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Why You Should Be Eating More Carrots

Have you eaten a carrot lately? Carrots are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that make them more than worth adding to your plate.

When it comes to your health, there are many reasons to go orange with a daily serving of carrots. While you may have dismissed them as rabbit food as a kid, or maybe you still do, carrots are an amazing source of nutrients.

All About Carrots
Carrots (Daucus carota) are a member of the Umbelliferae family, and are a biennial plant that can tolerate cooler temperatures. Native to the Middle East and known to have been growing for centuries in Switzerland and Germany, the part of the plant that is eaten is the root. While bright orange carrots, known as Danvers Half Long, are the most common, several other species are available that can be all different sizes and colors. Yellowstone carrots are soft yellow in color and take the longest to grow, while Purple Haze carrots have vibrant, purple flesh with a core that remains orange.

The best thing about carrots is they can be enjoyed so many ways, thanks to their sweet flavor and crunchy, firm texture that holds up to various cooking methods. Here are some tasty ways to add more carrots to your diet:

  1. Juice carrots combined with other fruits and vegetables
  2. Roast carrots of any size with olive oil, sea salt and pepper
  3. Steam them and toss with honey and dill
  4. Shred carrots for salads and wraps (your grocery store probably sells them already shredded)
  5. Add baby carrots to stir fry with snaps peas and baby corn, tossing with soy sauce and sesame oil

Key Nutrients About Carrots
Carrots provide vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients and are virtually free of fat. At only 53 calories per serving, they fit perfectly into a healthy diet. Here are some of the main nutrients found within carrots and how much you can get in just 1 cup of chopped, raw carrots, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

  • Fiber -- Foods rich in fiber may help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol by binding with acids in the bile and removing them. Fiber also helps you feel full longer between meals and keeps the digestive system regular. One serving provides about 3.6 g of fiber, or about 14 percent of your recommended daily value.
  • Vitamin A -- Present in carrots as beta carotene, vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that protects the cells of the body from free radical damage. Vitamin A is especially important for eye health and the skin. You get an amazing 21,383 IU, or 428 percent of your recommended daily value, of vitamin A per serving.
  • Vitamin C -- Per serving, carrots provide about 7.6 mg, or 13 percent of your daily vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for healthy tissues as well as a strong immune system, fighting off threats of bacterial viral and fungal infection. Another potent antioxidant, vitamin C keeps cells healthy.
  • Vitamin K -- With it's benefits becoming more widely known, vitamin K is needed for proper mineral absorption, namely calcium, for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin K also helps the blood clot properly, especially after injury or surgery. Enjoy 16.9 mcg or 21 percent of your daily vitamin K in one serving of carrots.
  • Potassium -- An essential mineral and electrolyte, potassium helps the body remain balanced, in terms of water and acidity levels and supports healthy blood pressure and heart and nerve function. You can get 12 percent of your daily potassium from carrots, or about 410 mg.

Enjoying carrots on a daily basis can help you meet some of your dietary needs, especially vitamin A, for a healthier body overall. You'll also get a mix of B vitamins.

What if you don't like carrots?
If you've tried all the cooking suggestions above and just can't get into carrots, you can take advantage of their nutrients in a couple of ways, related to supplements. First of all, all of the key nutrients mentioned above are available in singular supplements. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the right amount to take for your health needs.

However a better option may be a green drink mix. These powder supplements contain dried powders of fruit and vegetables and their juices, providing all of their essential nutrients in drink form. Try mixing one of these powders with water, coconut water or another juice -- you can even blend them with other fruit, like bananas, and yogurt into a smoothie -- and gulp it down.

There are so many reasons to love carrots, from the taste to all the nutrients they provide. Explore new ways to make them today as part of a healthy lifestyle. eVitamins has everything you need to get started. Have a great week!


Legal Disclaimer:
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.
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