Carrots and Health Benefits
Red juicy crunchy carrots are the favorite vegetables of majority of mankind not only for its sweet and delicious flavor but also for the wonders it can do for health. Carrots belong to the family of root vegetables containing top round heads that taper towards the end. Color and shapes of carrots could differ depending on the variety of the carrots. Orange is the common color of carrots but other colored carrots such as white carrots, yellow carrots, red carrots and purple carrots are also in existence. Size of carrots can be in the range of 2 inches to 3 feet. Sweet carrots are within 6 inches in length so go for the shorter carrots if one prefers a sweeter flavor.
Purchase of carrots should be on the basis of richness of color and firmness of texture. Carrots can be washed with running water for few minutes for removal of residue particles. Rest the cleaned carrots in the refrigerator. Any leaves on the carrot tops should be separated from the carrots before refrigerating the vegetables. When needed for cooking the carrots can be kept under cold water for few minutes for their cleaning. Both ends of the carrot can be trimmed. Peel the carrot skin and chop into cubes, pieces or slices.
Carrots have numerous culinary uses. Carrots can be bitten into after peeling the skin and knifing the edges. Carrots are the favorite vegetables in salads along with an assortment of other vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, green beans, turnips and also beets. Carrots can be combined with potatoes, peas, capsicum and tossed in many vegetable preparations. Gajar ka halwa is a popular Indian dessert dish having carrots as the primary ingredient. Cakes, soups and pudding include carrots in their recipes. Carrots can be blended for carrot juice which has a refreshing effect on the body.
Rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fiber describes the nutritional value of the carrot vegetable. The benefit of carrot nutrients can be obtained by including carrot in the daily diet. Carrot juice can also be downed regularly to enjoy the benefits of carrots. The arguments below shed light on the health benefits of the carrot vegetable when consumed.
- Nutritional Value
Vitamins in carrots are vitamins A and C. Vitamins of the B-complex group of vitamins stored in carrots include vitamin B6, folic acid and thiamine. Minerals in carrots are copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and manganese. Other nutrients in carrots are anti-oxidants and dietary fiber.
Carrots contain anti-oxidant properties due to the vitamin C constituent in the carrot vegetable. Free radicals can be battled and defused thereby protecting the body from damaging consequences. Carrots can be regarded as anti-oxidant agents due to these factors.
- Digestive Health
Fiber in carrots can restore digestive health. Fiber aids in digestion as the release of digestive enzymes is stimulated with carrots. Also fiber is responsible for adding bulk to the stools and easing their passage in the digestive system. Bowel-linked ailments such as constipation are averted and bowel patterns are regularized leading to elimination of toxins from the body and improving health measures.
- Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels can be minimized with carrots due to the fiber content in carrots. The fibers bind with the bile acids and assist in their flushing from the body. The liver which has the responsibility of producing bile acids uses the existing cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol levels are reduced here.
Lowered cholesterol levels in the blood vessels can benefit the heart as the arteries are free of clogging material. Heart health is improved as a consequence.
- Other Benefits
Immunity in the body can be heightened with carrot intake as the function of white blood cells is encouraged with the nutrients in carrots. Vitamin A in carrots can improve vision and avoid disorders such as night-blindness. Blood sugar levels can be controlled with carrots by improving the body resistance towards insulin.