Why You Need To Eat More Carrots

If you rejected veggies as a kid, then you might have sorely resented the pro-vegetable propaganda in classic cartoons. Especially if you fell for it. The most obvious offender was Popeye, whose balloon-like forearms looked ripe to pop after he half-inhaled a can of spinach-roids. But if you loved Bugs Bunny, then maybe you tried to crack jokes while chewing carrots like he did and hoped desperately that you could laugh past the tears. 

Maybe you wondered how a mouth that crafted laughter could allow orange joylessness to enter it. Perhaps you felt duped and decided to side with Daffy Duck when a confused Elmer Fudd struggled to pick which talking animal to hunt, and you vengefully whispered, "I say it's rabbit season, and I say fire!" It seems that some of us may have ducked carrots and vegetables, in general, every season ever since. 

According to a 2017 study published by the CDC, in 2015, only 9.3 percent of U.S. adults consumed the recommended amount of veggies. Two years earlier, that figure was 8.9 percent. Too bad the propaganda wasn't propagated more successfully because the funny bunny was right. Healthline writes that carrots are often characterized as "the perfect health food." Rather than ducking carrots, we should be hunting them with Fudd-like fervor.

Why it should always be carrot season

Carrots are a triple threat – but really an anti-threat – in that they are low in calories, high in nutrients, and low on the glycemic index. A single seven-inch long raw carrot weighing 78 grams packs just 30 calories, per the FDA, yet it yields 110 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, 8 percent of your fiber requirement, and 7 percent of the recommended amount of potassium. That vitamin A is converted from the abundance of carotene contained in carrots and not only assists your eyesight but aids your immune system. The fiber primarily derives from pectin, which helps keep blood sugar levels in check by slowing the metabolism of sugar and starch.

Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, control muscle contractions, and keep nerves working properly (via Healthline). Carrots will also supply you with lycopene, which might mitigate your cancer risk; vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly; lutein, which benefits your eyeballs, and a litany of other antioxidants and healthy compounds.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to eat more carrots is that they pair well with duck meat, as demonstrated by this recipe for spiced duck breasts and carrots shared by Food and Wine. Even if Daffy would cry foul, you know the argument holds water because carrots are 88 percent water. Besides, a Bugs fan would love to be able to ask your physician, "What's up, Doc?" and for that doc to say, "A clean bill of health!"