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Carrot

Carrot is a sweet root vegetable, usually orange in color with a huge popularity. Carrot is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. It are versatile in the kitchen, cooked or raw, from roasts and stews to sandwiches and cakes. One of the greats!

Carrot
The thermal nature is neutral.
The flavour is .
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What it is

The carrot is a root vegetable from the parsley family, usually orange in color, but historically available in most colors, red -white-purple or blends in color .The orange carrot was developed by the Dutch from of the wild carrot Daucuscarota, native to Europe and south western Asia. 

A carrot grows a rosette of lacey green leaves and a substantial taproot. It has a crisp texture when fresh. The edible part of a carrot is a taproot. Although the carrot stalks are a good addition to vegetable juices.


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What is in it

Carrot is an excellent source of vitamin A, it is a very good source of dietary fiber, the essential mineral, potassium and the vitamins C and K. Carrot is also a good source of the minerals manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and the vitamins B6, B1, B3 and folate.

Carrots are rich in carotenoids and thus antioxidants. They also a a source of silicon


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What it is good for

The carrot gets it s characteristic and bright orange color from the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is easily converted into vitamin A, being vital for bone growth skin and vision, also protecting your cells and tissues from free radical damage that can cause cancer and other health problems.

Carrots are also rich in Vitamin C, minerals and dietary fiber that assist in the elimination of wastes and eases constipation.

The potassium in the carrots is alkaline forming and helps clears acid blood issues like acne, tonsillitis and rheumatism. Carrots also contain silicon and thus strengthen the connective tissue in your body and assist in the metabolism of calcium.

The green carrot tops have beneficial properties because of their high nutrients and bitter nature. They take away the often very sweet edge from carrot juice and improve the juices qualities in assisting in the prevention of cancers, liver stagnation and damp conditions. 

Carrots:
• Benefit the lungs
• Ease constipation, aiding the elimination of waste
• Aid digestion by helping in the production of gastric Juices
• Hepatic – tone and regenerates the liver improving liver function - Very good after the acute phase of hepatitis, or poisoning 
• Regulates cholesterol
• Diuretic – tones the kidneys, stimulates urine to eliminates toxins and dissolve accumulations such as stones it
• Cleanses the blood 
• Aids repair of injuries by burns when juice applied directly
• Balances intestinal function – treats indigestion and heartburn
• Phytoestrogens facilitates and increase milk production in mothers and stimulates natural development of the breasts
• Stimulate the flow of menstrual blood


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When you get it

Fresh and best in the spring and summer but available all year around


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Which to select

Why Organic
To eat organic means to live cleanly, free of pesticides and toxins. It is a conscious choice. One made in order to survive right along with the planet that sustains us. Organically grown food do not over-run the landfills with toxic waste or subject your body to unhealthy foods. For your health and for the planet, choose to eat organic foods. To understand more about why organic is better please read our “Why Organic?” special feature.

The vegetable
Take the carrots with fresh looking green leaves. The root should be smooth without cracks. Do not take carrots if they are soft, withered or easy to bend. They should be crisp.


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Where to store

Store in your refrigerator but remove the stalks as they use the water and nutrients from the carrots to grow. Keep away from apples as they can cause carrots to become bitter

At a temperature of 0°C and with a relative humidity of 90-95%, carrots can be kept even for several months, keeping all their properties and characteristics.


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How to use

Carrots are an extremely versatile vegetable. Eat one raw for a healthy snack. Eating carrot sticks can help strengthen children’s teeth and jaw development. They can be chopped or julienne and boiled, fried or steamed. Great cooked in soups and stews. Grated carrots are used in carrot cakes, on sandwiches.

Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a vegetable stock 

Carrot juice is sweet and a rich source of vitamins. The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are great added to the juicer 

Carrot Juice- helps burns when applied directly.

Italian Carrot cake
Ingredients: 250 g carrots, 6 eggs, 250 g sugar, 250 g almonds and the rind of a lemon.
Preparation: Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar; add the six egg whites whipped until firm, the carrots finely grated, the almonds finely grounded, and the grated rind of the lemon. Mix well and put in the oven in a cake pan with greased foil on the bottom. Cook for about 30 minutes with the oven at 180 DegC.


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How much you need

To eat 170g of carrot a day or 2 cups of juice can give you great health benefits but there is an upper limit  of 340g or 4 cups of juice a day.

To reach your health goals and become healthy the most important step is to eat a well balanced diet of food from across all the food groups. 

For an average person 
 
Servings per food group:
Whole Grains (Carbohydrates):  6 – 8 
Meat and beans (Protein):  1 – 2 
High quality fats: 1
Dairy:     2 - 3
Fruit: 2
Vegetables: 5
Water: 6

This list is of recommended daily amount of each food group for an average person 19 to 50 years old with a low level of exercise (30minutes of less a day). If you are older you may need a little less, if you are younger, a little more and if you are very active even more food should be eaten. For more information on serving sizes see our special feature on Sizing Up A Serve.

It is important to ensure that the foods that you eat are of a high quality. The highest quality product is one that is fresh, whole and organic.

Fresh – over time the quality of nutrients degrades with their potency dying off.

Whole – many foods, particularly vegetarian foods carry a lot of their nutrients in their outer skins. So leave bran, germs and skins on the food where possible. Always with grains and whenever the fruit of vegetable permits.

Organic – ensure you have the cleanest food by using only foods that are grown without pesticides, or other chemicals, in a natural way as people have in all bar the last 80 years of history. Chemical burdened foods are a modern invention designed to increase output with little regard to the health of the end user.


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Things to watch out for

 Over consumption of carrots can cause hypercarotenemia. This condition causes the skin turn so range (although effects are less dangerous than those of vitamin A, which can cause liver damage) .If you stop your over consumption your skin will return to normal with no long lasing effects.


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References

The Journal of Nutrition – The American Society for Nutrition, http://jn.nutrition.org, retrieved 05/2009.

Wikipedia,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot, retrieved, 05/2009

Prepared by the editors at Harvard Health Publications in consultation with Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., Dr.P.H., Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Vitamins and Minerals: What you need to know,  Harvard School of Public Health, 2008.

Bratman, Steven, and David Kroll. Natural Health Bible. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1999.

Paul Pitchford. Healing with whole food, North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders, 2004.

Norton Greenberger M.D. and Roanne Weisman, 4 Weeks to Healthy Digestion, Harvard School of Public Health. (2008)


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