Cooked carrots contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy addition to any diet. You may leave carrots off your menu plan because you have heard they are high in carbohydrates and sugar. In reality, carrots are a quality source of carbohydrates featuring fiber and antioxidants. Cooking carrots may actually make some of their nutrients more available for use by your body.
A 1/2-cup serving of boiled, sliced carrots contains just 27 calories. The carrots have no fat and only 1 gram of protein. The protein in carrots is lacking some of the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own, so it is considered incomplete. Cooked carrots contain 6 grams of carbohydrates per 1/2-cup with 2 grams of fiber. That translates to 8 percent of the 25 grams of fiber women need each day. This serving also offers 3 grams of naturally-occurring sugar.
Cooked carrots provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A per 1/2 cup, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. With 13,288 international units of vitamin A, cooked carrots support vision and reproductive health. Cooked carrots are also a source of vitamin C, with 2.8 milligrams, and vitamin K with 10.7 micrograms per 1/2 cup. Cooked carrots also contain small amounts of all of the B vitamins except for B-12 and also supply a small amount of vitamin E.
Cooked carrots contain 183 milligrams of potassium per 1/2 cup – approximately the same amount as a half cup of green beans or a small peach. That's 4 percent of the 4,700 milligrams women need on a daily basis. The carrots also offer 1 to 2 percent of the daily value of iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Cooked carrots also provide minor amounts of copper, sodium, manganese and selenium.
Carrots contain the antioxidant beta-carotene. A 2003 study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition," found that consuming cooked and pureed carrots resulted in a greater absorption of this antioxidant than eating raw carrots. The body makes vitamin A from beta-carotene, explaining carrots' high value of this nutrient.
- European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Beta-Carotene Bioavailability From Differently Processed Carrot Meals in Human Ileostomy Volunteers
- Drugs.com: Potassium Content Of Foods List
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Beta-Carotene
- USDA Nutrient Database: Carrots, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, Without Salt
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.