Fruits and vegetables have long been considered vital in maintaining a healthy balanced diet. That’s because they provide our bodies with so many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. One of the most beneficial is carrots, simply because of how much goodness is packed into them. So much in fact that they were actually first used for medical purposes before they were food!
The health benefits of carrots
They have multiple benefits including promoting:
Carrots are high in carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene. Our bodies convert this into Vitamin A which is crucial in helping maintain good eye health and vision. Yes, carrots really do help your eyesight but it’s a lack of Vitamin A that causes your eyesight to deteriorate. It’s transformed into rhodopsin which helps with night vision.
A healthy heart
Simply eating a few carrots a day could do you a world of good in preventing coronary heart disease. A recent decade long study shows that carrots could potentially cut the risk of CHD by as much as a third. Similarly, carrots, along with green vegetables and fresh fruit, have the positive effect of decreasing the chance of heart attacks in women.
A happy mind
It’s been found that beta-carotene can help slow down cognitive decline. This means that there’s a reduced risk of declining memory or thinking skills. Given the fact that carrots contain enough beta-carotene for 210% of your daily Vitamin A, I’d say there’s no better place to get it.
The Vitamin A that carrots provide is perfect for your skin. It’s an antioxidant and so attacks free radicals, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles. They are also rich in Vitamin C, which is perfect for repairing sun damage and preventing pigmentation. This carrot body butter is filled with all the goodness you could ever need.
7 tasty ways you can add carrots to your diet
Here are 7 ideas to help you add more carrots into your daily meal plans:
Mix it up a bit and bake some carrots into fries. A nice mixture of baked carrots and your usual oven-baked chips will go a long way in chasing down that elusive five a day.
Pizzas are perfect for sneaking in some of those vegetables. You can still enjoy your traditional pizza but may be throw some veggies in or simply grate a carrot, tear it up, and sprinkle it on. You’ll still get maximum taste with no fuss.
Similar to pizzas, soups are the perfect excuse to pile up on those veggies. Your little ones will lap it up no problem and they won’t even know how healthy it is for them.
Carrot and cupcakes may not seem like the perfect combination, but add a carrot to the batter, top it with icing, and bask in the crazy brilliance of your creation. Who knew cupcakes could be so good for you?
Puree some carrots (and sweet potato if you fancy it) and mix them in with your usual recipes. It doesn’t impact upon the deliciousness of that classic home-made burger but it will bring with it some serious health benefits.
Smoothies and Juices
One of the easiest ways to incorporate carrots into your daily routine is in liquid form. Instead of pouring yourself a glass of fruit juice in the morning, filled with all that sugar, grab a bottle of carrot juice. Sure it sounds peculiar but there’s nothing strange about the health benefits that come with it.
Alternatively, try adding carrot into a smoothie. It’s the easiest way to get the good stuff without the taste.
If you’re being truly adventurous, try throw a few carrots into a cookie. Everyone loves cookies and it’s great to get creative every now and then. Just sprinkle a bit of grated carrot into your usual recipe for a healthy kick.
Take a look at the rest of our recipes on the Health Hub for some healthy ideas