You probably know that carrots are a great source of vitamin A, but did you realize that carrots offer much more in nutrients and health benefits? The World’s Healthiest Foods explains how carrots can be an important part of our diets.
Carrots were originally found on the continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia, but their production has spread around the globe to many countries. China grows the most carrots per year worldwide, while within the United States the biggest producer is California. The most popular kind of carrot is the orange variety that you typically find at the grocery store. The World’s Healthiest Foods considers carrots to be a yellow/orange kind of vegetable and recommends consumers eat a half cup of these veggies each day.
When it comes to nutrients carrots top the chart for vitamin A with 113% per one cup serving. Other nutrients include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
Benefits of Carrots
Carrots are also an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is a phytonutrient antioxidant. Beta-carotene is helpful in several ways for the human body. For example, carrots promote healthy bone mass and also lowering the chance of experiencing cardiovascular problems, such as a heart attack. Additionally, carrots have anti-cancer properties thanks to polyacetylene molecules. The World’s Healthiest Foods also mentions that some studies have shown that eating a carrot-rich diet can help lower the chance of glaucoma, but notes that these were small studies.
To prepare carrots for eating, wash and scrub the vegetables gently. They can be eaten either raw or cooked. However, the World’s Healthiest Foods recommends using its steaming method to cook carrots, which takes five minutes. This is because steaming the carrots for a short period of time ensures that you do not lose the nutrients inside.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of carrots? You can read the full article here: Carrots.