Are carrot leaves edible?
Carrot leaves are edible, as carrot root. Most noteworthy, they’ve a superior nutritional value.
They’re great in salads, smoothies, pies or soups. It’s pretty safe to eat them fresh or cooked.
When should you avoid eating carrot leaves?
Carrots are heavily treated with pesticides. Therefore, carrot greens are most likely to have pesticide residues. Therefore, 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.
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 the richest part in nutrients.
For instance, the peel of carrot root is particularly high in dietary fiber and carotenoids, which promote weight loss.
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, such as 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
Eating lots of foods high in omega-3s is vital for good health. Modern western diets are low in omega-3s, causing inflammation and obesity.
As only a few foods are high in omega-3s, you may benefit from boosting your daily intake from supplements! Prefer a supplement that contains both DHA & EPA. They’re omega-3s forms that the human body can instantly use. Moreover, there are vegan omega-3 supplements from algae.
Carrot greens are high in 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. In 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.
Eating carrot leaves is good for your eyesight
Carrots are known for protecting good eyesight, mainly due to their high content of carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Carrot leaves contain also modest amounts of carotenoids. They contain about 8.7 mg of beta-carotene per 100g (dry weight) (3).
In fact, only a few foods are richer in beta-carotene.
Carrot leaves are good sources of protein
Moreover, carrot leaves are a great plant-based source of protein. Actually, they’re 15% protein. Therefore, they’re ideal for a post-workout smoothie. Moreover, carrot leaves are high in antioxidants. They’ll help neutralize exercise-induced free radicals, promoting muscle recovery!
Carrot greens are high in dietary fiber
Additionally, carrot leaves are high in dietary fiber. They’re about 12% fiber (dry weight).
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. Whole cereals, legumes, fruits and veggies 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, and has anti-aging properties.
Dark green vegetables and algae are the best sources. See the whole list of foods high in chlorophyll here.
Carrot greens are high in calcium
Did you know that carrot greens are particularly high in calcium?
100g (dry weight) of carrot greens contain about 1,970 mg of calcium (3).
According to the National Institutes of Health, we need about 1000-1300 mg of calcium per day.
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.
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? Because people don’t know about their amazing nutritional value. So, they don’t buy them.
Moreover, carrot greens draw moisture from the carrot root. Therefore, 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 recipes. 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 can 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.