Carrots

Daucus carota subsp. sativus

Carrots are Highly Recommended for Breast Cancer

Carrots have been shown to have antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects. Carrots are an excellent dietary source of vitamin A (converted in the body from beta-carotene and alpha-carotene) and fibre, and contains some vitamin C and B vitamins, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. In addition to various carotenoids, carrots contain other bioactive compounds such as falcarinol, luteolin, sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol, and various lignans, all of which have been shown to have, or are suspected of having, anti-cancer activities. Carrots have been shown to suppress inflammation, promote good vision and be cardioprotective.

Carrots are perhaps best known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient that was actually named for them: beta-carotene. However, these delicious root vegetables are the source not only of beta-carotene, but also of a wide variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients. The areas of antioxidant benefits, cardiovascular benefits, and anti-cancer benefits are the best-researched areas of health research with respect to dietary intake of carrots.

Antioxidant Benefits

All varieties of carrots contain valuable amounts of antioxidant nutrients. Included here are traditional antioxidants like vitamin C, as well as phytonutrient antioxidants like beta-carotene. The list of carrot phytonutrient antioxidants is by no means limited to beta-carotene, however. This list includes:

  • Carotenoids
    • alpha-carotene
    • beta-carotene
    • lutein
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
    • caffeic acid
    • coumaric acid
    • ferulic acid
  • Anthocyanindins
    • cyanidins
    • malvidins

 Different varieties of carrots contain differing amounts of these antioxidant phytonutrients. Red and purple carrots, for example, are best known for the rich anthocyanin content. Oranges are particularly outstanding in terms of beta-carotene, which accounts for 65% of their total carotenoid content. In yellow carrots, 50% of the total carotenoids come from lutein. You're going to receive outstanding antioxidant benefits from each of these carrot varieties!

Predicting how much beta-carotene the body will absorb is not an easy task. It’s essentially trapped in plant tissues and requires some chopping and cooking to maximize the amount released during digestion. For this reason, one will get more beta-carotene from cooked foods. Whether one prefers raw or cooked, either way some healthy fat needs to be added to the meal to assist the nutrient's absorption.

Many different factors influence bioavailability. For example, overall health and the amount one eats impacts the absorption of some nutrients. Beta-carotene is embedded in a matrix with protein. If the matrix is not broken down, it's not released and only a small percentage of the total amount in the food being eaten will be absorbed. Chopping helps disrupt the matrix and heating releases even more, which means that cooking allows the body get to obtain beta-carotene.  To get the optimal amount of beta-carotene, don’t overcook food and avoid boiling or cooking it in water in a microwave.  Ideally lightly steamed is best for the assimilation of beta-carotene.

Whether choosing raw or cooked carrots, be sure to include healthy fat in the same meal. Beta-carotene is fat-soluble, which means it’s digested differently than water-soluble nutrients that can be released into the bloodstream. During digestion, it’s mixed with bile salts and other lipids, which requires the presence of dietary fats because they stimulate the process. It’s estimated that about 3 to 5 grams of fat with a meal, is needed, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. This can be accomplished by using an oil-based salad dressing, by drizzling some olive oil over the food or by cooking it in oil. Regardless of preparation choice ensure that the oil used are healthy unsaturated fats vegetable oils.

Consumption of carrots has been found to be associated with reduced risk of oesophageal, lung, colon, bladder, urothelial, cervical, prostate, and ovarian cancer.

Breast cancer-related effects of eating carrots

Consumption of carrots has been found to be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer in numerous (but not all) population studies. This protective effect appears to be due to the interaction of multiple components of carrots, not just the presence of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. Higher levels of carotenoids and vitamin A (retinol) in the blood of breast cancer survivors have both been found to be associated with greater likelihood of breast cancer-free survival.

Additional comments

Consuming 8 fluid ounces of fresh carrot juice per day has been shown to raise carotenoids in the blood to levels associated with protection against breast cancer. Supplementation with beta-carotene or with vitamin A will not provide the same beneficial effects as consuming high-carotenoid foods such as carrots and in fact these supplements have been associated with increased risk of certain cancers (e.g., lung cancer).

Non-organic carrots must be washed very thoroughly to remove pesticide residue. The original carrots were purple in colour and purple carrots are still available. Purple carrots contain beneficial anthocyanins in addition to carotenoids.

One way cancer develops in breast tissue is through the cancer-resistant protein (BCRP/ABCG2), but there is a way to effectively block this protein, both preventing and treating already existent cancer.

Only one compound in food which most of us you might already eat (or drink) has the ability to inhibit that protein from being taken up by the body and spreading cancerous cells as a ‘side population.’  It’s called falcarinol, and it occurs naturally in carrots.

Carrots and Cancer Research

Falcarinol is an antioxidant found in carrots that has proven anticancer properties. Researchers in the UK and Denmark reduced cancerous tumours by 1/3 in mice and rats with lab induced cancers.

Another human study found that consumption of carrot juice increased blood levels of carotenoids in breast cancer survivors. The researchers believe that increased carotenoid blood levels act as a cancer preventive.

According to Dr. Max Gerson, whose fresh organic carrots with apple juice is a large part of the famous Gerson Therapy, carrot juice is molecularly almost identical to human blood.

DBM Protocol – Adjunct Treatment – Betacarotene

Carrots pair well with apples, tomatoes, greens and almost any vegetable and fruit.   It is best juiced on its own – but to add a variety to the patients diet they can try any of the following recipes – all one needs is a juicer or a blender.  Ensure the fruits and vegetables used are cleaned and prepared properly (remove the tops) before being juiced.

Blender Method

For optimisation of beta-carotene levels

Ingredients

  • 2   cups water
  • 2   cups carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1   tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1   tsp fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3⁄4   cup ice cubes made from clean water

 Instructions

  • Add ingredients to FourSide or WildSide+ jar in order listed and secure lid.
  • Select "Whole Juice" or blend on a Medium-High speed for 50-60 seconds.

Juicer Method

Below are a variety of Juices that include carrots for optimisation of beta-carotene levels. 

  • Select any of these combinations. 
  • Wash and prepare all the vegetables in the appropriate manner, then juice and serve immediately.
  • Each combination makes approximately one large glassful.

Plain Carrot Juice: 6-8 carrots (makes approximately one large glass)

OR select one combination:

  • 6 carrots + 5 sprigs of parsley
  • 4 carrots + 1 apple + 4 lettuce leaves + ¾ cup of string beans
  • 5 carrots + 2 apples
  • 4 carrots + 1 beet (with greens) + Small handful of spinach
  • 4 carrots + 2 strips of bell red pepper + Tiny handful of parsley
  • 5 carrots + 1 apple + ½ inch knob of ginger
  • 4 carrots + 3 oranges
  • ½ pear + 4 carrots + 3 fennel stalks + 1 celery stalk
  • 5 carrots + 2 tomatoes

Visit this page for more information on Supportive Juices

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