You might not know the name Clark Gable, but you probably know the name Bugs Bunny. And no, they’re not the same person. One is a famous actor from the early 1900s. And the other was hopefully a fun part of your Saturday mornings as a child.
Why do we mention the two? Because they’re connected by, of all things, carrots. Bugs Bunny famously chomping on carrots in the Looney Tunes cartoon is actually a parody of Clark Gable doing the same thing in a 1934 comedy.
For Gable and Bugs alike, eating carrots was simply a comedy bit. However, if you’re trying to be health-conscious, carrot consumption should be taken a little more seriously. Whether you realize it or not, carrots are often called the “perfect” health food.
For one, they taste good and are extremely low in calories. The most calories you’ll get from one serving of carrots usually tops out at 35. No, I’m not forgetting a zero.
If that’s not enough to make you start chomping on carrots ASAP, well, they’re also extremely nutrient-dense.
Actually, carrots are so nutrient-dense that even a half-cup accounts for over 70% of your daily vitamin A requirement. Vitamin A, literally, helps you see by converting the light that hits your eye into something your brain can actually process.
That might make you think eating enough carrots will give you super vision. Sadly, while the myth about carrots helping you see better has some truth to it, that truth has seriously been stretched over the past 80 years. Yes, the vitamin A in carrots can help your eyesight and even help you see in the dark to an extent. It cannot, however, reverse your poor vision or significantly improve it.
Carrots are also rich in biotin, a B vitamin that keeps your nervous system functioning. Basically, it can help your brain function and fight some neurological symptoms of diabetes, specifically nerve damage or dysfunction.
Biotin can also reduce the effects of other diabetes symptoms, such as blood sugar problems in some people with diabetes.
Besides vitamins, carrots also carry essential minerals. For example, they’re a good source of potassium, which can help control blood pressure. Potassium also promotes the functioning of all cells, and it literally makes your heart beat properly.
Hell, even the fact carrots are orange literally has health benefits.
Carotenoids are what makes carrots orange (or yellow or purple, as they originally were). No matter the color, carotenoids essentially act in the same way as an antioxidant, so they keep your immune system healthy and your cells free of damage. Carotenoids promote cell health by fighting free radicals like cancer cells and degenerative diseases.
Carotenoids also have anti-inflammatory properties, so they naturally work against heart disease and artery blockage.
So, for the low, low cost of 35 calories, you’re getting a vitamin-dense, nutrient-rich snack that literally helps you see.
No wonder Bugs Bunny has made it to over 80 years old and still looks so good.