Bright orange, sweet and refreshing, fresh carrot juice can be a good way of getting some of your essential nutrients. Although the health benefits of carrots (and by extension, carrot juice) from its vitamin and mineral content is important, it can cause some side effects, such as yellowing skin, if you drink too much. Eat a variety of vegetables from different groups — carrot juice shouldn't be the sole, or even primary, source of vegetables in your diet.
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Less Dietary Fiber
Carrots are naturally rich in fiber, with a one-cup serving of chopped carrots containing 3.6 grams of fiber, according to USDA National Nutrient Database.
However, one of the carrot juice disadvantages is that juicing removes the majority of the fiber content from carrots, leaving behind only the soluble fiber content of the vegetable. This makes carrot juice nutrition a lesser quality than that of whole, raw carrots.
As most Americans already do not get enough fiber in their regular diets — the recommended intake is 20 to 35 grams per day, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center — consider eating whole carrots rather than drinking carrot juice.
Read more: What Are the Benefits of Soluble Fiber?
Carrots are rich in carotenoids, namely beta carotene, the pigment that gives carrots their bright orange color. Drinking too much carrot juice may lead to a high beta carotene intake, which can cause your skin to yellow, says Oregon State University.
In some cases, people may mistake this as a sign of jaundice — a serious condition that requires medical attention, in which your skin and the whites of your eyes yellow over time warns MedlinePlus. However, if your skin is yellowing due to too much carrot juice consumption, the whites of your eyes will not turn yellow. To be safe, consult a doctor.
Read more: Problems With Eating Lots of Raw Carrots
Carrot Juice Calories
Another of the carrot juice disadvantages is that it's dense in calories, carbs and sugar in comparison to the same amount of chopped carrots. One cup of raw carrots has 52 calories per cup as compared with canned carrot juice at 94 per cup.
The carbohydrate content of raw carrots is 12 grams per cup, which increases to 22 grams per cup for juice. And the sugar content of 6 grams in raw carrots increases to 9 grams in carrot juice, according to USDA National Nutrient Database. Not only can the juicing have an effect on your weight, it could be problematic if you are a diabetic and are concerned about your blood sugar levels.
Allergy to Carrots
Although rare, carrot juice may cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to celery, birch, mugwort, spices and related plants. This type of allergy is known as the "celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome," according to Dr. Adrian Morris Surrey Allergy Clinic.
The symptoms for this allergy are characteristic of other food allergies and may include tingling in the mouth, itching, swelling of the lips or tongue, nausea, vomiting or trouble breathing.
Drug Interaction With Vitamin K
If you take blood thinners such as warfarin, be aware that it could have an interaction with the vitamin K in carrots. Warfarin is prescribed to prevent blood clots while vitamin K promotes blood clotting, so it's important that you not suddenly eat a lot more vitamin K-rich food.
One cup of carrot juice is equivalent in nutrients to 5 cups of chopped carrots, according to Fit Juice. Five cups of chopped carrots supplies 100-percent recommended daily value of 90 mcg of vitamin K, according to INRTracker.com. So if you drink more carrot juice and significantly increase you vitamin K intake, it could make you warfarin less effective.
Importance of Vegetable Variety and Raw Carrots
Carrots belong to the vegetables category of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recommended dietary guidelines. While 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day are recommended, the USDA advises eating no more than 4 to 6 cups of orange vegetables per week.
Consuming vegetables from other categories — dark greens, starchy vegetables, legumes — will help you get a range of essential nutrients that could not be provided by carrot juice alone. Carrot juice is also made with raw carrots, which, according to the University of Arkansas, has less beta carotene than cooked carrots. This may be important if you need to increase your vitamin A intake.
Read more: List of Vegetables & Their Benefits
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Carrots, Raw
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Fiber
- MedlinePlus: Jaundice
- Linus Pauling Institute: Carotenoids
- Science Daily: Cook Your Carrots for More Antioxidants, University of Arkansas Researchers Say
- U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended dietary guidelines
- INRTracker.com: Vitamin K in Carrots, Raw
- USDA Dietary Reference Intakes
- Dr. Adrian Morris Surrey Allergy Clinic
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Canned Carrot Juice
- Fit Juice: How Many Servings of Fruits and Vegetables Are In Juice?