The wellness world has evolved immensely the past few decades. (Biggest understatement ever, right?) It wasn’t that long ago where tracking steps (and fitness trackers themselves) was a brand-new concept, and athleisure wasn’t even a word, much less a lucrative clothing category. But healthy juices have long been a staple among the health set—including carrot juice, one of the OG flavors.
However, unlike some other juicing trends, carrot juice benefits are the real deal. It’s no wonder that the drink has stood the test of time as a go-to beverage, despite so much else changing within the wellness world.
Here, registered dietitian Kim Melton, RD, highlights the benefits of carrot juice, which is exactly what it sounds like: juice produced with carrots. Plus, get tips on how to make sure you’re buying one that’s truly healthy and see recipes for how to make your own at home.
5 carrot juice benefits every healthy eater should know
1. It supports vision health
“Carrot juice is high in beta carotene [a pre-cursor to vitamin A], which is an antioxidant that benefits vision,” Melton says. It’s also very high in vitamin A itself. If you spend most of your waking time staring at a screen, sipping carrot juice is one way to show your tired eyes some love. A good goal to aim for is 700 micrograms of vitamin A a day, and 100 grams of carrot juice has 956 micrograms, more than you need for the whole day.
2. Carrot juice is good for the immune system
The beta carotene in carrot juice isn’t just good for vision health; Melton says it supports the immune system, too. The reason why it’s so important to immunity is that it protects mucus integrity in the body (which helps the body defend itself from nasty viruses) and also helps reduce inflammation.
3. It’s good for your skin
You can officially consider carrot juice a beauty superstar. This is because it’s high in both antioxidants and vitamin C, which do wonders for the skin. Antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals, which damage skin cells. And vitamin C plays an important role in the skin’s natural collagen production, which keeps skin looking young, firm, and elastic.
4. It could reduce the risk of breast cancer
Consuming carrot juice could also lower the risk for breast cancer. One meta-analysis of 10 different studies found a correlation between regular carrot juice consumption and a reduced risk for the cancer. Researchers say this is because of the juice’s phytochemicals, which may stop cancerous cells from developing. While the link is exciting, carrot juice shouldn’t be thought of as a primary way to prevent any type of cancer, but the research shows that it could play a small and supporting role in prevention.
5. It’s good for your heart
The antioxidants in carrot juice make it beneficial for the cardiovascular system. One study found that drinking carrot juice was linked to better blood flow. This means if you’re looking for a boost in powering through a workout, sipping carrot juice beforehand could work in your favor, allowing you to breath more easily even when your workout gets intense.
Potential risks for drinking carrot juice and tips for buying a truly healthy bottle
For the most part, drinking carrot juice has very little risk or side effects. But like with anything, you don’t want to overdo it. Too much beta carotene can actually change the color of your skin. If your skin is turning orange, it’s definitely a sign you’re drinking too much. However, this is very rare in adults; you have to be eating and drinking a lot of vitamin A-rich foods. (For example, one case study showed a man developed yellow-orange discoloration on his hands and feet after eating mostly mangoes and papayas for six months straight.)
As with any food or drink, you should check the nutritional panel when buying store-bought carrot juice. “When buying carrot juice, make sure there are no added sugars,” Melton says, to avoid excessive consumption of sugar. Similarly, if you get your carrot juice at a juice or smoothie shop, it’s important to be mindful of the sugar content or other additives, which are often added to the drinks and can potentially detract from their nutritional value.
Of course there’s always the option of making your own carrot juice at home, too. That way, you know *exactly* what’s in your glass. Keep reading for some recipes to try, which also include other nutritious ingredients.
Reap the carrot juice benefits with these healthy recipes
Adding condensed milk in your carrot juice recipe will make it super creamy and a bit sweeter. This recipe also calls for ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon, which also give it more of a sweet than savory taste. If you’re vegan, you can use coconut milk in place of the condensed milk; it will work just as well and taste just as yummy. Want to turn it into a cocktail? It tastes good with a little rum, too.
If you’re looking for a super simple carrot juice recipe to follow, this one is it. All you need are carrots, an apple, and a lemon. The apple adds sweetness while the lemon gives a nice bright tartness to it, making it a well-rounded and completely healthy drink.
Carrots can be incorporated right into your green juices, too. (Hey, they taste great in a salad, so it makes sense the combo works in liquid form, too.) This recipe combines carrots, celery, kale, and apples for a juice that’s mostly savory, and just a tiny bit sweet.
If you’re a parent, you know the struggle is real in getting kids to eat their veggies. Knock a daily serving off their plate (literally) by blending up this juice for them. Besides carrots, it’s made with mango, pineapple, and oranges—those sweet fruits are key.
Want to lean all in to carrot’s immunity- and collagen-boosting vitamin C? Add bell peppers to your blender, which is another great source of the nutrient. Also in this recipe is celery, lemon, and a bit of ginger for a kick.
Do you have another idea for how to reap carrot juice benefits? Share it in Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.