Historical documents showed that carrots may have existed 5,000 years back, but due to their close similarity with parsnips, no one exactly knew when it first appeared. It was originally cultivated in the Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries, including some parts of Europe. Today, China leads the production of carrots followed by Russia and The United States.
Carrot is a member of the umbelliferae family whose close relatives are parsley, parsnips, fennel, caraway and dill. They come in different colors like yellow, purple, white and red. Its root has a sweet and minty taste with a crunchy texture and the top are fresh and a little bitter in taste. This wonderful root crop is available through the year, but they are more flavorful during summer and fall.
Carrot is an excellent source of vitamin A, a single root can supply you with about 200% of your daily requirement. You can just imagine how much beta-carotene it hold which your body converts into vitamin A! And the deeper orange color you can find, the more beta-carotene it has. This Superfoods’ nutritional profile also consists of carbohydrates, fibers, both soluble and insoluble, sugar as well as essential mineral like potassium, manganese, phosphorus, copper and sodium. Its vitamin content also includes vitamin B1, B2 and B6, along with vitamin C and vitamin K. It was recently known that it is also high in another type of phytonutrients known as polyacetylene which is believed to protect us from cardiovascular disease.
Eating carrots regularly can give you good dental health by killing harmful germs in your mouth, preventing tooth decay. It also helps in avoiding digestive disorders and gastric ulcers. With regular consumption, carrots can improve the quality of breast milk in mothers. As for children, this is a great treatment for thread worms. Applying grated carrots on wounds and cuts can speed up the healing process. Its high alkaline content purify and revitalize the blood. Including carrots in your diet will enhance the appearance of hair, skin and nails.
Too much of everything that is good may also be damaging to our health as in the case of the pigment found in Carrots. Too much absorption of beta carotene by the body partially blocks vitamin A from metabolizing in the body which may then cause some health hazards like an increased chance of having lung cancer.
Eating too much carrots may also lead to carotoderma, a condition in which the skin develops an orange or yellow cast, particularly the palms and soles. It’s alarming but not dangerous and after limiting consumption of carrots, the condition usually disappears.
Here’s a fun fact for you… Mel Blanc, the voice behind the cartoon character Bugs Bunny, never liked carrots.
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