Can You Eat Carrot Greens?

That Carrots are healthy for your eyes is no secret. But, what about carrot tops? I mean the green leaves on the top of the orange roots of this vegetable. Most of us just chop off the bunch of leaves at the top of carrots and use only the root portion. So, does it mean carrot tops should not be eaten? Let us have a look at what research studies have to say about whether it is OK to eat carrot greens.

Are carrot greens poisonous?

Most people are under impression that carrot greens are poisonous and even deadly. However, that’s not true. In fact, carrot tops are not just incredibly edible, but also loaded with several essential vitamins and minerals.

The belief that carrot green should not be eaten stems from the misconception that it contains alkaloids, which can harm body issues. However, the fact is alkaloids are found in almost all leafy green vegetables and also, contribute to the health benefits these vegetables provide.

This confusion occurred due to the article, The Toxic Salad, published in The New York Times in 2009. The article talks about the possible dangers of eating carrot greens due to the presence of alkaloids in it. However, the information provided in it is pretty vague.

Several other research studies, on the contrary, have confirmed the safety and medicinal benefits of carrot greens. A research paper has also proven that the consumption of carrot tops does not produce any adverse effect on the metabolic processes in the body. [1]

Reasons to eat carrot greens

  • Carrot leaves have high protein, and potassium content, which could be beneficial for supporting the body’s repair processes and control blood pressure.
  • Carrot greens contain a rich nutritional value. It retains a high amount of iron and thus, helps to prevent the risk of anemia. [2]
  • Regular consumption of carrot green has been linked to improved mental health. It can reduce mental stress and prevent psychological disorders such as depression, and anxiety. It would work by acting as an adaptogen and improving the ability of a person to respond to a stressful situation. [3]
  • Carrot greens also provide a natural source of vitamin A, which is also found in abundance in the carrot roots. This means you need not discard the carrot greens and use it in any dish you plan to prepare with carrot roots.

Vitamin A in these leaves can help to improve the health of your skin and hair. It would reduce hair loss and enhance the natural glow on your skin.

Carrot tops are safe and can be included in your diet to improve your health. You can chop carrot greens and add it to your soups, stew, or salads. You can also cook the leaves gently and add them to sandwiches. It would surely enhance the flavors of your dish.

References:

  1. Sivuk, A K, I A Abakumova, T S Gur’eva, V N Griaznova, and V A Korshunova. “Effect of Plant Products of Nutrition (Radish and Carrot Tops) on Various Indicators of Metabolism in Humans.” Kosmicheskaia Biologiia i Aviakosmicheskaia Meditsina. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1989. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2541279.
  2. Gupta S, Gowri BS, Lakshmi AJ, Prakash J. Retention of nutrients in green leafy vegetables on dehydration. J Food Sci Technol. 2013;50(5):918–925. doi:10.1007/s13197-011-0407-z
  3. Brookie KL, Best GI, Conner TS. Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables. Front Psychol. 2018;9:487. Published 2018 Apr 10. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00487