Carrots are vegetables of ancient origins, rich in vitamins, mineral salts and beta-carotene. Great allies for our health, excellent both cooked and raw, carrots should be always present in our diet, especially in the warmer months, when the sun hits our skin. Let's see why.
Fresh, light and nourishing, carrots are a food that should be always present in our diet. With a delicate flavor, they are versatile in the kitchen and full of important benefits, especially in the summer months, when our skin needs special attention and care.
Carrots: where they come from
Carrot is a spontaneous herbaceous plant belonging to the Umbelliferae family, the same to which fennel, celery and parsley belong, called this way because the inflorescences resemble the shape of an umbrella. In nature there are several varieties and it seems that the origins of this vegetable are very ancient, to be found even in ancient Egypt, where only the purple ones were grown. Good both cooked and raw, to be enjoyed as a snack, carrots should be always present in our diet, let’s see why.
Carrots are roots rich in water and priceless sources of beta carotene, an antioxidant substance that our body converts into vitamin A. They contain a fair amount of fiber and there is no shortage of mineral salts including iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium and copper; they are considered a dietetic food because they are really low in calories (100 grams of raw carrots contain just 41 kcal).
The root, which is also the edible part, is rich in sugary reserves, while the herbaceous part contains a high number of flavonoids; there is also Vitamin A and Vitamin C. A curiosity; eating even just a carrot a day (both raw and cooked) allows us to take on all the daily needs of beta-carotene, about 2-4 mg.
Benefits of carrots
The composition of carrots makes them great allies of our health; the numerous benefits they bring to our body make us say, without a doubt, that they should always be present in our daily nutrition. Let's see them in detail:
- The fibers and pectin present in carrots have a protective role on the mucous membrane of the digestive tract, facilitating digestion and functioning of the intestine;
- carrots are dietetic: containing very few calories, they are always recommended in low-calorie or slimming diets, also thanks to the satiating power that distinguishes them;
- beta-carotene has a beneficial contribution on our skin; it not only promotes tanning but also has a photoprotective effect, making the skin more rosy and elastic;
- the vitamin A, which our body produces on the thrust of the carotenes contained in the carrots, helps us protect our eyesight;
- carrots, together with other vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, are recommended above all for the nutrition of children; in fact they can help prevent or counteract the onset of forms of childhood obesity;
- vitamin C and beta-carotene which have a powerful antioxidant effect, and together they fight the development of free radicals and consequently the aging of tissues and the body more generally;
- carrots are diuretic and purifying, for this reason they are precious allies of the kidneys and help us eliminate toxins;
- the flavonoids present in carrots act positively on the cardiovascular system.
Use in the kitchen
Carrots can be used in the kitchen in many ways, even if, just like in Bugs Bunny cartoons, the best way to enjoy them is raw, as a healthy snack. If you want to experiment with healthy dishes without sacrificing taste, you can use carrots to prepare chips, excellent for a tasty appetizer, or baked carrots, very simple to bring to the table.
Carrots are also often used in confectionery, in fact everybody knows the camilla small cakes, the snack that our grandmother always prepared for us. Also interesting are the carrot muffins, fluffy and delicious or a more "classic" donut, perfect for different breakfasts than usual, but also a classic carrot cake, with its delicious icing cover.