60 calories in an 8 oz serving of Carrot Juice
Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds, and therichest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes. Carrots'antioxidant compounds help protect against cardiovascular disease andcancer and also promote good vision, especially night vision.
After beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the liver, it travelsto the retina where it is transformed into rhodopsin, a purple pigmentthat is necessary for night-vision. Plus beta-carotene's powerfulantioxidant actions help provide protection against maculardegeneration and the development of senile cataracts, the leading causeof blindness in the elderly.
Carotenoids and Optimal Health
Carrots are by far one of the richest source of carotenoids-just onecup provides 16,679 IUs of beta-carotene and 3,432 REs (retinolequivalents), or roughly 686.3% the RDA for vitamin A. High carotenoidintake has been linked with a 20% decrease in postmenopausal breastcancer and an up to 50% decrease in the incidence of cancers of thebladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx, and esophagus. Extensivehuman studies suggest that a diet including as little as one carrot perday could conceivably cut the rate of lung cancer in half. Remember thestudy in which heavy long-term cigarette smokers were given syntheticbeta-carotene, and it did not appear to prevent them from developinglung cancer? Well, not only is synthetic beta-carotene notbiochemically identical to the real stuff found in carrots, butscientists now think that carrots' protective effects are the result ofa team effort among several substances abundant in carrots, includingalpha-carotene-another, less publicized carotenoid. A recent NationalCancer Institute study found lung cancer occurence was higher in menwhose diets did not supply a healthy intake of alpha-carotene.
Carotenoids and Blood Sugar
Intake of foods such as carrots that are rich in carotenoids may bebeneficial to blood sugar regulation. Research has suggested thatphysiological levels, as well as dietary intake, of carotenoids may beinversely associated with insulin resistance and high blood sugarlevels.