Carrots are a popular root vegetable that is readily available in every corner of the planet. They are easy to grow, resist most pests and diseases and tolerate cold harsh environment fairly well. Initially carrots were available in all colours from purple to white except orange! The Dutch are credited with developing the orange carrot during the Middle Ages.
Their ease of availability, naturally sweet flavour and crunchy texture makes them a favourite with people of all ages. While they provide a wide array of nutrients and health benefits, overconsumption of the carotene they contain cause the skin to attain a slight colouration. However this is unlikely to be achieved with diet alone, usually over ingestion of vitamin A is caused by supplementation. Cutting back on vitamin A intake can reverse the condition and it is not harmful to health.
Zesty Carrot Juice
- 5 large carrots
- 3 centimeter piece of ginger
- ½ teaspoon lemon
Peel the ginger, remove the lemon’s rind and meticulously wash the carrots to ensure that all dirt has been removed. It is not necessary to peel the carrots, just chop them into sizes that your juicer can handle with ease. Juice all ingredients and enjoy it chilled. This juice is great for keeping colds at bay.
Most varieties of carrots are roughly 88 per cent water, seven per cent sugar, one per cent protein, fibre, and ash and contain only 0.2 per cent fat. The United States Department of agriculture defies ½ a cup of chopped carrots as one serving, which in addition to water delivers 25 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugars and 1 gram of protein.
Carrots are an exceptional source of vitamin A, supplying a little over 200 per cent of an adult’s daily needs. They also take care of six per cent of an adult’s vitamin C needs, 2 per cent calcium and iron needs in a single serving. The orange colour of the vegetable is due to its beta-carotene content. The beta-carotene is absorbed in the intestine and transformed into vitamin A. Carrots also contain vitamins K, and E potassium manganese, folate, magnesium phosphorous and zinc.
Health Benefits of Carrots
The best known health benefit of carrots is good vision due to the high content of beta-carotene, which is known to provide protection against macular degeneration and age related cataracts. What is not common knowledge is the fact that beta-carotene behaves as an antioxidant that reduces cell damage and slows aging of cells. Consumption of carrots has also been linked to reduction of lung, breast, and colon cancer in some studies. The carotenoids alpha-carotene and lutein in carrots aid in lowering heart disease and grated carrots combined with honey make a great mask for glowing skin.