Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Pros and Cons of Carrots

Carrots happen to be one of the most recognizable vegetables out there, like potatoes, broccoli and cabbages. Though carrots are known for its bright orange color, there are manifold varieties of this crop that have purple, white, and red hues. Believed to have first been domesticated in Afghanistan, carrots eventually spread to Europe and later on were brought to the United States by European settlers. Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked and this vegetable can be included in salads, soups, and even baked items. Though the vegetable has tons to offer nutritionally, moderate consumption of carrots is still advised.

Continue reading and discover more about the pros and cons of carrots and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate use of this vegetable.

Carrots’ Benefits:

Polyacetylenes are phytonutrients recently discovered to be present in measurable amounts in carrots. Polyacetylenes function as a natural pesticide that ward off fungal infestation in the roots of carrots. In humans, these polyacetylenes were found in a 2009 Danish study to inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.

The abundant carotenes in carrots appear to protect cardiovascular health as well, this according to a 2008 Dutch study. Elderly Dutch men were followed for fifteen consecutive years and those who had high alpha- and beta-carotene intake from eating carrots were found to have lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.

Of course, carrots are a potent source of vitamin A, with one cup of this vegetable already capable of providing more than four times the RDA for this nutrient. Vitamin A has manifold functions in the body but one of its most crucial roles is to protect from macular degeneration, which is a precursor to blindness.

Carrots’ Risks:

Carrots are a potent source of carotene, an organic compound responsible for the rich orange hue of this vegetable. This bright-colored pigment is also present in measurable amounts in an array of plants and fruits like collards, sweet potatoes, oranges, and pineapples. Too much consumption of carrots as well as other yellow- or orange-colored fruits and vegetables may result in the condition called carotenosis, which is characterized by the orange discoloration of the skin.

It is crucial to note that the bright-hued carotene, like beta-carotene, is a provitamin A carotenoid which is processed by the liver to turn it into bioavailable vitamin A. Individuals with impaired liver function should check with their physician prior to consuming carrots in excessive amounts as doing so may further tax said organ. Similarly, individuals with diabetes should do so, too, as cooked carrots may interfere with the absorption of medications for blood sugar regulation.

Some people have noted sensitivity to carrots as well. As it turns out, carrots’ main allergen protein is a potential cause for allergen cross-reactivity between mugwort and birch pollen, and so individuals who are allergic to the pollen of the latter mentioned plants may possibly be allergic to carrots as well.

Carrots’ Practical Uses:

The carotenes become more bioavailable when carrots are cooked, ideally by steaming. You can always slice carrots in thin portions to allow for even and quicker cooking time. The phytochemicals react with carbon steel as well so make sure to use only stainless steel utensils and knives, and glass or stainless steel cookware when preparing and cooking carrots.

Carrots have been listed by the Environmental Working Group as one of the crops with the highest pesticide residue as well. Choosing organic over conventionally grown carrots is then advised to ensure your exposure to harmful chemicals is minimized.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of celery and how to moderately use it in your quest to Become Superhuman.

In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:

Eat:

Sprouts

Avocados

Olives

Asparagus

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Cabbage

Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut

Naturally Fermented Pickles

Bok Choy

Collards

Swiss Chard

Kale

Mustard Greens

Nori (Seaweed)

Organic Greens Powder or Capsule

Moderate:

Sweet Potatoes

Yams

Plantains

Potatoes

• Corn

Peas

Carrots

Celery

Cucumber

Squash

Zucchini

Romaine Lettuce

Red Lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce

• Fennel

Radishes

Avoid:

Canned Vegetables

Non-Organic, Un-Rinsed Vegetables

Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:

Potatoes

Tomatoes

• Peppers

• Garlic

Onions

Eggplant

If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of carrots, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of carrots.

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