Carrots

Carrots

CarrotsCarrots are one of the most popular and versatile vegetables in the world. They can be eaten raw, cooked or you can make juice out of carrots. Carrots are consumed in almost every country in the world, and they have been around for thousands of years. While most people know carrots as being the bright orange vegetable, they actually come in a variety of colours. Keep reading if you want to find out more!

Description

Carrots are considered to be one of the most popular root vegetables in the world. They are enjoyed in almost every country in the world, since they are widely available. For many people, carrots serve as a perfect snack or they are a great addition to a salad. Carrots are also popular amongst children. In a survey which was conducted in France, children were given pictures of 54 vegetables. Carrots were one of the vegetables which they were able to identify easily. This is most likely due to the fact that carrots are one of the only vegetables which have such a bright colour. Carrots are also popular amongst elderly people. A study which was conducted in the United States concluded that individuals over the age of 76 eat twice as many carrots compared to individuals under 40. Carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family of plants. This is due to the fact that their leafy greens form a cluster which looks similar to an umbrella. This cluster is formed at the top of the root. This type of family of plants is often also referred to as Apaceae family. Other food items which also belong to this same family are parsley, anise, parsnips, fennel, cumin and dill. The term carrot originates from the Greek term “karoton”. The term “kar” is used to describe something which is horn-shaped. In the case of the carrot, the horn shape refers to the taproot of the carrot. One of the nutrients to be found in carrots is beta-carotene. This nutrient was named after carrots itself. While most people are familiar with bright orange carrots, carrots can also have a different colour. There are a wide variety of colours found all over the world for this vegetable. Although the vegetable might have a different colour, they still all belong to the same genus and species of the plant. Besides the orange carrot, carrots can also be found in the colours purple, yellow, white and red.

History

Carrots have a long history. They are considered to be one of the most important vegetables which has been cultivated throughout history. Due to the many nutrients they contain, carrots have been consumed by societies all over the world. Records show that carrots have been consumed for over thousands of years. Moreover, it is also shown that modern-day carrots were first consumed around the 10th century. It is said that these were first consumed in various parts of the Middle East and in Asia. Besides the modern-day carrots, there are also many wild carrots which were said to be consumed as well. These wild carrots were consumed in Turkey, Iran and areas in the Asia Minor. Nowadays there are two main types of carrots. One type being the Eastern carrots. This type has purple roots and can have a purple colour. The other type of carrots are Western carrots, and are the type that most of us are familiar with. They have an orange colour and are also referred to as carotene carrots. Eastern carrots are commonly found in Iran, Russia, India and Afghanistan. Western carrots, on the other hand, are found in Europe as well as North and South America. Although the carrots grow in different parts of the world, they provide similar health benefits and they also belong to the same species. Compared to those carrots which were consumed thousands of years ago, modern day carrots are said to be sweeter. Also, they are described as being more attractive in appearance. While carrots provide many health benefits, many people avoid carrots. They believe that they are high in sugar and that the vegetable could increase blood glucose. However, this is not true. Carrots contain fiber which actually helps to slow down the release of sugar in the blood stream. Actually, carrots are even recommended to people who have diabetes because they can prevent any big increases in blood sugar. People with diabetes should, however, limit the consumption of carrot juice. This is due to the fact that carrot juice often contains concentrated sugar. By juicing carrots the protective fibers are removed and the sugar content increases.

Protects eye health

There are a few nutrients that play an important role in boosting eye health. The nutrients carotene, lutein and zeaxathin, are all found in carrots. Carotene is a form of vitamin A which is crucial for the protection of the eyes. By consuming one cup of chopped carrots, you get almost 400% of your vitamin A requirement. By consuming a normal dose of carrots, various forms of eye disorder can be prevented. Some of these disorders can include degeneration of the macular, and in some cases even blindness can be prevented. The other nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, play a role in reducing the risk of vision loss. This vision loss is often related to age. Thus, eating carrots regularly can help to maintain vision throughout your life. This is especially important for elderly people since they tend to lose eye vision. If eating raw carrots does not appeal to you, it is also possible to drink carrot juice. The health benefits for the eyes are similar if you drink carrot juice since you still consume the necessary nutrients to protect eye health.


Protection against cancer

Various studies suggest that consuming high levels of carotenoids can protect you for the recurrence of cancer. These carotenoids are especially to be found in fruits and vegetables, including carrots. Researchers have shown that antioxidants in carrots might be able to fight leukemia cells. At the same time, these antioxidants can also play a role in reducing various types of cancers. These types of cancer include breast cancer and ovarian cancer. One of the studies which was conducted was amongst women who had a history of breast cancer. For a period of three weeks, the women consumed eight ounces of carrot juice. The results indicated that consuming carrot juice on a daily basis can help the body in fighting cancer. Also, it was considered to be an effective approach in increasing the level of protective carotenoids in the blood. This increased level of protective antioxidant carotenoids in turn also helps to reduce inflammation. By reducing inflammation, the growth of cancer is also prevented. Another benefit of carrots is that they decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is not only carrots that can help to decrease this risk, but also other orange vegetables. Carrot juice can also help to achieve these benefits. Consuming carrot juice on a regular basis can benefit heart health by lowering the level of oxidative stress. This in turn protects the body from cardiovascular diseases. Carrots also have an effect on lowering the cholesterol level and they boost the production of bile. By lowering the cholesterol levels and boosting bile production, the body increases its ability to digest fat. Thus, this can help your digestive system to properly absorb important nutrients from your food.

Carrot juice

One of the reasons why many people do not consume many vegetables is because they do not have time. If you are not able to cook vegetables or you do not have the time to make a salad, it is a great idea to consume raw carrots or make fresh carrot juice. By consuming fresh carrot juice, you still get all the nutrients which you would normally get by eating them raw or cooked. Drinking carrot juice on a regular basis can benefit your overall health since it adds many micronutrients to your diet. Instead of preparing and eating carrots, you can now still get all the necessary nutrients in a fast and efficient way. Moreover, by drinking carrot juice you do not only benefit your digestive system, but you also boost your immune system as well as your energy levels. Research has also suggested that carrot juice could also contribute to resolving underlying nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies could be caused by people overeating as their body might be looking for more micronutrients. Another health benefit or carrot juice is that it can help the digestive tract to absorb nutrients easily. This is due to the fact that the fibers are already broken down. Since they are already broken down, the body does not have to do a lot of work with regards to absorbing the nutrients. This is especially important and helpful for people who have comprised digestive abilities. For example, this could be people who have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.

How to select and store

There are a few things you should pay attention to when selecting carrots in the supermarket. They should not only be firm and smooth, but they should also have a bright colour. The deeper the orange colour of the vegetable, the more beta-carotene is present in the carrot. Moreover, also make sure that the vegetable is relatively straight and not wrinkled. Another aspect which you should keep in mind when selecting carrots is that they should not be excessively cracked. Most carrots are cracked a bit, but make sure that they are not completely forked. If you want to know whether the carrots are fresh, look at the stem of the vegetable. Make sure that the stem end if not darkly coloured. If they are, this means that the carrot is most likely old and will go bad within a couple of days. It could also be possible that the tops are still attached. If they are, make sure that the tops have a bright colour and are feathery. Moreover, the sugars are usually concentrated in the core of the carrots. Thus, those carrots which are big usually have a bigger core and will therefore be sweeter compared to smaller carrots. Carrots are hard vegetables and will often last longer than other vegetables if they are stored properly. The trick to keeping carrots fresh is minimizing the moisture they lose. In order to do this, keep them in the coolest part of the refrigerator in a plastic bag. When stored in this way, they will most likely be able to last for about two weeks. Also, carrots should not be stored together with potatoes, apples or pears. This is due to the fact that these vegetables and fruits produce ethylene gas. The ethylene gas caused the carrots to taste bitter. Moreover, if you buy carrots which still have the tops attached, make sure you remove these before storing them in the refrigerator. This is because the tops can lead to moisture being pulled from the roots.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 646x
Added: 25-01-2017 21:11
Last modified: 27-03-2017 01:05

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