About Carrots - For Bright, Sparkling Eyes and So Much More!
Writing carrots off as rabbit food is a blatant underestimation of its true nutritional potential. The crunchy carrot, with a flavor that can only be described as delicately sweet, and a pleasant, almost minty aroma to match, is widely available all year round. For the most flavorsome and juicy carrots, wait for the summer and fall seasons to come around.
If you’ve ever been intrigued by the fact that this attractively colored food item grows underground, here’s a little tidbit of information to settle that curiosity: carrots are actually roots. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with the longest carrot measuring up to 3 feet!
The dearly loved Bugs Bunny made the bright orange carrot popular. But carrots are available in a surprisingly diverse color spectrum ranging from hues of royal purple, ruby red tints, tones of burnt orange and mustard yellow. Pure white carrots are also available. Carrots are fun looking root vegetables that taste even better than they look!
That aesthetically appealing appearance, exceptional taste and acknowledged bevy of carrot health benefits, make up a package that is simply too tempting to resist!
Carrots Nutritional Information
You might scoff at the thought of a long thin root vegetable containing a mammoth quantity of nutrients. Keep that skepticism in check though, because as far as the carrot is concerned, that thought is entirely true!
Let’s start with the vitamins. Carrots contain a whopping 407.6% of vitamin A! No wonder carrots are recommended for maintaining and enhancing eve vision. This root vegetable is also home to 20.1% of Vitamin K, 12% of vitamin C, 8.5% of Vitamin B6, 6% of Vitamin B3, 5.3% of Vitamin B1, 4.1% of Vitamin B2 and 4% of Vitamin E.
Carrots are also rich sources of dietary fiber (12%) and Folate (5.7%). But that’s not all! Carrots have a rich store of minerals too. With 11.1% Potassium, 8.5% manganese, 8.1% molybdenum and 4.2% phosphorus, carrots seems to be the crowning jewels of the Umbelliferae family that they belong to.
There’s no need to eat a whole bunch of carrots to obtain all of these nutrients. Just one cup of raw carrots, about 122 grams, is more than enough to supply all these minerals and vitamins to your body!
Health Benefits Of Carrots
Let’s find out all about carrots, and how their nutrient content is beneficial for your body.
Carrots carry a well-stocked antioxidant inventory which has been researched upon extensively. It turns out that apart from the regular antioxidants such as Vitamin C, carrots also contain three unique classes of antioxidants. These consist of carotenoids (alpha carotene, beta carotene and lutein), hydroxycinnamic acids (caffeic acid, coumaric acid and ferulic acid) and anthocyanindins (cyanidins and malvidins).
What do all these substances do to keep you disease-free and healthy? These antioxidants prevent viral and bacterial agents from attacking your body. They also promote cardiovascular health, boost the functioning of the immune system and lower and regulate cholesterol levels.
Good For Your Heart!
Research has concluded that carrots, especially the yellow and orange varieties, contain the highest quantities of those antioxidants that specifically target the cardiovascular system. These substances are predominantly concerned with maintaining the smooth and optimum functioning of the cardiovascular system. Regular and continued intake of carrots, as raw carrots or fresh carrot juice, dramatically reduces the risks of contracting heart diseases and suffering from grave ailments such as atherosclerosis.
Excellent For Your Eyes!
Since childhood, the connection between carrots and bright, shining eyes has been ingrained into our minds. Carrots contain copious amounts of carotenoids. Research has successfully linked carotenoids to healthy eye vision, and a reduced risk of glaucoma and cataracts.
The rich store of nutrients allows the carrot to be classified as an appropriate anti-cancer food. Dietary fiber, antioxidants and unique phytonutrients seek out and eradicate cancer promoting agents from the body. Research suggests that the carrot’s exclusive mix of nutrients makes it especially effective against colon cancer.
Possible Ways To Enjoy Carrots
Carrots are versatile root vegetables and this quality allows them to be consumed in myriad ways. If you prefer fresh, raw carrots make sure that you wash and scrub them before devouring them! However, if raw carrots do not appeal to your palate, steamed, boiled or blanched carrots are an equally nutritious option! The nutrients in carrots remain intact even when exposed to heat, so don’t worry about being deprived of the marvelous minerals and vitamins present in the carrot.
You can also use fresh carrots to make carrot juice! This nutritious drink is chock full of wholesome nutrients, and is a perfect substitute for raw carrots.
Possible Health Concerns
Research suggests that carotoderma may develop if carrots are excessively consumed. This condition does not have any comprehensive documented symptoms. However, it does lead to a slight yellowing of the skin.