the CARROTS ORIGIN
Carrots were first grown by people for medicinal purposes and not for food in the area that is now Afghanistan. They can be traced back to about 5,000 years through historical documents and paintings. Their exact origin is hard to track since people first mistook them for parsnips.
The original carrots have a bitter and woody texture which is different from the one of today. The original carrots were small and had a purple or yellow colour. The popular orange variety which is sweet, crunchy and aromatic was developed by Dutch growers in the 16th Century.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CARROTS
There are four different kinds of carrots that you will come across let’s describe them and look at their
These carrots have very long roots of up to 9- 10 inches long. They have high sugar content and are enjoyable to eat while raw. These carrots require loose and deep soils in order to grow well
These carrots are medium length, with rounded tops or shoulders and pointed ends. They grow up to about 6-7 inches long. This type of carrots can grow well heavier and shallower soils. They have a deep orange colour and good taste. They have a good and longer storage quality compared to the imperator carrots.
These carrots have their origin in France. The Nantes carrot is cylindrical with the same diameter on the sides and a blunt bottom and smooth in shape. They are fine-grained, sweet, and great for eating fresh as well as juicing. The Nantescarrots grow well in loose and well-drained soils.
These carrots have short and conical roots that enable them to grow in clay that can power through clay and rocky soils better than any other type of carrot. They have a bulky top and shoulders and a blunt bottom. The chantenay carrots need to be harvested as soon as they size up. Delay in harvesting makes the carrots turn woody and fibrous.
These carrots have brightly coloured purple skin and an orange interior. They are rich in antioxidant anthocyanin due to their purple colour. Purple carrots are good for making snacks, salads and soups and juices.
These carrots have a sunny yellow colour and they are most often referred to as solar yellow carrots. This is a hybrid of orange and yellow varieties. The solar yellow is perfect for juicing.
White Carrots are a very sweet variety of carrots. They have a straight root of about 6 – 8 inches. White carrots are sweeter and more delicious than orange carrots. This makes them perfect to be eaten raw, but they are also cooked and used in soup, stews and casserole recipes.
Rainbow carrots are a mixture of 0Purple, Solar Yellow, Lunar White, and Atomic Red carrots. The Rainbow Carrots are great for making salads and will make a good addition to your food due to their attractive and beautiful colour mixture.
NUTRITION and healthy benefits
Carrots are nutritious and should be added to your daily portions and body requirements
|Amount in 1 medium, raw carrot
|The daily recommendation for adults
|5.8 — including 2.9 g of sugar
|Calcium (millgrams [mg])
|Vitamin C (mg)
|Folate (mcg DFE)
|Vitamin A (mcg RAE)
|Beta carotene (mcg)
|Lutein &zeaxanthin (mcg)
|Vitamin E (mg)
|Vitamin K (mcg)
HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING CARROTS
Carrots contain vitamin A. Lack of vitamin A is one of the main preventable causes of blindness in children. Only people whose eye vision problems stem from a vitamin A deficiency will benefit from improved vision when they eat carrots.
Carrots have anti-cancer agents like carotenoids which help to fight and slow down the progress of cancers like Prostate cancer, Leukemia, Lung cancer, Colon Cancer
Carrots are high in fibre. High fibre foods are known to promote good gut health and lower the risk of colon cancer and colorectal cancer.
Carrots are high in potassium which helps relax blood vessels hence reducing the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamin C contributes to collagen production. Collagen is connective tissue and essential for wound healing and keeping the body healthy. Vitamin C helps to boost the body’s immune system.
Carrots are rich in vitamin K and calcium and phosphorus. These nutrients contribute to healthy bones.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH OVER CONSUMPTION OF CARROTS
Overconsumption of carrots can lead to vitamin A overdose. People on medications with vitamin A such as isotretinoin and acitretin should eat carrots in moderation to prevent overdose.
Some people bear allergic reactions to certain compounds in carrots. These people should avoid the carrots from their diet and resort to supplements or other compatible sources of healthy nutrients.