Forget the Stick, Have a Carrot

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Let’s say hip-hooray for vitamin A.

Here’s a fun fact: horses have different taste buds from humans, so they parse certain flavors differently. For example, to a human, a carrot tastes subtly sweet, but to a horse, carrots are spicy and invigorating. That’s why they like them so much as treats. No matter how they taste, though, it wouldn’t hurt you to be a little more like a horse and incorporate more carrots into your diet.

The one thing carrots are most well-known for is their ability improve your eyesight. This might sound kooky, but it’s actually true! Carrots are very rich in vitamin A and lutein, two vitamins that, together, prevent macular degeneration, fights off eye-based diseases, and make it easier for you to see in the dark. You won’t get instant x-ray vision, but your eyes will definitely see a bit more clearly.

Speaking of vitamin A, carrots are also rich in a particular vitamin A antioxidant known as beta carotene (name unrelated). As we’ve clarified numerous times over, antioxidants are your body’s first and foremost weapons against the worst kinds of conditions, from heart disease to cancer. The carotenoids in carrots also shore up your skin against damage from the sun, which means you’re better protected against skin cancer.

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Carrots make a great day time snack and weight loss aid, as they go just as well with most dips and sauces as potato chips and other, less healthy choices. The only downside to carrots is that if you eat too many of them, you might turn orange. No, really. Beta carotene has an orange pigment, so when there’s a lot of the stuff flowing through your bloodstream, the thicker parts of your skin could start turning orange. Not to worry, though, it’s not dangerous. Just dial back the carrots a bit, and you’ll return to normal.