If carrot cake is the extent of your use of this vegetable in the kitchen then you are limiting yourself in both taste and nutrients. There are many exciting ways to use this hardy food that can truly benefit your recipes and your health. Now baking and carrots usually do not mix that often, but they are something that you should try and incorporate into your creations. Here are some reasons why you should always have some of these on hand.
Fun Ways To Get More Carrots Into Your Diet
Before we get into their wonderful benefits let’s first look at how you can go about consuming more of this vegetable. While these are great finger foods to snack on occasionally, you may find yourself getting bored with them. Luckily, this is one versatile root veggie that can be taking advantage of in may different ways in your kitchen.
Roasted, baked, and broiled are just a few of the many ways that you can spice up your favorite recipes. Adding a carrot into the mix can add not only some color, but some texture as well. Soups, side dishes, and casseroles can all benefit from the addition of a few carrots. There are many different ways to prepare carrots and whether you pop in the microwave, roast them in a toaster oven, or slow cook them in a crock pot, you might just be surprised how well they turn out.
If you get tired of eating them then you could always juice your carrots. This is another superb way to get most of the nutrients from this vegetable. Juicing them will also save you a tremendous amount of time since you can fit a lot of carrots into one glass of juice. We use a Breville juicer in our kitchen for this purpose as it is great with hard fruits and vegetables. We can usually go through an entire bunch of carrots in only a couple of minutes and get enough juice for two people. Clean up is rather easy as well. It is a super simple way to supplement your diet with a very colorful drink. This also happens to be one of the more popular ingredients that people use in their juice recipes because of its health benefits and for the kick it adds to the overall taste.
Of course we would be remiss if we did not mention using them in some fantastic carrot dessert recipes. They mix well with sweet ingredients and it is one of our favorites in the summer time. Experimenting is half of the fun in the kitchen so do not limit yourself and go wild. You might just be surprised with what you can create with a few of these.
Possible Benefits To Your Health
Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables around. They grow in abundance for the whole year and can be eaten in a variety of ways. You can have a carrot cooked, juiced, or even eaten raw. It can also be boiled, which makes it easier to digest. Also, ingesting it boiled lets your body absorb more falcarinol and less in it that will be included in the stool.
It is also called as “poor man’s ginseng” because it contains more than 490 phtyochemicals. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients that do the body a lot of favor in keeping it healthy.
The health benefits of carrots include:
- The high content of Vitamin A and beta-carotene in carrots help protect your vision, and is helpful in enhancing the ability to see well in dim conditions.
- Carrots reduce cholesterol levels.
- High levels of beta-carotenes (which are found in carrots) are good for stroke patients. They are more likely to recover with daily dosages of beta-carotene.
- Carrots have a high content of carotenoid. This helps in regulating blood sugar.
- They also have antiseptic properties that can be used as laxative for treating liver ailments.
- They are also used in cosmetic products or lotions; they help the skin to be moisturized, smooth and firm.
- Carrot juice can also be used to treat gastrointestinal problems. High levels of intake of carrot juice have been proven to treat upset stomach, indigestion and peptic ulcers.
- It also lessens diarrhea and treats vomiting. During diarrhea, carrots rehydrate the body and provide sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. It alleviates inflammation of the bowels. For vomiting, it tests out bacteria growth in the body.
- Carrots also have a natural antioxidant called Glutathione (GSH) which is important in regulating blood pressure and glucose homeostasis. Also, this antioxidant provides the skin with a healthier and more glowing look.
- Carrots can also be used as vermicide (worm expelling agent).
- Carrot oil is beneficial to the skin. It treats dry chapped skin and makes it softer, smoother and firmer. It has been used in Europe for decades as baby oil, lip balm, night creams and vitamin creams. However, it should not be used purely and directly on the skin. It should be mixed with a carrier oil such as apricot or kernel oil. Pure oil can burn the skin.
- Carrots also nurture ligaments, and can ease aching joints.
Aside from the health benefits that carrots can provide your body, they can also help avoid diseases. These diseases are:
- Lung cancer-increased levels of beta-carotene have been found to reduce the risk of lung cancer, especially. There are also other cancers that a regular intake of carrot may prevent: breast, bladder, cervix, prostate and esophagus. While non-smokers have a lower risk of acquiring lung cancer, they can even reduce that risk by eating carrots.
- Colon cancers-carrot polyacetylenes as phytonutrients can help prevent the growth of colon cancer cells, especially when they are in reduced (or eaten) form.
- Heart disease-this can be avoided with carrots because this vegetable reduces cholesterol levels by 11 percent.
- Stroke-this can be avoided through the so-called “carrot effect”. Daily intakes of carrots reduces the risk of having stroke up to 68 percent.
- Diabetes-since carrots regulate blood sugar, this makes it effective in treating and preventing diabetes.
- Macular degeneration and senile cataracts-these are eye diseases that a carrot prevents. It does not stop taking effect if you already have blurred vision; it still helps in preventing this more severe eye diseases.
These are the vitamins and nutrients that carrots are rich in:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin A
- Calcium phosphorus
Carrots also contain:
- Antioxidant compounds
A carrot may be just a simple vegetable, but it can do the human body a lot of good. It should be included in your daily diet because it prevents severe, longtime diseases. Besides its potential to improve your health, carrots can also improve the taste and composition of some of your go to recipes. There are many dishes that can be enhanced with a little crunch, texture, and color. We love using this veggie in all sorts of ways in the kitchen, and with a little trial and error we know that you will to.