Carrots are naturally sweet and make an ideal snack food. They are eaten both raw and cooked. Carrots are delicious roasted, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, grilled, and they team up beautifully with almost any vegetable companion. Carrots boost the nutritional value of soups, stews, and salads. They are one of those vegetables that lose very little nutritional value during cooking. Though raw carrots make a healthy and tasty snack, they are more nutritious when cooked. Cooking carrots until slightly tender helps the body absorb the carotenoids more effectively and also brings out their sweetness.
Key Ingredients of Carrots
Per Serving: 1 chopped, raw carrot, 80g Per Serving: 100g, chopped raw carrot
Eat Your Carrots!
Carrots, like all fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in complex carbohydrates, contain no cholesterol and almost no fat. As the name suggests, carrots are packed with antioxidants including the carotenoid, beta-carotene. The more vivid the colour of the carrot, the higher the level of beta-carotene. Carrots are our most abundant food source of beta-carotene. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of vitamin K, and a source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6 and thiamin.
Carrots are rich in antioxidant nutrients, which play an important role in health maintenance. They neutralize harmful chemicals called "free-radicals" that cause cell damage in the body. Antioxidants have been strongly linked to the prevention of numerous diseases from heart disease to cancer, eye disease and regulation of the immune system.
In addition, carrots are packed with Beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that are a large class of natural plant pigments responsible for the bright orange colour of carrots. They exhibit strong antioxidant properties and may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and some types of cancer.
About 40% of the carotenoids we eat are converted to vitamin A; the rest function as antioxidants. Beta-carotene is especially effective in this regard. Beta-carotene may offer some protection from the risk of age-related macular degeneration and some types of cancer.
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A. Excess amounts of this fat-soluble vitamin are held in the liver and fatty tissue. It plays a significant role in fending off infections and illness. The body needs vitamin A for growth and repair. Vitamin A is also an antioxidant that protects cells from oxidation damage. Vitamin A is essential for normal vision and is necessary for normal cell growth and division, the development of bones and teeth, and for the health of skin, mucous membranes and the tissue that lines the intestines, airways and other organs.
Carrots contain some dietary fibre. Considerable evidence has shown the advantages of a diet of high fibre. Dietary fibre consists of remnants of edible plant cells that resist digestion and absorption in the stomach and small intestines of humans.
There are two different types of fibre. Both types are needed in a healthy diet. Insoluble fibre is “bowel friendly” because it helps maintain regularity. Soluble fibre is “heart friendly”. It may help lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risks associated with diabetes by helping control blood sugar levels. All foods that contain fibre contain some of each type. Recent research has shown that dietary fibre contained in fruits and vegetables is also important for keeping the bowel working normally and helps protect bowel cells from cancer-causing damage.
Carrots are a source of vitamin C, necessary to make and maintain collagen, the connective tissue that holds the body and organs in place. Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds, keeps gums healthy, resists infection, and aids in the absorption of iron. It is associated with lowering the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Carrots are a source of folate. Folate is a water-soluble B group vitamin. Because the body doesn't keep excess amounts of the water-soluble vitamins in reserve, the body must replenish them daily. Folate plays a crucial role in every body function that requires cell division. This helps explain the importance in fetal development. Prior and during pregnancy, folate helps prevent neurological defects, such as spina bifida, in the fetus. All women of childbearing age need to have a regular source of folate.
The many tasks of folate include making blood cells, building muscles, healing wound and producing chemicals that keep the brain and nervous system functioning properly. Folate is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. High folate content may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Carrots are a good source of vitamin K, which ends up in the liver and forms the ingredients for blood clotting. Blood coagulation is not the only important function of Vitamin K, it is also necessary for the formation of new bone material and healthy bone structure.
Carrots are also a source of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps to regulate the body's balance of fluid. It is essential for many metabolic processes and is instrumental in the transmission of nerve impulses, proper muscle function, and maintaining normal blood pressure.
Carrots are a source of manganese, a trace mineral that plays an important role in the formation of bone and connective tissue in the body and plays a role in healing wounds.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body. Carrots are a source of magnesium, needed for the formation of protein and bone, making new cells, activating B vitamins and blood clotting.
Carrots are a source of thiamin, a water-soluble B vitamin, that the body requires to break down carbohydrates, fat and protein. It is also required for the proper functioning of the nerve cells.
Carrots are a source of Vitamin B6 is needed in the body to release energy in forms that the cells can use. It is instrumental in the functioning of the nervous and immune systems and the manufacture of red blood cells.