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Carrots orange and healthy

Updated on August 30, 2012
Carrots!
Carrots!

Carrots

Everyone knows them; carrots!

Children eat carrots from a young age and carrots are known for their good qualities to the eyes. They are delicious in taste and a commonly used ingredient in dishes. Are carrots really healthy and where does the orange colour of carrots come from?

Where do carrots come from

The carrot we know comes from Iran, the V.O.C. imported them in the 17th century. This carrot was cultivated long enough till he had an orange colour. This time the orange colour indeed came the royal Dutch family. After that the carrot spread over Europe.

Before the carrot was imported from Iran, he was already known as a food. The oldest fossils of wild carrots date back to 4.000 years ago.

Wild and cultivated carrots appear to be genetically very similar and could both be cultivated. Afghanistan is seen as the developing centre of the cultivated carrot. The original colour of the cultivated carrot is purple, caused by the presence of anthocyanin. From these purple carrots yellow roots originated, probably as a result of a mutation. The mutation caused a loos of anthocyanin, making the yellow carotenoids visible. This yellow carrot then came to the Netherlands and was cultivated until he was orange. The orange carrots are now cultivated mainly in the world, only in Eastern Europe they still grow purple carrots.

Carrots can be used in all kind of receipes!
Carrots can be used in all kind of receipes!

Types of carrots for sale

In the Netherlands carrots are grown very much. In the year 2000 about 8200 acres. In the supermarket you can find different types of carrots;

• The heavy carrot, good for stews, but also to make carrot juice from.

• You can also obtain normal carrots. These are fine carrots with the leaves still attached on it.

• And at last, you can also obtain washed carrots. These are fine carrots without greenery.

• Also very rare Parisian carrots exist, these are spherical to cylindrical shaped and are not much cultivated.

Carrots can be obtained the whole year. Keep the carrots in the lowest part of your refrigerator and remove the leaves from the carrots. Sometimes you have a green or white top at the upper side of the carrot. Cut these parts off before processing the carrots.

With carrots you can do anything you would like. You could grasp them raw, eat them as a whole, cut them into cubes. You can also boil the carrots, add them to stews, or use them as a meal for your baby.

Carrots are healthy

Are carrots really healthy or is it a myth?

Carrots contain the substance of beta carotene. Beta carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin A, you'll need for the rods in your retina to work properly. So carrots are indeed good for the eyes. Without beta carotene or vitamin A someone can suffer from night blindness.

However, it should be noted that other foods deliver more vitamin A then carrots, unfortunately not being the best supplier of vitamin A. You can therefore also eat dark green leafy vegetables, like cabbage and spinach, but also fruits like mangoes and tangerines are rich in beta carotene.

Besides that beta carotene is good for the eyes, is also said that it ensures good resistance, healthy bones, teeth and skin. And last, there are indications that beta carotene contains antioxidants which protect the body against aging. These antioxidants can scavenge free radicals, thereby preventing cell damage and aging.

Finally,

Carrots are a versatile and healthy vegetable. The advantage is that kids like them and you have not so much trouble with the evening meal. In addition, carrots are a healthy snack and they are not only good for the eyes but also for bones, teeth and skin.

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