The Humble Carrot: Carrots contain large amounts of Beta-carotene. They contain so much of it that a single carrot can provide you with enough beta-carotene for your body to convert to a whole day's worth of Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is vital for healthy skin and helps form disease resistant mucous membranes. This is why the humble carrot is so important for the protection of the lungs and the entire function of the respiratory system. Vitamin A is also important for night vision.
In most cases we are told that cooking vegetables decreases the nutritional value and that most vegetables have the maximum amount of vitamins when they are raw. However in the case of carrots, cooking them actually helps the body to absorb the beta-carotene 4-5 times more by breaking down their touch cell walls.
Darker older carrots are also more nutritional than baby new carrots and cooking them with a small amount of oil or eating them with a meal that contains a small amount of fat will also aid in the absorption of the antioxidant Beta-carotene. Where possible choose organically grown carrots so to avoid potentially high levels of pesticide residue.
In more than 40 published studies researching the relationship between the consumption of carrots and the occurrence of cancers, 75% of the studies showed a definite reduction in cancer risk when a diet contained a high quantity of the vegetable. Carrots are also believed to offer some protection against ultraviolet radiation, therefore viewed as an excellent safeguard against wrinkles, sun damage and skin ageing.
The other antioxidants contained in Carrots are Vitamin C and Vitamin E making them essential for those who suffer with arterial diseases.
Traditional "old wives tails" has stuck with the suggestion that the use of pureed carrot is of use for ailments such as diarrhoea and is particularly good for children and infants as a good form of medicine.
Some Naturopaths recommend a two-day fast on nothing else other than fresh carrot juice and mineral water supposedly to assist the stimulation of the liver and to help relieve symptoms of jaundice.
So, there you have it. Carrots are wonderful vegetables that are needed by all of us. To tuck into some, peel them and eat them crunchy or cook them up and make some soup! But essentially, make them a part of your diet!
Check out this delicious CARROT SOUP RECIPE
OR if you're stuck with how else you can serve up Carrots to your family then check out this site... Carrots Galore!!!CARROT RECIPES GALORE
- Michelle Palmer