26 July, 2011
Can You Get Sick from Eating Carrots?
Carrots are packed with nutrients such as vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, folate and fiber. So it’s seems ironic that you can get sick from eating carrots; but, you can. In some people, carrots may cause side effects such as an allergic reaction, which is more often associated with foods such as shellfish and nuts. Taking a few precautions may help to minimize the downside of munching on carrots.
Allergies to Carrots
Food allergies fall under the umbrella of food sensitivities. They occur when your immune system reacts to certain proteins in food. For instance, if you’re allergic to carrots, the first time you eat these vegetables, your immune system creates antibodies called immunoglobulin E, or IgE. The next time you eat carrots, your immune system reacts to the protein by releasing IgE and histamines, which can cause reactions such as itching, hives, difficulty breathing or stomach upset. Cooking the offending food usually prevents allergic reactions.
Intolerance to Carrots
A food intolerance is also a type of food sensitivity. However, your immune system isn’t involved in food intolerances as it is in food allergies. Instead, it’s usually down to your gastrointestinal system being unable to digest or absorb specific foods or parts of these foods, such as carrots. Some of the symptoms of a food intolerance may be similar to a food allergy, such as stomach upset. It usually takes large amounts of food to trigger intolerance symptoms, so cut down on your intake at each sitting.
Gas, Bloating and Cramping
Fiber in carrots provides health benefits such as helping you to feel full longer and lose weight and improved colon activity. However, if you’re not used to eating a high-fiber diet, carrots and other fibrous foods may cause adverse reactions such as abdominal bloating and cramps and intestinal gas. If you experience these symptoms from eating carrots, try to eat small amounts at a time and gradually boost your intake over a period of weeks. Also, drink more water daily.
When juicing carrots, drink the juice right away or put it in an airtight container and refrigerate it immediately. Bacteria build up quickly in fresh juices and may lead to illness or discomfort, such as abdominal pain or diarrhea. Furthermore, because you have to use several carrots to make one glass of juice, the sugar content of the juice will be very high. If you’re a diabetic, the high sugar levels may cause serious complications. Consult your doctor before juicing carrots if you have diabetes or any other health problem.
- University of Illinois: Carrots
- Health Canada: Food Allergies and Intolerances
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber
- The Juice Lady's Guide to Juicing For Health: Unleashing The Healing Power; Cherie Calbom
- Juicing, Fasting and Detoxing for Life; Cherie Calbom
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images