Carrots are a very popular vegetable and are often praised as the “perfect health food”. They come in many different colors, including orange (of course), yellow, white and even purple and red. They are crunchy, tasty, sweet and very nutritious. The carrot is a root and root vegetables collect many important nutrients from the ground. This means they are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and are a good source of antioxidants. We may eat them a lot, but do we really know everything they can offer us?
Why buy organic carrots?
We are an organic farm so of course we are gong to suggest organic produce! But that is not why this is included. A carrot has thin skin, which allows it to absorb chemicals underground a lot easier. Conventionally grown carrots contain pesticide residues. Luckily, with organic farming, no chemicals are used so all they absorb is the good natural nutrients!
Speaking of Nutrients
The most common nutrients found in carrots are carotenoids. Carrots are a great source of these, including beta carotene, alpha carotene and lutein. These carotenoids are amazing antioxidants and are linked to the reduced risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, certain types of cancer and degenerative ailments.
Beta carotene gives the carrots their bright color and is an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes good vision, immune function and is important for growth and development. Eating food containing healthy fat like avocados, nuts and seeds, helps the body absorb the vitamin A.
Lutein is one of the most common antioxidants found in carrots and is important for eye health.
One medium, raw carrot contains around:
- 509 micro grams (mcg) RAE of vitamin A
- 5050 mcg of beta carotene
- 2120 mcg of alpha carotene
The 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that females should eat at least 700 mcg and males 900 mcg RAE vitamin A each day.
Carrots are also a good source of vitamin K1, pottasium, vitamin B6 and fiber.
Potassium helps with blood pressure control and Vitamin K1 promotes bone health and blood coagulation. Biotin and vitamin B6 are involved in metabolizing fat and proteins and the conversion of food to energy. A medium carrots provides around 1.7 - 2 grams of fiber, which can help lower blood cholesterol and promote a well functioning bowel system.
Even eating one to two raw carrots a day is enough to make a difference and receive all of the benefits carrots have to offer.
Carrots can help improve:
- Cancer prevention
- Digestive health
- Anti-aging and Healthy Skin
- Blood pressure
- Immune function and healing
- Bone Health
- and much more!
Tips for Eating More Carrots
Raw vegetables are proven to maintain more of their nutrients, as some can be lost in the cooking process. Eating them raw or steamed is the best way to preserve the nutrients.
Carrots can be shredded into:
- Baked goods (cakes, muffins, etc.)
Some other ideas are:
- Carrots sticks and hummus
- Juicing and smoothies
- Honey garlic roasted carrots
- Glazed carrots
- Sauteed carrots and leeks
- Roasted root vegetables
- Carrot patties
- Cabbage carrot casseroles
- Also used in soups, stews, slow-cooker meals and casseroles
There are so many uses for carrots and it is important to incorporate them into our diet. However, eating the same thing everyday can get boring. To get out of a rut and enjoy cooking with carrots, a quick search in Google will show hundreds of new, interesting and fun ways to cook with them. Of course, if you want to share your success with our carrots, post your pictures to our Facebook page or tag us on Facebook and Instagram! Enjoy!
Facebook: Strawberry Hill Farm