Carrot leaves, contrary to what most people believe, are actually edible. We can easily find carrot greens, another name for carrot leaves, atop of carrot plants. Carrot leaves are easily identified by their lacy and feathery shapes, with jagged sides. They taste somewhat in the mix of bitter and sweet, with grassy texture as well as astringent scent.
We all know that carrots are one of the most common vegetables that people use on their daily diets. As it turns out, however, we probably can start consuming the whole carrot plants knowing the possibilities and myriad of benefits that we can derive out of them. Chances are we’re unaware of this before. But apparently carrot greens contain high amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Which makes it suitable to be eaten in soups, salads, and curries. Anyway, these are the nutritional contents of raw carrot leaves (one cup).
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Nutrients of Carrots
- Calories (88 g)
- Total Fat (0 g)
- Cholesterol (0 mg)
- Total Carbs (7 g)
- Dietary Fiber (2 g)
- Sugars (0 g)
- Protein (1 g)
- Vitamin A (110%)
- Vitamin C (10%)
- Calcium (2%)
- Iron (2%)
Just by looking at the nutritional table, we could conclude that carrot leaves do indeed contain so many essential nutrients which including Vitamin A (riboflavin), Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and iron. Moreover, other health benefits are present which can’t be described by facts and figures alone. For your reading pleasure, as well as to sate your thirsts for knowledge, we have concluded numbers of benefits in consuming carrot leaves as described by following paragraphs.
1. Boost the Immune System
One of the most prominent benefits of carrot leaves is its high amount of vitamin C. It is even believed that the vitamin C contained in carrot leaves is even greater than the one in the roots, about six times more. Which is why carrot leaves could be useful additions for our next chicken soup or salad, because combined with other ingredients, they can work together in boosting the immune system. Particularly useful for relieving cold and equally beneficial for skin health.
2. Help Preventing Tumor Growth
The most common compound contained in green leaves is chlorophyll. It is the one chemical that is responsible for photosynthesis as well as making the leaves of plants green. Turns out, chlorophyll also contains powerful nutrients whose main function is to prevent tumor cells from growing. Some researches suggested that carrot leaves have the ability to hinder tumor growth which in turn restricting malignant cell division.
3. Act as Mild Diuretics
Aside from preventing tumor growth, there is another benefit of chlorophyll contained in carrot leaves. Though may not widely known, chlorophyll in fact can act as a mild diuretic, which helps in stimulating the outflow of bodily fluid in the form of urine.
4. Aid in Detoxification
Chlorophyll also has detoxifying effect to our bodies, which explain the similar effect found in other green leaves such as green tea. The detoxifying effect in turn helps the kidney to filter harmful substances in our blood, consequently preventing the formation of kidney stones as well as dissolving those already present.
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5. Support the Digestive System
The benefits of chlorophyll goes along the way. As it turned out, the detoxifying properties of chlorophyll also help in cleansing the colon as well as relaxing it. Combined with the dietary fiber normally found in greens, they work together in stimulating bowel movement, pushing out the wastes from digestion which in turn improving the absorption of nutrients.
6. Protect Heart Health
Carrot leaves is also high in potassium, which is known for its effect in regulating blood pressure. Those who are high in blood pressure usually has potassium deficiency. Which is exactly why adding carrot leaves to our daily meal might keep our health healthy by lowering high blood pressure and thus preventing stroke commonly caused by atherosclerosis.
7. Help in Maintaining Muscles’ Endurance
Not only are carrot leaves rich in macronutrients, they also pack some minerals which work together for common good. Take for example, magnesium. This mineral is known for its role in preventing inflammation by reinforcing the muscle tissues in all over our body. Combined with other mineral such as potassium, the compound of the two can work together in strengthening muscles and improving blood flow which keep us energetic throughout the day.
8. Promote Bone Strength and Health
Not only minerals, carrot leaves also contain some beneficial vitamins, one of them is vitamin K which is important for blood clotting as well as increasing bone density. Combined with minerals such as calcium and magnesium, vitamin K can promote overall bone health as well as strength, greatly reducing the chances of bone and joint problems such as osteoporosis.
9. Help Maintaining Eyes Health
You know the good thing about carrot leaves is? not only are they good additions to our usual salad, but they also equally as nutritious as their own carrot roots! That’s right, carrot leaves do contain high amount of vitamin A which has well-known benefit of keeping eyes’ health. Which makes it not such a bad idea to eat the carrot plants whole, roots and leaves.
10. Help Improving Blood Circulation
As discussed on earlier paragraphs, carrot leaves are rich in magnesium and potassium which work great together in keeping our blood circulations in order. Improved blood circulations also means better metabolism, sharper focus and of course essential for maintaining overall body health.
11. Regulate Blood Pressure
Both potassium and magnesium also play essential parts in keeping blood pressure in check. Multiple studies has been done to find significant correlations between magnesium intake and the reduction of blood pressure. Extremely neat addition to our dessert as well as salad especially after heavy red meats or other tension-spiking consumption.
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12. Prevent Anemia
For those who are anemiac, consuming carrot leaves can help boosting hemoglobin productions in red blood cells, which in turn can prevent anemia. For those who need some hemoglobin boosts but averse to blood supplements, carrot leaves can be safe and natural alternatives.
13. Serve as Menstruation Supplement
There is this kind of chemical compounds which is quite unique found in carrot leaves. They are called porphyrins, which are more commonly found in wild carrot leaves. Porphyrins’ main function including stimulating the pituitary gland which in turn releases sex hormones.
Consequently, the hormones stimulates the uterus, which means those on their period can control their menstruation cycles. However, because it has an effect in inducing uterine contractions, it is strongly prohibited to be used by women in pregnancy.
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14. Help Treating Kidney Problem
The most common trait shared by bitter greens is that they are all strong diuretics. Which means, carrot leaves can be used to help stimulating the filtering process of kidneys by fasten the outflow of urine. This also serve to be solution to many kidney problems such as edema and kidney stones.
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15. Relieve Migraine Headaches
Carrot leaves are so heavy in vitamin and minerals that they can act as a natural health supplements. Not only that, they can also relieve headaches, including migraine headaches. Migraine is a kind of headaches symptom which occur on one side of the head, characterisized by the agonizing pain it caused, often induces dizziness and nausea as the side effects.
The reason is because most of the time, migraines are caused by nutritional deficiencies, which also including anemia and low blood pressures. Therefore, by consuming carrot leaves, whether mixed them in salad or juice them together with other ingredients, might help in relieving migraines headaches and also preventing the migraines from happening again.
Some Cautions of Carrot Leaves
So those are the surprising health benefits from carrot leaves. By the looks of them, carrot leaves do indeed seem well-rounded nutrition sources which can be essential additions to our soups or salad. The presences of both important macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients can greatly enhance whatever meals we add them into. However, there are some things to take into consideration regarding carrot leaves which also serve to clarify some doubts before consuming them.
It is somehow believed that carrot leaves are poisonous. Actually, it’s not true, carrot leaves by themselves aren’t toxic at all. However, we should take care to wash the dirt or pesticide off them before we use them for our further consumption. Carrot leaves also don’t have any side effects unless maybe for those who are allergic to leaves such as celery or parsley, which belong to the same family as carrot leaves. Lastly, those who are in their pregnancy should take caution before consuming carrot leaves. High amount of porphyrins are reported to be contained in carrot leaves, whose effects including uterine contractions, which could be harmful to the infant in conception.
With many health benefits of carrot leaves and cautions put in mind, we can choose wisely to incorporate carrot leaves into our daily meals. The health benefits of carrot leaves are so numerous they’re hard to pass up. Thanks for reading, keep the open mind and stay healthy.
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