The carrot, in the form that is commonly known to us, represents the root of a plant belonging to the umbelliferae family. Historically, there are not much details available as to its origins although it is most likely that it came from Asia Minor, where it grew in the wild. During such period, the carrot had a yellowish color. Afterwards, that color transformed gradually as it was started to be grown for domestic consumption. At such point in time, i.e., during the 19th century, the carrot finally took its current orange color.
The carrot is a popular food that is eaten daily and that is available throughout the year. This plant is known to contain carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin) whatever is the form in which it is consumed form (raw, cooked or as a juice). The presence of such carotenoids explains the carrot’s antioxidant power. Also, this plant is rich in minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, etc.) and pectins. These latters have the advantage of regulating intestinal transit.
1 – The carrot plays an effective role against diarrhea due to its high fiber content (pectin).
2 – The carrot slows skin aging since it is rich in beta-carotene or provitamin A whose antioxidant action prevents the aging of skin cells.
3 – The carrot is also good for the eyes and prevents ocular degenerative lesions. This is thanks to the lutein (an antioxydant) which it contains.
4 – The carrot positively affects the cholesterol levels and protects the cardiovascular system.
5 – The carrot also plays a good preventive role against lung and breast cancers.
6 – While the carrot is moderately caloric (32 kcal/100 g), its consumption (especially when cooked or as a juice) should be monitored by diabetic people.
On the other hand, always make sure to buy only firm carrots that are also smooth and rigid. Regardless of their size, when carrots feel soft and lean, this would mean that they have been kept for a long time in cold storage. Finally, we should know that carrots are a natural appetite suppressant since the fact of savoring 1 or 2 carrots is sometimes an efficient way for eliminating that annoying feeling of hunger.