Carrot juice is a nutritious beverage packed with vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds. Understanding the components in carrot juice can help explain its potential health benefits. This article will explore the main nutrients and plant compounds found in carrot juice.
The three main macronutrients in carrot juice are carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Carrots are one of the highest carbohydrate foods. One cup (240 ml) of carrot juice provides about 26 grams of total carbohydrates (1). The main carbohydrate is sucrose, also known as table sugar. Carrot juice contains about 5–10% sucrose (2).
Carrot juice also provides around 1–3% glucose and fructose. These are simple sugars that are sweeter than sucrose (2).
The remaining carbohydrates in carrot juice consist of fiber and starch. Carrot juice is a good source of soluble fiber like pectin, which may help promote gut health (3).
Carrot juice is not a significant source of protein, providing around 1 gram per cup (240 ml) (1).
There is minimal fat in carrot juice, with only 0.2 grams per cup (240 ml) (1).
Carrot juice is an excellent source of many vitamins.
Carrots are best known for their beta-carotene content. The body converts this antioxidant compound into active vitamin A. One cup (240 ml) of carrot juice provides over 400% of the daily value for vitamin A (1).
Vitamin A supports eye health, growth and development, and immune function (4).
Carrot juice also provides B vitamins like folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins help convert food into energy and create new cells (4).
One cup (240 ml) of carrot juice provides 5-10% of the daily value for these B vitamins (1).
Carrots contain decent levels of vitamin C, an antioxidant that promotes immune health and collagen production. You get over 10% of the daily vitamin C from an 8-ounce (240 ml) serving of carrot juice (1).
Carrot juice has small amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage. One cup (240 ml) provides 4% of the daily value (1).
Carrot juice is a source of vitamin K, which supports blood clotting and bone health. An 8-ounce (240 ml) serving provides around 30% of the daily vitamin K needs (1).
Some of the main minerals in carrot juice include potassium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and selenium.
Carrot juice is high in potassium, which helps control blood pressure and water balance in the body. One cup (240 ml) provides 15% of the RDI for potassium (1).
Carrot juice also provides over 20% of the daily value for manganese, a mineral that aids bone health and metabolism (1).
You get around 10% of your daily phosphorus needs from 8 ounces (240 ml) of carrot juice. Phosphorus works with calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth (1).
Magnesium and calcium
Carrot juice contains decent amounts of magnesium and calcium, providing 6–8% of the daily value for these essential minerals (1).
Carrot juice provides a small amount of selenium, a mineral with antioxidant effects. One cup (240 ml) has 2% of the daily selenium needs (1).
In addition to vitamin A, carrot juice provides various antioxidant plant compounds with health-promoting properties.
As mentioned, carrot juice is very high in beta-carotene. Along with being converted to vitamin A, beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant and may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress (5).
Carrots contain polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and anthocyanins. These plant compounds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects (6).
Carrot juice provides various carotenoids besides beta-carotene, such as lutein, lycopene, and alpha-carotene. These pigments have antioxidant properties and promote eye health (7).
Possible health benefits
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in carrot juice may provide several health benefits.
Supports eye health
Carrot juice is one of the best sources of pro-vitamin A carotenoids, which play an essential role in eye health. Consuming carotenoid-rich foods can help prevent vitamin A deficiency and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness (8).
Carrot juice is high in immunity-supporting vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. These nutrients protect your cells from damage and help build and maintain a strong immune system (9).
Promotes skin health
The antioxidants in carrot juice, including vitamin C and carotenoids, help keep your skin healthy by protecting against sun damage. Carrot juice also provides vitamin A, which supports skin cell growth and turnover (10).
Supports heart health
Carrot juice contains many heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin K. Together, these nutrients may help reduce heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and inflammation (11).
May lower cancer risk
Some research indicates that eating more carotenoid-rich vegetables like carrots may lower your risk of certain cancers. This effect is thought to come from the antioxidant activity of carotenoids (12).
That said, more studies are needed on carrot juice specifically.
Drinking carrot juice offers many potential health benefits but also comes with some downsides:
- May be high in sugar. Carrots have naturally high sugar content, and juicing concentrates this. Those with diabetes or on a low sugar diet should moderate their intake.
- Low in fiber. Juicing removes the fiber content of carrots, which aids digestion and gut health.
- Can cause carotenoderma. Consuming large amounts of carotenoids from carrots can temporarily give your skin an orange hue. This condition is harmless.
- Easy to overconsume. Juice has less filling fiber than whole carrots, so it’s easy to take in a lot of carrots and excess calories by overdrinking.
Here are some tips for preparing healthy carrot juice:
Use organic carrots
When possible, choose organic carrots. They have more antioxidants and lower pesticide contamination than conventionally-grown carrots (13).
Scrub fresh carrots and rinse well before juicing to remove dirt and surface pesticide residues.
Drink freshly made
Drink your carrot juice immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2–3 days. The vitamin and antioxidant content diminishes over time after juicing.
Add herbs and spices
For flavor, add fresh herbs like mint, parsley, cilantro, or spices like cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.
Blend with other juice
To reduce the sweetness and sugar content, blend carrot juice with lower-sugar juices like cucumber, celery, lemon, or tomato.
Include the pulp
Add some of the leftover carrot pulp into your juice to increase the fiber and nutrient content.
Strain if sensitive
If you have digestive issues, strain your carrot juice to remove excess fiber that may cause gas or bloating.
Moderate portion sizes
Limit carrot juice to around 1 cup (240 ml) per day to control your sugar and calorie intake.
The bottom line
Carrot juice provides an array of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Drinking this vitamin-rich beverage may promote eye, skin, and immune health. However, moderating your intake is key to controlling its sugar content.
Overall, carrot juice can be included as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet when consumed in moderate amounts.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Published April 1, 2019.
- Shallenberger RS. Taste chemistry: sucrose, fructose, glucose. Chem Matters. October 1993.
- Kaur N, Gupta A. Applications of pectinases in the commercial sector: a review. Bioresour Technol. 2002;85(3):215-225.
- National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin A. Updated August 24, 2021.
- Fiedor J, Burda K. Potential Role of Carotenoids as Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2014;6(2):466-488.
- Leja M, Mareczek A, Wyzgolik G, Klepacz-Baniak J, Czekońska K. Antioxidative properties of bee pollen in selected plant species. Food Chem. 2007;100(1):237-240.
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- Sommerburg O, Keunen JE, Bird AC, van Kuijk FJ. Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. Br J Ophthalmol. 1998;82(8):907-910.
- Maggini S, Wenzlaff S, Hornig D. Essential Role of Vitamin C and Zinc in Child Immunity and Health. J Int Med Res. 2010;38(2):386-414.
- Telang PS. Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013;4(2):143-146.
- Bondonno NP, Dalgaard F, Kyrø C, et al. Flavonoid intake is associated with lower mortality in the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Cohort. Nat Commun. 2019;10(1):3651.
- Key TJ. Fruit and vegetables and cancer risk. Br J Cancer. 2011;104(1):6-11.
- Chassy AW, Bui L, Renaud EN, Horn MV, Mitchell AE. Three-Year Comparison of the Content of Antioxidant Microconstituents and Several Quality Characteristics in Organic and Conventionally Managed Tomatoes and Bell Peppers. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(21):8244-8252.