Because they are so good for them and us!
Carrots are sweet, crunchy and rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber. They are an exceptionally rich source of carotenes and vitamin A.
Carrots are believed to have originated about 5000 years ago.
In fact, you will be surprised to know that carrots used to be red, black, yellow, white, and mostly purple in colour, but not orange.
They were first cultivated in Afghanistan, and had purple exteriors with yellow flesh. Bright orange carrots were developed by the Dutch in the middle ages and today, they are the most common ones.
Here are just a few of the many Benefits of Carrots.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.
Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration.
The high levels beta-carotene act as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells.
Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, uneven skin tone.
A Powerful Antiseptic.
Known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts shredded raw or boiled and mashed.
Prevent Heart Disease
Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.
The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids.
Cleanses the Body
Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibres present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.
Healthy Teeth and Gums
Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid forming, cavity forming bacteria. The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.
Fact – The nutrition in carrots are tightly encased in protein sacs that have to be broken by heat (cooking) or mechanical action (grinding, juicing, proper chewing).
Cooking the carrots in fat, oils or pureeing, juicing them increases the availability of carotenoids by 600%.
Fats help the absorption of carotenoids into the blood by 1000% as carotenoids are fat soluble.
Recipe: Carrot Quinoa Grain Medley
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
1½ cups carrots, diced (about 3 medium)
1 large onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
2½ cups of veggie stock
pinch salt and pepper
1. Heat medium saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and quinoa, and stir 3 to 4 minutes to toast quinoa.
2. Add carrots, onion, red pepper, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Stir 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add veg stock, and bring medley to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove saucepan from heat. Let sit 5 minutes; then fluff with fork.