is taking on a slightly yellow or orange tone, cut back on the carrot juice. Otherwise, enjoy this healthful beverage as much as you like!
This story originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.