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Nutrition Guidance from Dr. Margaret Briley


Are Carrots the Ultimate Health Food?

Are Carrots the Ultimate Health Food?

Carrots have been regarded by parents to their children as the ultimate health food because it will help them to see in the dark. 

Written history and molecular genetic studies indicate the domestic carrots we enjoy today were cultivated in Persia, the area where Afghanistan and Iran are now located. During the 16th century Dutch growers selectively bred the carrot's bitter woody root core to reduce bitterness, increase sweetness and minimize the woody core of the carrot. Carrots are rich in vitamin A and prevent a progressive eye disease called xerophthalmia that can cause night blindness. In addition, vitamin A in carrots help prevent blindness in children. Carrots also contain two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, that help prevent a vision loss called age-related macular degeneration. The National Cancer Institute data indicate the antioxidants may reduce the risk of certain cancers such as lung, prostate, colon and leukemia. Carrots contain potassium that relaxes blood vessels and therefore reduces risk of high blood pressure. Among other benefits of consuming carrots is that they contribute vitamin C to one's immune functioning in the body, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and calcium and phosphorus to preserve good bone health. 

Carrots can be consumed by diabetics, since they are relatively low in sugar, and one carrot is about 25 calories. Carrots are plentiful year around, inexpensive, can be eaten raw, cooked, canned, dried as chips, and frozen. They bring a sweetness to soups, stews, soups, and salads. Carrots are available in the market in little bags for snacks, lunch boxes and healthy low-calorie treats. Carrots have a high nutrient value and are regarded by consumers to be an excellent nutrient rich root vegetable. Parents can easily grab little bags of carrots, one for each day in the week for a child's enjoyment in their lunch. 

Research shows exposure of many kinds of vegetables early in their life, the more likely the child will continue to enjoy the rest of their life.

Photo by Daphne Parker - produce from her own home garden!

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