Carrots are where carotene gets its name, and with good reason: One medium carrot contains 5,054 mcg of beta-carotene, 2,121 mcg of alpha-carotene, and a whopping 10,191 IU of vitamin A. One cup of carrots provides roughly 686 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A. A diet high in carotenes has been associated with significant decreases in the incidence of some cancers, including cancers of the bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx, esophagus, and post-menopausal breast cancer. Falcarinol is among the other substances in carrots being investigated for its potential cancer-preventive properties. Recent research suggests that getting carotenes from food is far more effective than consuming supplements.
It is possible that beta-carotene from food sources can even be dangerous when consumed in excess. For example, it appears to increase the incidence of lung cancer in smokers.
Itís more than a myth that carrots are good for your eyes. A carrot contains 1 mcg of lycopene and 156 mcg of lutein, both of which help protect and preserve the eye. A vitamin A deficiency can result in night blindness, though the connection between high carrot consumption and improved night vision is somewhat less solid.Nutritional Facts
One medium raw carrot provides 31 calories, 7.3 g carbohydrate, 0.7 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 2.2 g dietary fiber, 20253 IU vitamin A, 7 mg vitamin C, 10 mcg folic acid, 233 mg potassium, 25 mg sodium, 32 mg phosphorus, 19 mg calcium, and 11 mg magnesium.