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SuperFood of the Week- Carrots

By February 27, 2017Super Foods

Nothing is cuter than a snow white bunny. What does every snow white bunny need to complete its ensemble?

Carrots! Carrots! Carrots!

The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) is a root vegetable, usually orange in color, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. Carrots are a domesticated form of the wild carrot, Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The plant probably originated in Persia and originally cultivated for its leaves and seeds. The most commonly eaten part of the plant is the taproot, although the greens are sometimes eaten as well.

The health benefits of carrots include reduced cholesterol, prevention from heart attacks, warding off of certain cancers, and reducing the signs of premature aging. Furthermore, carrots have the ability to increase the health of your skin, boost the immune system, improve digestion, increase cardiovascular health, detoxify the body, and boost oral health in a variety of ways. Watch for the newsflash below!

The roots contain high quantities of alpha and beta-carotene, and are a good source of vitamin  K and vitamin B6, but the belief that eating carrots improves night vision is a myth put forward by the British in World War II to mislead the enemy about their military capabilities. But note: studies show they can improve macular degeneration.

Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents. Furthermore, carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. Carrots contain just 44 calories per 100gm.

Blood Pressure: Next time you start getting riled up about something and your blood begins to boil, eat a carrot! Carrots are rich sources of potassium, which is a vasodilator and can relax the tension in your blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing blood flow and circulation, boosting organ function throughout the body and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system. High blood pressure is also directly linked to atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks, so this is yet another heart-healthy aspect of carrots! The coumarin found in carrots also has been linked to reducing hypertension and protecting your heart health. Little heart helpers- these guys are amazing!

Immune Booster:  Carrots contain a number of antiseptic and antibacterial abilities that make it ideal for boosting the immune system. Not only that, carrots are a rich source of vitamin C, which stimulates the activity of white blood cells and is one of the most important elements in the human immune system.

Digestion: Carrots, like most vegetables, have significant amounts of dietary fiber in those orange roots, and fiber is one of the most important elements in maintaining good digestive health. Fiber adds bulk to stool, which helps it to pass smoothly through the digestive tract, and it also stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices. Altogether, this reduces the severity of conditions like constipation and protects your colon and stomach from various serious illnesses, including colorectal cancer. Fiber also boosts heart health by helping to eliminate excess LDL cholesterol from the walls of arteries and blood vessels.

Prevents Cancer: Beta-carotene consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of several cancers, notably lung cancer. British researchers discovered that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams per day reduced lung cancer risk by more than 40 percent. The average carrot contains about three milligrams of beta-carotene.

Stroke: Eating a carrot every day reduces the risk of stroke.  Many studies have strengthened the belief in the “carrot effect” on the brain. Studies conducted on stroke patients revealed that those with highest levels of beta-carotene had the highest survival rate. Go brain juice!

Diabetes: Carrots are good for blood sugar regulation due to the presence of carotenoids in this delicious vegetable. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar, thereby helping diabetic patients live a normal, healthy life. They also regulate the amount of insulin and glucose that is being used and metabolized by the body, providing a more even and healthy fluctuation for diabetic patients.

I could spend days talking about the attributes of the carrot but the most important reason to eat them?

They taste great, are pretty to look at and if bunnies like them they have to be amazing!

You can have some of these awesome vegetables this week here at Cuisine for Healing but you better hurry!

Try our Spanish Stewed Chicken Brown Rice and Carrots or Baked Salmon, Brown Rice with Zucchini, Carrots

 

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