Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Crunchy, Orange Powerhouse: The Health Benefits of Carrots
















The average American eats more than eleven pounds of carrots a year. Carrots are second only to the ever popular potato in line of most popular vegetables. You may not be aware that until the 17th or 18th century when the Dutch bred orange carrots, most carrots were purple, yellow or white. The longest carrot in the record books measured in at over nineteen feet long.  The heaviest carrot by weight came in at 18.985 pounds in 1998.   The word carrot actually came from "karoton," a Greek word (ker- "horn, head), so called for its horn-like shape.

With over one hundred species of carrots, all were originally used, not as a food, but for medicinal purposes. Now there's good reason to include carrots in your meal plan.  Today's science states very strongly that carrots may help decrease your risk of chronic illness. Carrots are also listed as one of the most health-promoting foods.    
Known for ultraviolet radiation protection, carrots have been recognized for the function they play in heart disease and stroke prevention, as a poultice to prevent infection in cuts and scrapes, for preserving youthful skin, and for colon cleansing and toxin flushing. In ancient times, they ate carrots to prevent or as an antidote for poisoning.


Carrots also have anti-inflammatory properties and provide anti-inflammatory benefits that are significant even when compared to anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Celebrex. Carrot extract has been found to be useful in managing loss of memory and may offer memory improvement and cholesterol-lowering benefits as well.

The calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium in carrots help build strong bones and a healthy nervous system. Calcium consumption, especially, is imperative for healthy heart muscles. Phosphorus is necessary for softening skin and strengthening teeth, hair, and bones, while magnesium can be thanked for its role in mental development, assimilation of fats, and nutrient absorption. Carrot crunchers also get the benefits of potassium, vitamins C and B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine, and magnesium.

A deficiency in vitamin A can cause your eye's photoreceptors to deteriorate, which leads to vision problems. Eating foods rich in beta-carotene may help restore vision. The folk tale that 'eating large quantities of carrots helps us to see in the dark' was developed from stories that began during World War II. The British were shooting down German planes at night and to hide the fact that it was the use of radar technologies that was achieving this, Britain's Royal Air Force circulated a tale about their pilots' high level of carrot consumption. They may not have been telling the truth about why the pilots were able to get such good aim, but carrots really can help your eye health.


Honeyville has several options when it comes to adding more carrots into your diet. Dehydrated Carrots, Shoestring Carrots, and the Vegetable Mix all have carrots in them. Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked, roasted, baked or sautéed. I enjoy carrots in my salads or soups. They can be a good finger food as well.   Do your family and your health a favor and find some ways to add more carrots to your plate.  

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