(NaturalNews) Daucus carota subsp. sativus, commonly known as the carrot, is a vegetable that is naturally healthy, sweet and delicious. These taproots are filled with a lot of compounds that are good for the health, such as antioxidants, vitamin A, minerals and beta-carotenes. These crunchy roots are a common favorite among a lot of people who love vegetables.
Carrots are cultivated all over the world for their taproots. The plant is known to be biennial in nature and starts bearing flowers once it is in its second year. Generally, however, when the taproot reaches about 1 inch in diameter, it is harvested. This is the time when the root is juicy and tender. Carrots come in different shapes and colors, depending on the types of cultivar. Oriental ones usually have flat upper ends and are long. They also have tail-like lower ends that taper off. The European counterparts come in cylindrical bodies that have rounded ends. These also come in a bright orange color compared to the saffron-colored ones from Asia.
When buying carrots, it is important to look for young ones that are bright-colored and tender. They should also be firm. Avoid buying roots that are very large, as this could indicate that they are already mature, which may make them more difficult to eat.
The Different Health Benefits
It is well-known that carrots are healthy, but what are the benefits that they give to those who eat them? Here's a rundown of the different health benefits one could gain from eating carrots:
Carrots are naturally rich in vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber. They only give 41 calories for every 100 grams, with a negligible fat content and no cholesterol.
Carrots are also rich in vitamin A and beta-carotenes, which help protect people from developing mouth and lung cancers. These compounds, along with flavonoid compounds, help protect the skin too.
Research conducted by the scientists at the University of Newcastle discovered that falcarinol found in carrots may help prevent cancer, as it destroys cells that are pre-cancerous. The study was conducted on laboratory animals.
Fresh carrots are also rich in vitamin C, giving about 9% of the RDA. Vitamin C helps keep the gums, teeth and connective tissues healthy. Its antioxidant properties also help the body be protected from various diseases caused by free radicals.
The root is also rich in B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B6, folic acid, thiamine and many more. These are co-factors to certain enzymes that are needed for substrate metabolism.
Carotenes are changed by the liver into vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for the maintenance of good vision, sperm production and skin integrity, plus normal growth and development.
Carrots are full of nutrients, which is why people should include these in their diets. These root crops can help people become healthy as well as prevent the onset of various diseases, including cancer. Young and tender carrots are the best ones, as they are sweet and full of various nutrients.
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