Are carrot greens healthy?

Carrot greens, also known as carrot tops, are the leafy green tops of carrots that are often discarded. However, these greens are edible and contain many nutrients that make them a healthy addition to your diet. In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional benefits of carrot greens and provide tips for using them.

Nutrition Facts

Carrot greens are highly nutritious, sometimes even more so than the carrot root. Here is a comparison of the nutrient content of 1 cup of raw carrot greens versus 1 cup of raw carrot:

Nutrient Carrot Greens Carrots
Calories 25 52
Protein 1.7 g 1.2 g
Fiber 3.6 g 2.8 g
Vitamin A 186% DV 424% DV
Vitamin C 27% DV 10% DV
Vitamin K 830% DV 16% DV
Potassium 448 mg 340 mg
Calcium 98 mg 33 mg

As you can see, carrot greens contain only 25 calories per cup, making them a low-calorie snack or addition to meals. They provide protein, fiber, vitamin K, calcium, and other important nutrients.

Vitamin K

One of the most impressive nutrients in carrot greens is vitamin K. Just 1 cup provides over 800% of the recommended daily intake! Vitamin K plays many important roles in the body:

  • Helps blood clot properly
  • Supports bone health and reduces fracture risk
  • May protect against heart disease, cancer, and inflammation

The high vitamin K content makes carrot greens an excellent food for improving bone strength and cardiovascular health.


In addition to vitamin K, carrot greens contain carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein. These antioxidants protect cells from damage and inflammation. Eating carrot greens provides antioxidants that can:

  • Protect eye health
  • Reduce cancer risk
  • Enhance immunity
  • Improve skin health

Carrot greens have higher levels of lutein than carrot roots. Lutein protects the eyes from blue light damage and reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Blood Sugar Control

The fiber and antioxidants in carrot greens may provide benefits for controlling blood sugar levels. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, preventing spikes and crashes. And antioxidants reduce inflammation that can lead to insulin resistance.

Studies show that consuming carrot juice with the greens has more anti-diabetic effects than carrot juice alone. The greens help moderate blood sugar response after meals for better glycemic control.

Study Group Blood Sugar Response
Carrot Juice with Greens Lower blood sugar spike
Carrot Juice Alone Higher blood sugar spike


The chlorophyll and antioxidants in carrot greens may provide cleansing effects in the body. Chlorophyll is a pigment that has a molecular structure similar to hemoglobin, the compound that carries oxygen in red blood cells.

Some research indicates chlorophyll can help remove toxins from the body by binding to them during digestion. Carrot greens are an excellent source of chlorophyll to promote detoxification.

How to Eat Carrot Greens

Here are some tips for using carrot greens in recipes:

  • Add them to green smoothies for extra nutrition.
  • Saute lightly with olive oil and garlic.
  • Mix them into pesto, spreads, and dips.
  • Stir into soups, stews, and broths.
  • Add raw greens on top of salads.

You can also juice carrot greens with fruits and vegetables. Try combining carrot greens with orange juice, apples, lemon, ginger, or greens like kale and spinach.


To maximize freshness, carrot greens should be stored properly. Here are some storage tips:

  • Remove greens from carrots right away and store separately.
  • Rinse greens and pat dry.
  • Place unwashed greens in a plastic bag or container.
  • Store in the refrigerator crisper drawer for 5-7 days.
  • Do not wash greens until ready to use.

Prevent wilting by misting greens with water if they become dry. Avoid freezing carrot greens, as they’ll become limp when thawed.

Risks and Precautions

Carrot greens are very healthy for most people, but there are some precautions to be aware of:

  • Pesticide residue – Wash greens thoroughly to remove any chemicals from conventional carrots.
  • Oxalates – Carrot greens contain oxalates that can cause problems for people prone to kidney stones.
  • Blood thinners – The high vitamin K content may interfere with blood thinning medication. Consult a doctor.
  • Allergies – Carrot greens could cause reactions in those allergic to carrots.

Start by eating a small amount of greens to check for any sensitivities. Introduce them slowly into your diet and discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur.

The Bottom Line

Don’t throw away your carrot tops! These underappreciated greens provide a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health benefits. The high amount of vitamin K, in particular, makes them stand out from other leafy greens.

Add carrot greens into recipes, juices, and smoothies to enhance nutrition. With proper storage, the greens will stay fresh for 5-7 days. Eating carrot greens can boost your overall health and maximize the nutritional value from your carrots.

Though a few precautions exist, carrot greens are very healthy for most people. Incorporating them into your diet can provide antioxidant protection, improve eye health, strengthen bones, and more.

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