BY STACY FILTON [thelostherbs.com]
The humble carrot, or Daucus carota subsp. Sativus is undoubtedly not to be dismissed as one of the most potent super- ingredients! Grown beneath the earth, the common carrot houses some powerful antioxidants that can help you towards excellent health in one little orange vegetable, which we will go into shortly! Carrots are part of the root vegetable family and are known to be the orangest orange in color, which is unique for a vegetable! However, the carrot didn’t always start this way! They can be found in many different colors, such as purple, yellow, red, and white, with the early varieties of carrots being purple or yellow.
When it comes to digestion in the morning, consuming carrots as the first food of the day may have some increased benefits for optimum vitamin and mineral absorption in the stomach versus consuming a carrot in the evening, for instance. When it comes to the uptake of essential vitamins and minerals, the stomach is likely to be empty first thing in the morning so will absorb everything it’s given more efficiently. However, the carrot may be better juiced in the morning, as opposed to just eating it raw!!Try it whizzed up with a thumbnail of ginger and a small amount of pure orange juice for a superfood shot.
It is no surprise to learn that these tiny orange powerhouses pack an awful lot of health benefits into such a small vegetable! One serving of carrots (which is around a half-cup measure) contains approximately:
Carrots have an abundance of vitamins and minerals too. The same half-cup measure can give you:
(Data referenced From Web MD)Carrots are also a powerhouse ingredient when it comes to containing antioxidants. With a high proportion of beta-carotene and lutein, they are a fantastic power ingredient when it comes to protecting the body
Antioxidants can be found in an abundance of certain whole foods where the compounds are naturally occurring (sometimes the natural compounds of health benefits are so large that the foods will be considered “Superfoods”).Any foods that have a plethora of antioxidants may prevent a proportion of the damage caused by free radicals, as the antioxidants can neutralize them and reduce the severity of oxidative stress on the body’s organs. Nutrient antioxidants are the ones that are derived from foods such as carrots and include:
Antioxidants are crucial for a well-balanced and healthy diet, as they provide those essential vitamins, minerals, and, as you can see, protection from free radicals that accumulate into oxidative stress on your organs. Apart from the neutralization of free radicals, and abundance of antioxidants may provide other benefits for the body, such as:
Apart from the elements mentioned above, eating carrots can help you with specific aspects of your overall health.
Carrots are one of the simplest vegetables to prepare and can be used in so many ways, including some sweet treats! They can be eaten raw or cooked, but beware that the more they are cooked, the more nutrients they will lose during the heating process, so it’s always wise to cook them to al denté and no further, to get the most nutrients per serving.
All in all, carrots are indeed a super ingredient, regardless of the color you may find or grow them in! They are full of antioxidants which can be incredibly useful to combat the damage caused by free-radical oxidative stress within the body, potentially reducing your chances of developing some life-altering conditions and diseases such as cancers and heart disease. The high fiber content found in carrots can be incredibly helpful for those who suffer from digestive complaints such as constipation and may help reduce blood sugar levels in those who have diabetes or those who have blood sugar fluctuations. And let’s be honest, carrots taste great! They have a perfect sweet and savory balance and can be prepared raw or cooked and is one of the most versatile ingredients you will find in any kitchen. They are supported in soups, stews, salads, and sweet dishes such as muffins and carrot cake. Be mindful of the number of carrots you eat, as there is a truth too much of a good thing! Eating too many carrots can make your skin tinge a little bit yellow due to the amount of beta-carotene in them, so make sure you don’t consume too much!
Original article can be found here: