Discover the Health Benefits of Carrots
The Beauty of Carrots
We have known since we were children that the humble carrot was nutritious. Bugs Bunny was constantly munching on one, and we just knew how wonderful a rabbit's eyesight was.
Was that an old wives tale? Nope. Everything is researched extensively nowadays, and so has that carrot. What they have discovered will help you with more than just your eyesight.
Daucus carota is the scientific name for the vegetable which provides the most pro-vitamin A-- beta carotene.
Packed with other phytonutrients and antioxidants, carrots not only aid in protecting night vision, they protect against macular degeneration, and cataracts, but so much more.
The two carotenes supplied in carrots-alpha and beta carotene, work synergistically to provide reduced risk of heart disease. As a matter of fact, research has shown as much as a 60% reduction in heart attack risk when the elderly consumed at least one serving of carrots or squash per day. That is significant.
These same carotenes pack power in protecting against lung cancer. Studies done some years back using a beta carotene supplement did not yield the same results as more recent studies using the whole carrot. The studies using supplements only, contained just the beta carotene, and this did nothing against preventing lung cancer in smokers. The recent studies have concentrated on using the whole food, which supplies both the alpha and the beta carotenes. The results were much different. Results in animal subjects showed the protective action reduced emphysema and the incidence of lung cancer.
To get the maximum nutrition from your carrots, the fiber needs to be broken down. This can be achieved through juicing or cooking. Beta carotene is not lost in the cooking process, but never overcook any vegetable. There are fragile nutrients in all vegetables and generally the less cooking the better. Simply cook until they are tender, but still firm.
To maximize your absorption of vitamin A, it is important to include some oil or fat in the meal. So combine your carrots with something that contains a bit of fat. Salad dressings, meat, in short, just balance your diet.
Vitamins A, K, C, B1, B3, B6, folate, minerals, and fiber-carrots are a super food to add to a healthy diet. Nutritional insurance that tastes great!
Creamy Carrot Soup by Luci Lock
More by this Author
A wonderful memory I have from childhood, is sneaking into our garden, on my hands and knees, and "stealing" a little fruit called a Ground Cherry. I am certain that they tasted all the better because I had...