CARROT



CARROT
Did you know that carrots can be traced back about 5,000 years through historical documents and art work? No one seems to know exactly when the first carrots appeared because many people mistook them for parsnips, a close relative of the carrot.
When we think of carrots we tend to think of them as only being orange, but they can also be white, yellow, red, and purple. Although carrots are available throughout the year, locally grown carrots are in season in the summer and fall when they are the freshest and most flavorful.
Carrots are naturally sugary, delicious and crunchy, and are the healthy additions you can make to the vegetable list of your diet. So let’s know what exactly it is about carrots that make them so beneficial!
Nutritional Value of Carrots
Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents. Furthermore, carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B8, Pantothenic acid, Folate, Potassium, Iron, Copper, and Manganese.
Health Benefits of Carrots
  • Prevention of Heart Disease: High cholesterol is a major factor for heart disease. Studies show that cholesterol level drops by an average of 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots per day are taken for three weeks. 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. Since regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol levels, it is a good idea to consume a healthy dose of carrots, in order to prevent heart-related problems.
  • ·         Improves vision: 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. Since carrots are rich in vitamin A, it is good for improving eyesight and preventing conditions like night blindness from developing as we age.
  • ·         Prevents stroke: Eating a carrot every day reduces the risk of stroke by 68%. Studies reveal that people who ate five or more carrots a week were less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less.
  • ·         Helps prevent cancer: Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon 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.
  • ·         Oral Health: Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. The organic compounds in carrots all by themselves are good for mineral antioxidants, but carrots also stimulate the gums and induce excess saliva. Saliva is an alkaline substance and combats the bacteria and foreign bodies that can often result in cavities, halitosis, and other oral health risks.
  • ·         Immune Booster:  Carrots contain a number of antiseptic and antibacterial abilities that make it ideal for boosting the immune system. Not only that, carrots are a rich source of vitamin C, which stimulates the activity of white blood cells.
  • ·         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 fiber present in carrots helps clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.
  • ·         Digestion: Carrots, like most vegetables, have significant amounts of dietary fiber in those orange roots, and fiber is one of the most important elements in maintaining good digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to stool, which helps it to pass smoothly through the digestive tract, and it also stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices. This reduces the severity of conditions like constipation and protects your colon and stomach from various serious illnesses, including colorectal cancer. Fiber also boosts heart health by helping to eliminate excess LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels.
  • ·         Slows down aging: The high level of beta-carotene in carrots acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells.
  • ·         Promotes healthier skin: Vitamin A and antioxidants protect the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes and uneven skin tone.
  • ·         Blood Pressure: Carrots are rich sources of potassium, which is a vasodilator and can relax the tension in your blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing blood flow and circulation, boosting organ function throughout the body and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system. The coumarin found in carrots also has been linked to reducing hypertension and protecting your heart health!
  • ·         Helps prevent infection: Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts—shredded raw or boiled and mashed.
  • ·         Diabetes: Carrots are good for blood sugar regulation due to the presence of carotenoids in this delicious vegetable. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar, thereby helping diabetic patients live a normal, healthy life. They also regulate the amount of insulin and glucose that is being used and metabolized by the body, providing a more even and healthy fluctuation for diabetic patients.

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