Yes, carrot greens are 100% edible. Many studies have shown that carrot greens have amazing nutritional value. It’s a waste to throw them away. Use them in salads, smoothies or soups.
Are carrot leaves edible?
When I tell a person about the amazing nutritional value of carrot leaves, almost everyone asks me the same question. Are carrot leaves edible? The answer is yes. Everyone can eat carrots leaves. They’re 100% edible. Although it’s a common belief that carrot leaves are poisonous, it’s simply not true… It’s pretty safe to eat carrot leaves.
People believe that carrot leaves are poisonous, due to the alkaloid content. Carrot leaves do contain alkaloids, but their amount is simply negligible. Actually, almost all leafy vegetables contain alkaloids…
Maybe the bitter flavor of carrot leaves is the reason why people believe they’re poisonous.
Why you can’t eat carrot leaves?
Carrots are heavily treated with pesticides. Therefore, carrot greens are most likely to have pesticide residues. For this reason, you should avoid eating non-organic carrot greens. No matter how thoroughly you wash them, pesticide residues will probably remain.
So, prefer to buy organic carrots. Farmers’ market is a great place to find organic locally produced crops.
Most noteworthy, you could eat carrots with the peel. Unpeeled carrots are much healthier. As a rule of thumb, the skin of all vegetables and fruits is pretty high in nutrients. The peel of carrot root is particularly high in dietary fiber and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. Carotenoids are so important for good vision.
Furthermore, you should wash your veggies thoroughly. Water isn’t the best option, though. Use a vinegar solution for better results. Find more for properly washing your veggies with our simple homemade solution here.
Certainly, people with carrot allergy or intolerance should avoid eating carrot greens. Although carrot allergies are pretty rare.
Nutritional value & Health benefits of carrot leaves
Carrot leaves are rich in many nutrients. According to a 2011 study published on the Journal of Food and Dairy Sciences, carrot leaves are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and dietary fiber (1).
Moreover, carrot greens contain high amounts of many minerals. For instance, they contain phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and iron.
Carrot greens are good sources of omega-3s
According to another study, carrot greens are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
They contain about 1.16g of omega-3s per 100g (2). That’s an excellent plant-based source of omega-3s!
Eating lots of food high in omega-3s is vital for good health. Modern western diet is pretty low in omega-3s. On the contrary, it’s high in omega-6s. This may lead to chronic inflammation. That’s a reason for many diseases. So, eating lots of foods high in omega-3s is particularly beneficial.
Fatty fish are advertised for years, as the best source of omega-3s. Fish aren’t the best source, though. There are many plant-based sources. Walnuts, chia and flaxseeds, for example. Find the whole list of foods high in omega-3s here.
Furthermore, taking an omega-3 supplement daily is a good idea. Prefer a supplement that contains both DHA & EPA. They’re omega-3s forms that the human body can instantly use. We prefer vegan omega-3 supplements from algae. Algae are commercially grown in tanks, away from ocean pollution. There are many great options for omega-3 supplements on Amazon.
Carrot greens are good sources of vitamin C
Additionally, carrot greens are particularly high in vitamin C. They contain about 203 mg of vitamin C per 100g (3).
Certainly, carrot greens are among the best sources of vitamin C. Just for comparison, 100g of orange juice contains only 34 mg of vitamin C.
See the list of the most common foods high in vitamin C here.
Oranges, lemons, broccoli, peppers are only a few of the foods rich in vitamin C. Remember… Only plants contain high amounts of vitamin C.
Eating carrot leaves is good for your eyesight
Carrots are known for protecting good eyesight. Yes, that’s true. Mainly, due to their high content of carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Carrot leaves are also good for your vision.
They contain about 8.7 mg of beta-carotene per 100g of dried matter (3). Beta-carotene is the most powerful carotenoid. Particularly important for good eyesight.
Only a few foods contain more beta-carotene. Even carrot roots contain less…
Carrot leaves are good sources of protein
Greens contain protein! Carrot leaves are no exception…
Carrot leaves are 15% protein. Therefore, you can add them in your post workout smoothie. Moreover, carrot leaves are high in antioxidants. They’ll help you fight exercise-induced free radicals. In other words, eating carrot leaves can help you build muscle mass and recover faster after a hard workout!
Did you know that carrot greens are high in dietary fiber?
Additionally, carrot leaves are high in dietary fiber. They’re about 12% fiber (dry matter).
Carrot roots contain only 2.8g of fiber per 100g (4). Therefore, consuming carrot roots and carrot tops is good for boosting the daily fiber intake.
We should consume about 28g of fiber per day. Follow a whole food plant-based diet to easily consume this amount. Cereals, fruits and veggies are good sources of fiber.
Eating foods high in fiber is vital for good health. Unfortunately, most people fail to eat adequate amounts of fiber. Why? Because only plants are good sources of fiber.
Carrot greens are good sources of chlorophyll
Moreover, carrot greens contain high amounts of chlorophyll.
Eating foods high in chlorophyll is beneficial for the body. Chlorophyll boosts the immune system, helps the body to detox, has anti-aging properties and many more.
Dark green vegetables and algae are the best sources. See the whole list of foods high in chlorophyll here.
Eating carrot greens may protect your bones & teeth
Did you know that carrot greens are particularly high in calcium?
100g (dry matter) of carrot greens contains about 1,970 mg of calcium (3).
According to the National Institutes of Health, we need about 1000-1300 mg of calcium per day. Therefore, eating carrot greens regularly can benefit us. They’ll protect our bones and teeth. Both consist of high amounts of calcium.
Eating foods high in calcium may prevent tooth cavities (5). Additionally, adequate amounts of calcium have linked to decreased risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture.
For strong bones eat lots of plant-based sources of calcium per day. Cow’s milk isn’t the only calcium source…
Eating carrot greens is good for your teeth for another reason. They contain many other important minerals for the teeth. For instance, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc are particularly important for healthy teeth and for preventing tooth decay. Carrot greens contain high amounts of these minerals, keeping our teeth healthy.
Do you want to eat the right food for healthy teeth? Our article for preventing tooth decay with eating the right food is what you need…
If carrot leaves are edible, why can’t I find them in stores?
Certainly, you can eat carrot greens. On the other hand, it’s really difficult to find them in supermarkets. Why?
The answer is pretty simple… Because people don’t know about their amazing nutritional value. So, they don’t buy them.
Additionally, you find only the carrot roots because they’re the commercial product. Not the tops. So, carrot roots have to be perfect. As carrot greens draw moisture from the carrot root, growers remove them. Cutting carrot tops increases the shelf life of the carrot root.
What can you do with carrot leaves?
You can use carrot leaves in many ways. Just remember… carrot leaves are bitter.
You can eat them raw in smoothies, salads and sandwiches.
My favorite way of using them is in soups. I use them as herb. Carrot greens give such a unique taste. Moreover, you should sauté them with pure olive oil and garlic. They’ll provide such a wonderful and unique flavor to any recipe…
Also, you can use carrot tops for pesto. Add mint for extra flavor.