Carrot is a root vegetable, either red, pink, or orange in color. The crisp and edible taproot is a domesticated variant of daucus carota, the wild variety that is native to Europe and Asia. The plant is biennial, and grows leaf rosettes during summer. The edible taproot is fleshy, and stores sugars. The stem flowers to a height of about 1 meter, and bears white flowers. The fruit is a schizocarp that can be eaten in a variety of ways.
The best part of this vegetable is that, it can be well digested without cooking. Carrots can be diced, sliced, and grated to be eaten raw. The vegetable can also be boiled, fried, or stewed to add flavor and nutrition to soups and stews. Grated, the vegetable adds the goodness of vitamin A to cake recipes and puddings, without children even knowing about its presence.
Carrots blend well with other salad vegetables like, spring onions, cabbage, and celery to add volume to traditional and diet bowls. It is a part of nearly every broth, and mash in baby and pet food. Carrot juice is a popular health drink. It can also be blended with the juice of other fruits and vegetables to add flavor, volume, or nutritional content, depending on the vitamin deficiency being battled.
Carrots are rich sources of fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. These potent components help to prevent the onset of poor vision. Essentially, they help restore vitamin A in the diet. This fibrous root also addresses ethnomedical issues such as, digestive problems and tonsillitis. Their regular intake is known to counter attack intestinal parasites, and ease constipation. A number of new-age diets have carrots as vital components of the diet plan.
Carrot is rich in vitamin A. The fiber content in this vegetable aids digestion and excretion, helping with associated ailments like, hemorrhoids or piles. Juice of carrot is potent with the goodness of beta carotene. It increases the fluid intake and water retention within the system during summer.
The pulp and juice are anti-carcinogenic, and hence, prevent cancer. The popular garden vegetable is also sought for its aromatic leaves. The purple-skinned variety called Beta Sweet or Maroon Carrot is being researched upon for its anti-cancer properties. This new-age experimental remedy is being promoted via a number of products like, biscuits and spreads.
Beta carotene content makes the vegetable an anti-oxidant. This property credits the vegetable with the prevention of cell degeneration and slowing down of the natural aging process. Being an anti-oxidant, carrot is great for the skin, either ingested via juice or food, or applied within herbal and natural creams.
Carrot juice works like a tonic to improve overall health of the immune system, while triggering appetite. Research reveals that a daily dose of this natural wonder improves immunity by up to 70%. It is rich in minerals, and blends well with spinach and/or beet root to increase the mineral content, as per the deficiency being corrected. Today, selective breeding of this wonder vegetable has reduced bitterness and increased its sweetness.
Dedicated research reveals that carrots are also rich in vitamin E and hence, it is a vital part of nutritional supplements. With the natural content of vitamin E, it works wonders on the skin and rejuvenates dead skin. All these core nutritional components within carrots have made them popular in the kitchen, garden, and important additives to snacks and meals for children.
The bright orange color that comes from beta carotene metabolizes into vitamin A on ingestion. The reaction takes place in the presence of bile salts in the intestines. However, an overdose of the vegetable can lead to hypercarotenemia. This condition is characterized by an orange tinge to the skin and liver damage.