Carrot is a root vegetable that is often used in various cuisines. The sweet taste and its attractive color in orange make this vegetable is very tasty to eat. Besides its vitamin A contained which is good for eyes health, carrot contains also various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B, potassium, copper, and manganese. All of these nutritional contents are beneficial for body health, especially for pregnant women. Here are 11 health benefits of carrot during pregnancy:
1. Carrot maintains eyes health during pregnancy.
One of the health benefits of carrot during pregnancy is maintaining the health of the eyes for both mother and her baby. The vitamin A contained in carrot supports the eyes development of the fetus and protect the vision of the mother.
2. Carrot acts as an antioxidant in pregnant women.
The attractive orange color of the carrot indicates beta-carotene contained. Beta-carotene is a pro-vitamin A which is converted into vitamin A in the body. This substance acts as antioxidant in pregnant women that protect both the mother and the baby from free radical which can make cancer and disturb the fetal development. However, be careful to consume this substance in an excessive amount, especially when the mother takes the beta-carotene as a supplement. The overdose of beta-carotene can cause carotenoderma where the skin becomes yellow.
3. Carrot enhances the immune system during pregnancy.
The health benefits of carrot during pregnancy to enhance the immune system come from its vitamin C contained. Vitamin C plays the role in defense mechanism in the body against infection. It can protect the baby also from infection during pregnancy.
4. Carrot helps to prevent anemia in pregnancy.
The other health benefits of carrot during pregnancy are preventing the anemia condition. This can happen because carrot contains iron, an essential mineral for red blood cells formation. In addition, vitamin C contained in carrot can prevent anemia also by helping the absorption of iron during pregnancy. If the iron can absorb well, the formation of red blood cells can be preceded smoothly so anemia condition won’t happen.
5. Carrot contains calcium for fetal growth.
Pregnant women need calcium to support the growth of the fetus. Calcium contained in carrot supports the growth of bones and teeth in the fetus and maintains the healthy bone for the mother.
6. Carrot prevents muscle cramp during pregnancy
Preventing muscle cramp in pregnant women becomes one of the health benefits of carrot during pregnancy. The potassium contained in carrot plays a role in muscle contraction mechanism. If the potassium level sufficient, the muscle cramp won’t occur and the muscle can work properly.
7. Carrot helps overcome constipation in pregnant women.
Carrot contains high dietary fiber which is effective in preventing constipation. In addition, this fiber can bind the fat and cholesterol so pregnant women can control their ideal body weight during pregnancy.
8. Carrot helps the fetal nervous system development.
The health benefits of carrot during pregnancy are gotten from vitamin B contained especially vitamin B6 and folic acid. These vitamins are essential for fetal brain and nervous system development and prevent the neural tube defects in the fetus.
9. Carrot helps the formation of bone and cartilage in the fetus.
Carrot can help the formation of bone and cartilage in the fetus because of its manganese contained. Manganese is crucial mineral for bone and cartilage development during pregnancy. The recommended amount of manganese to be consumed is 2mg per day.
10. Carrot prevents gestational hypertension.
Preventing gestational hypertension is one of the surprising health benefits of carrot during pregnancy. Gestational hypertension is a condition where the blood pressure elevates during pregnancy. Consuming carrot can prevent hypertension because it contains potassium, the mineral that plays the role in muscle contraction including heart muscle. If the heart muscle can work in a stable way, hypertension can be prevented.
11. Carrot helps to prevent bleeding in late pregnancy.
The other health benefits of carrot during pregnancy can be found in its vitamin K contained. As we know, vitamin K has an important role in stopping the bleeding. In the late pregnancy, vitamin K is needed to protect the mother from unstopped bleeding during labor and after giving birth. The amount of vitamin K needed is 1 mcg per kg body weight per day which is about ½ cup of carrot per day.
11 health benefits of carrot during pregnancy have been explained above. It is very important to consume carrots in a proper amount and proper way. Carrots can be consumed whether in raw condition or in cooked. If you love to eat these vegetables in raw condition don’t forget to wash them and peel the outer skin unless they are grown organically, you do not need to peel them.
Tips on cooking
If you prefer to cook carrots, don’t overheating these vegetables until overcook. Even the beta-carotene in carrot is a heat stable, it’s better to cook them over medium heat to maintain their optimal nutritional content.