5 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More Carrots, According to RDs

These orange beauties are good for you because they're chock-full of healthy benefits.

Do you have a bag of carrots sitting in the crisper drawer right now, bought with the best of intentions but long forgotten? It's time to dig out these vibrant and nutritious root vegetables because they're one of the most powerful tools in your fridge to help you maintain optimal health. Less expensive and easier to come by than many so-called "superfoods," carrots offer a wide range of health benefits, last for weeks in the fridge, and are easy to include in meals and snacks for all ages.

While carrots are safe for pretty much everyone to eat, be warned that if you eat a ton, you might see some visible effects. "The high intake of beta carotene in carrots can turn the skin an orange-yellow color (a condition called "carotenemia")," says Charlotte Martin, M.S., RDN, author of The Plant Forward Solution. This is not dangerous to your health, however, and your skin will return to its normal color once you reduce the amount of beta-carotene you're consuming.

Amy Shapiro, M.S., R.D., CDN, founder of Real Nutrition, recommends buying organic carrots whenever possible, as carrots have the ability to absorb large amounts of pesticides from soil. If you're buying non-organic, wash your carrots well.

The Biggest Health Benefits of Carrots

Promotes Eye Health

The root veggies are full of a host of vitamins and minerals that play important roles in optimal functioning of many of our organs. Perhaps most famously, carrots are rich in beta-carotene (the compound that gives carrots their signature, vivid orange hue), which gets converted to Vitamin A in our bodies.

"Vitamin A is probably most well-known for its important role in supporting eye health and good vision, and adequate intake of it is essential in reducing the risk of macular degeneration," Martin says. A half-cup serving of raw, chopped carrots provides more than half of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A for adults.

Helps Skin Stay Healthy

In addition to its role in our vision, Vitamin A is also essential in protecting healthy skin. Martin cites a recent study that found that people who consumed more vitamin A and carotenoids had a reduced risk of skin cancer. "Regular intake of carrots, which are one of the best sources of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid beta-carotene, can help ensure adequate vitamin A supply in the body," she says.

Great for Your Gut

Carrots have 2 grams of fiber per half-cup serving, and that's a mix of soluble fiber (in the form of pectin) and insoluble fiber. Shapiro explains that soluble fiber can slow down how quickly our stomachs empty, which increases feelings of fullness after meals. Insoluble fiber is responsible for helping us prevent constipation by adding bulk to our stool. Taken together, carrots are powerful tools for maintaining a healthy digestive system.


Shapiro explains that in addition to eye health, carrots are also high in potassium, which is important for cardiovascular health. "Carrots are rich in disease-fighting phytonutrients with antioxidant properties, like carotenoids and polyphenols," says Martin. Taken in combination with their fiber content, which is beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, carrots have the potential to provide protection against heart disease and its risk factors, such as high cholesterol.


Carrots have a minimal impact on blood sugar, says Shapiro, making them a good snack for both diabetics and anyone hoping to avoid blood sugar spikes. Steady blood sugar levels help you avoid that constant crash-and-snack cycle, which can impact weight, energy levels, and mood.

The Best Ways to Eat Carrots

Adults should be eating two to three cups of veggies per day, and including carrots in that mix is the best way to start reaping all of the benefits above. Both Shapiro and Martin recommend eating carrots dipped in hummus, guacamole, or cottage cheese for a healthy snack. Roasting carrots in the oven with olive oil and salt (or glazing them with a little honey or maple syrup) is another great option.

"Cooking carrots increases the amount of beta-carotene your body is able to absorb," Martin says. Struggling with picky eaters? Shapiro recommends mincing carrots and adding them to baked goods for a barely perceptible nutritional boost. You could also pickle or shave your carrots and add them to a salad, or throw them into a stew and let the slow-cooking process bring out their natural flavors.

Carrot Recipes to Try

For even more inspiration, check out a few of our favorite carrot-centered recipes below.

Garlicky, cumin-spiced oil enhances the flavor in this recipe for Spiced Carrot Salad.
Greg DuPree

Spiced Carrot Salad

Shredded carrots get tossed with a warm oil infused with garlic, cumin, and a bit of spice from crushed red pepper. Get the recipe.

Caitlin Bensel

Carrot Soup With Candied Almonds

You'll turn two pounds of carrots into a simple, silky soup topped with a goat cheese-smeared toast and a rosemary-spiced candied almond mixture. It's a celebration-worthy vegetarian recipe that'll please all palates. Get the recipe.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

This recipe packs the comforting flavors of carrot cake in a healthy cookie to start your day. Wholesome, fiber-rich ingredients mitigate the release of added sugar into your bloodstream, including rolled oats, almond flour, walnuts, and a shower of shredded carrots. Get the recipe.

Carrot Muffins Recipe
Jennifer Causey

Carrot Muffins

If you're looking for a simple gluten-free breakfast muffin, this recipe only requires one bowl and calls for almond flour. The sweetness of the carrots pairs well with the richness of the nutmeg and walnuts. Get the recipe.

Carrot Ginger Dip
Caitlin Bensel

Carrot Ginger Dip

Fresh ginger adds a welcomed kick to this pureed carrot dip recipe, and pickled ginger slices are the perfectly fragrant garnish. Serve with raw veggies or crackers. Get the recipe.

Crispy Chickpeas and Veggies With Carrot Hummus
Caitlin Bensel

Crispy Chickpeas and Veggies With Carrot Hummus

This carrot hummus comes together in a food processor with rounded carrots, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Eat it as a dip or serve it underneath a colorful array of roasted veggies and chickpeas. Get the recipe.

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