Spotlight On Carrots

In todays veggie spotlight boys and girls, we’re gonna talk about carrots. Stop making faces and wondering when I’m gonna talk about donuts or something like that. I can’t even tell you when I last ate one so I’m not the expert on it now days….

Anyway, carrots. The color alone should clue you in that it’s a food to be eating. Remember bright rainbow colors of food deliver the biggest nutrition and vitamin punch.

Carrots have been around for centuries. Historians believe that carrots were cultivated by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, as they were mentioned by Pliny the Elder and prized by Emperor Tiberius.

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Do these make my eyes look bright and shiny?

 

The basic facts first

Carrots like most veggies are low in calories and high in all the stuff that is good for a healthy body. The carrot is a root vegetable and is most often orange though purple, black, red, white and yellow exists.

Geez. It sounds like I just described a bad bruise.

Where are those? I’ve never seen carrots in those colors, have you?

They are also low in calories AND have a whopping amount of Vitamin A as well as impressive amounts of Vitamin C and B-12.

You’ve heard the saying that carrots are good for your eyes? Well there is some truth to that. 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 large amounts of beta-carotene had a 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.

Eat your carrots.

But wait.. there’s a lot of other reasons to eat them….

They could help prevent cancer. Falcarinol is a natural pesticide produced by the carrot that protects its roots from fungal diseases. Carrots are one of the only common sources of this compound. A study showed 1/3 lower cancer risk by carrot-eating rats.

How is that for an interesting factoid??

Chowing down on carrots can also help slow aging. The high level of beta-cartone in carrots acts as an anti-oxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells.

Carrots can also promote healthier skin and hair

Do you see a trend here if you’ve been reading my veggie and fruit posts? find one here……https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/14/sweet-potato-spotlight/

They can help prevent cancers, promote healthy skin, hair and slow aging. Hmmmm.. could vegetables and fruit be preventive medicine after all ? 😉

Carrots are also associated with a lower risk of 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.

Have you ever thought about any of those crazy “cleanses” or “detox” things? ( don’t, please don’t) carrots naturally do this within your body. Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fiber present in carrots helps clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.

Oh. Your dentist might tell you to eat them too.

All that crunching and stuff….  Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste. 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.  And yeah, that might just make your cleanings go faster, if you’re also good and flossing like you should 😉

Some fun and weird facts…

I don’t wanna bore you to pieces with all the good, healthy and smart reasons about eating this veggie so here’s a few things you may or may not know.

Carrots are the second most popular veggie after potatoes.

The biggest carrot ever recorded is over 19 feet long and over 19 lbs!

There are over 100 specimens of them.

Rabbits love to eat them but shouldn’t eat to many. One for us is like them eating 20 carrots. They would be better off  eating the green tops.

English women in the 1600’s often wore the greenery in their hats in place of flowers… so there’s that…

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Trying to picture this greenery hanging off a ladies hat..

The name carrot actually comes from the word karoton. The beta-carotene that is found in carrots was actually named for the carrot itself.

Wild carrots are often seen in fields and along roadsides, only they’re usually known by a more common name: Queen Anne’s Lace. Pull up the root of a wild carrot, and you’ll find a long, fibrous tuber. Break it and you’ll discover it has the unmistakable aroma of a carrot.

Hey! When do we get to eat?

Carrots are a simple vegetable to cook. In my house they are happily devoured with onions that have been cooked with a roast 😉

I also like steaming them with a little honey and cinnamon that makes the carrots natural flavor pop.

I’ll toss in a couple recipes you can experiment on too

Like this one for you bacon lovers… but seriously… yummy….

 

 

Another vegetable with lots of positive, healthy, life giving benefits. Now run yourself to the store, pick some up, and experiment with a new recipe or two.

Do you like carrots? If so what ways do you enjoy eating them?

 

 

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