Baby Carrots Three Times a Week: Health Benefits You Need to Know

Baby Carrots Three Times a Week: Health Benefits You Need to Know

A new study found that simply eating baby carrots as a snack three times a week significantly increased carotenoid levels in the skin of young people. Levels of these phytonutrients increased even further when combined with a multivitamin containing beta-carotene.

Carotenoids are responsible for the red, orange, and yellow pigments in many fruits and vegetables, and measuring them in the skin can tell you how much fruit and vegetable you’ve eaten.

Higher levels of skin carotenoids in the skin are associated with better antioxidant protection and a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and some cancers. This marker also reflects improved skin health and immune function.

“Previous studies have demonstrated that skin carotenoid levels can be increased by consuming three times the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables every day for three weeks,” said Mary Harper Simmons, a nutritional science master’s student at Samford University.

“Our findings suggest that a small, simple dietary modification — incorporating baby carrots as a snack — can significantly increase skin carotenoid accumulation.”

At the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting, which took place in Chicago from June 29 to July 2, Simmons presented the results.

In order to conduct the study, 60 young adults were divided into groups at random and given one of four treatments: 100 grams (approximately 1/2 cup) of baby carrots, a multivitamin supplement containing beta carotene, or a combination of the supplement and baby carrots. The control group received Granny Smith apple slices.

Before and after this procedure, the researchers used a research-grade, non-invasive spectroscopic device called the VeggieMeter to detect and quantify carotenoids in the skin of study participants.

The researchers discovered that the group receiving the baby carrots had considerably higher skin carotenoid scores than the baseline levels—by 10.8% in that group and by 21.6% in the group receiving the carrots plus the supplement. The levels of skin carotenoid in the apple group and the individuals who just received the multivitamin supplement did not alter.

According to Simmons, “we found that the combination of baby carrots and a beta carotene-containing multivitamin supplement can have an interactive effect on skin carotenoid accumulation.” “People should choose a multivitamin that contains beta carotene and remember to eat baby carrots at least three times a week to get a beneficial effect.”

Given that multivitamin supplementation did not increase carotenoid accumulation, there may be variations in the absorption of carotenoids based on the source—food or supplements.

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