JustCarrots Information

Benefits of carrots

It is well established that carrots are a healthy food. They contain many important nutrients-beta carotene and other carotenoids, B vitamins, vitamin C, the minerals calcium and potassium, and much more. Of all of these, it is beta carotene that traditionally has received the most attention.

Beta carotene

Beta carotene is one of about 500 similar compounds called carotenoids, which are present in many fruits and vegetables. The body changes beta carotene into vitamin A, which is important in strengthening the immune system and promoting healthy cell growth. However, beta carotene is much more than the precursor for vitamin A. Only so much beta carotene can be changed into vitamin A, and that which is not changed contributes to boosting the immune system and is also a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radicals and help prevent them from causing membrane damage, DNA mutation, and lipid (fat) oxidation, all of which may lead to many of the diseases that we consider "degenerative."

Alpha carotene

Beta carotene is not the only carotenoid. Often overlooked, and also found in carrots, is alpha carotene. According to an article in NCI Cancer Weekly (Nov. 13, 1989), Michiaki Murakoshi, who leads a team of biochemists at Japan's Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, contends that alpha carotene may be more powerful than beta carotene in inhibiting processes that may lead to tumor growth. Murakoshi indicates that neuroblastoma (cancer) cells coated with carotenoids experience a drop in N-myc activity compared to untreated cells. N-myc is a gene that codes for cell growth-stimulating proteins and can contribute to cancer formation and growth. Alpha carotene was found to be about ten times more inhibitory toward N-myc activity than beta carotene. Murakoshi concludes that all types of carotenoids should be studied for possible health benefits.

In sum, alpha carotene and beta carotene, like all nutrients found in vegetables and fruits, have health benefits. Indeed, The 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released by the U.S. government, states that "The antioxidant nutrients found in plant foods (vitamin C, carotene, vitamin E, and the mineral selenium) are presently of great interest to scientists and the public because of their potentially beneficial role in reducing the risk of cancer and certain other chronic diseases."

Phytochemicals

Many claims about plants and health have not been tested in clinical, double-blind trials or by other traditional means. Should we believe them? The universal acceptance of the benefits of plant phytochemicals-substances found in plants that might play a role in preventive health-might at least nudge us toward the willingness to accept the possibility that plants have benefits.

Some of the research on phytochemicals is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which has launched a multimillion-dollar project to find, isolate, and study phytochemicals. The result of this and similar research is an ever-increasing wealth of data that points to the possible positive effects of fruits and vegetables on our health.

For example, research has shown that broccoli contains a substance, sulforaphane, that may prevent, even cure, breast cancer. Citrus fruits contain limone, which increases the activity of enzymes that eliminate carcinogens. Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and similar vegetables contain indoles, which might lower the risk of breast cancer. Currently in the news is genistein, a substance found in soy beans which may block tumor growth, and lycopene, a component of tomatoes which has been linked to reduced risk of prostate cancer.

One of the results of this research is that the NCI recommends that we eat five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits per day.

Juicing

How healthy are carrots? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, three raw carrots (216 g, or a little less than one-half pound) contain about 2 g of protein, 21 g of carbohydrates, 60 mg of calcium, 1 mg of iron, 696 mg of potassium, 60,000 International Units (IUs) of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, 19 mg of vitamin C, 30 mcg of folate, and traces of many more vitamins and minerals.

Juicing adds to the benefits of carrots. Because juicing removes the fiber, the important nutrients and phytochemicals found in carrots and other plants are absorbed more easily by our bodies-sometimes within minutes-without too much effort on the part of the digestive system. As well, more of the nutrients are absorbed; fiber is not present to escort some of them out of the body.

Fresh fruit and vegetable juices also are rich in enzymes. Enzymes spark the hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions that occur throughout the body; they are essential for the digestion and absorption of food, for conversion of foodstuffs into body tissue, and for the production of energy at the cellular level. In fact, enzymes are essential for most of the building and rebuilding that goes on in our bodies every day. Without enzymes, and the sparks they provide, we would be helpless: a bag of bones, unable to walk, talk, blink, or breathe. When foods are cooked, enzymes can be destroyed; that is why raw foods and juices are so important to us. They provide us with an excellent source of all-important enzymes.

Juicing provides another substance that is essential for good health-water. Water is essential in the digestion and transportation of food, in the elimination of waste, in the lubrication of joints, in the regulation of body temperature, and in cellular processes; all physiological functions rely on water in one way or another. Most health professionals recommend that we drink eight glasses of water per day.

It is important that we drink good water. Many of the fluids that we do drink-coffee, tea, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, artificially flavored drinks, and even tap water-contain substances that are harmful and might require additional water for our bodies to eliminate. Fruit and vegetable juices provide natural water straight from nature. Be sure to use purified or filtered water with AIM Just Carrots.

AIM Just Carrots

AIM Just Carrots is made from 100 percent natural carrot juice crystals with only the fiber removed. The powder is concentrated 25 times, which means that 25 pounds of raw carrots are used to make one pound of AIM Just Carrots powder. The caplets are formed from the powder.

AIM Just Carrots has one of the highest sources of natural beta carotene-up to 700* percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Drinking one serving of AIM Just Carrots provides you with 35,000* IUs of beta carotene. In addition to beta carotene, AIM Just Carrots contains vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. AIM Just Carrots is monitored for maximum nutrient levels. A single serving of AIM Just Carrots powder contains 40* calories; a single serving of caplets contains 25* calories.

When you eat raw carrots, only 1 percent of the beta carotene is absorbed by the body. Cooking breaks down the fibrous walls of carrots and increases the body's absorption to 19 percent. Approximately 90 percent of the beta carotene in AIM Just Carrots is absorbed.

The carrots used in AIM Just Carrots are residue-free, ensuring that you will get no harmful toxins. A special process is used to produce AIM Just Carrots, which ensures that nutrients and enzymes remain active. This process does not use additives, sweeteners, fillers, or artificial ingredients to produce AIM Just Carrots. The caplets contain a small amount of inert binders to hold them together.

*These figures vary depending on variations in carrot crops due to climate, soil, and times of harvest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take too much beta carotene?
Beta carotene is nontoxic and does not appear to affect health apart from strengthening the immune system. This in unlike synthetic vitamin A supplements, which can be toxic in large doses. People who take exceptionally large quantities of beta carotene may experience a change in skin tone known as carotenemia. This condition gives the skin a golden tone and is not harmful.

Are the carrots in AIM Just Carrots organically grown?
Because of varying regulations and environmental conditions, it is difficult to define "organic." Wind can blow chemicals from far away and acid rain can affect the soil of a field. Some states stipulate that no chemical products could have been used for two years on a field, and other states say three years, for crops grown on it to qualify as organic. The carrots for AIM Just Carrots are tested for pesticides and herbicides to ensure that AIM Just Carrots is residue-free.

What can you tell me about the processing used for AIM Just Carrots?
AIM Just Carrots uses a special three-step process. In this process, beneficial heat-sensitive enzymes are not destroyed. This has been validated by testing the enzyme activity of AIM Just Carrots when reconstituted in water.

AIM Just Carrots does not taste exactly like carrots. Why?
This is because the process does alter the taste. As stated above, we use this process to ensure that the carrots' nutrients remain intact. We feel that it is better to have a slightly different (but good!) taste and more nutrients than the same taste as carrot juice and fewer nutrients.

Haven't some studies indicated that beta carotene is bad for you?
Some of the media have mistakenly linked beta carotene to cancer. This is because, in the NCI's CARET study, beta carotene did not prevent cancer. However, this is not the whole story. The 14,254 participants in the study were smokers or former smokers and 4,060 had been exposed to asbestos on the job-two major causes of lung cancer. The smokers and former smokers had smoked at least a pack a day for 20 years or the equivalent. The other participants had extensive occupational asbestos exposure for 15 years. In other words, the participants in the study were in a very high-risk group for cancer. Also keep in mind that the vitamin A and beta carotene used in the study were in the form of synthetic supplements, and in the many epidemiological studies that show positive results, these vitamins were in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables.

What this test probably shows is that beta carotene did not prevent smokers and those exposed to asbestos from developing lung cancer; by the time they started taking beta carotene, they were probably well along the road to lung cancer. Some health practitioners caution that smokers should not use synthetic beta carotene.

We also should consider the years of positive results of beta carotene tests; the many human studies that show that beta carotene might, along with other substances found in plants, protect against tumors and heart disease; and the NCI's advice that, for those who wish to reduce their risk of cancer, it is prudent to adopt a low-fat diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains. In other words, use natural products.


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