First Off: The Rich History of Carrot
The carrot is a root vegetable which is usually orange in color and has a crispy texture when fresh. This root vegetable has a rich history where the earliest evidence of its use is dated to 3000 BC in what is now Iran and Afghanistan.
During those days the modern orange carrot did not exist. Instead it had different colors such as black, white and purple.
In the subsequent years after its first evidence this root vegetable spread in the neighboring countries including Africa and Asia. The spreading was facilitated by the caravans which used to carry trading goods during those days.
After the spread of carrot to different regions people started to cross breed it so as to produce better qualities of carrot. This root vegetable become popular mainly because it was easy to grow and after harvesting it could stay for long periods without going bad.
Amongst the signs that show that carrot was popular in many places includes the hieroglyph paintings found in Egypt which have images of carrot harvests. During those days the most popular type of carrot was the purple colour carrot. This carrot grew relatively easily but it was smaller is size compared to the carrot that is used today.
During the 13th century carrot eventually reached Europe where it was cultivated in Germany and France. The carrots that were grown during those days were bitter but their nutritious value made them popular amongst many people.
In 1609 carrot eventually reached Britain where it was cultivated in small scale since British people has not clearly understood about the qualities of this root vegetable. In mid seventeenth century carrot reached South America with Brazil being the first country to cultivate this root vegetable.
The modern orange carrot was first appeared in Netherlands during the seventeenth century. This carrot was developed as a tribute to the Netherlands’ ruling house of orange. As time progressed this orange carrot was engineered to reduce bitterness and also reduce the wooden core. This was achieved through careful cross breeding.
The engineering of this orange carrot resulted to increase of sweetness and also increase in nutritional value. This led to many people leaving the ancient carrot types and instead starting to grow this orange carrot. Consequently this orange carrot spread fast in Europe and eventually to the rest of the world.
Americans did not cultivate carrot for many years even after it was engineered in Netherlands to make it better. However, after the First World War a significant percentage of Americans started including carrots in their meals. This was after the soldiers who were returning from the war brought stories of how carrots were some of the foods that sustained them during the war.
After the Second World War even the American government understood how helpful carrot is and therefore encouraged farmers to cultivate it. Since then the popularity of carrot has risen where almost every homestead in America use carrots regularly. The popularity has not only been in American since carrot is widely used in almost all parts of the world.
Carrots nutritional content
Carrot is endowed with a wide variety of helpful nutrients which provide the body with diverse health benefits. Carrot is usually eighty eight percent water, four point seven percent sugar, two point six percent protein, one percent ash and zero point two percent fat. The carrot dietary fiber comprises mostly cellulose with small proportions of lignin, starch and hemicelluloses. The free sugars found in carrot include fructose, sucrose and glucose.
The nutritional value of carrot per 100 grams are
- 173 kj energy
- 6 g carbohydrates
- 7 g sugars
- 8 g dietary fiber
- 24 g fat
- 93 g protein
- 9 mg vitamin C
- 66 mg vitamin E amongst other vitamins.
There are also traces metals in carrot whose nutritional value per 100 grams are
- 33 mg calcium
- 3 mg iron
- 12 mg magnesium
- 143 mg manganese
- 35 mg phosphorus
- 320 mg potassium
- 69 mg sodium
- 24 mg zinc
Carrot gets its orange colour from carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein.
- Carrot is a good source of vitamin A which provides 100 percent of the daily value per every serving of a 100 gram serving.
- It also provides the body with 11 percent daily value of vitamin B6 per every a 100 grams serving.
- It also has an 11 percent daily value of dietary fiber and 16 percent daily value of vitamin K.
This allows carrot to provide the body with most of the essential nutrients that are necessary for the body to be healthy and function properly.
Top 10 Benefits of eating carrots
- Carrots have many health benefits to the body. People who eat them show various qualities that shows vast improvement in health. The primary benefit of carrot is that it aids vision. This means that the people who eat carrot regularly are able to get better vision and they also avoid various eyes related issues. This is facilitated by the availability of vitamin A which is known to have components that help in improving eye sights.
- Carrot also helps in boosting the immune system. This is an important benefit because a person with a strong immune system is rarely affected by opportunistic diseases. The main nutrient that helps in boosting the immune system is vitamin C which is used by the body to produce more white blood cells. These cells play a major role in protecting the body from various types of diseases.
- The minerals found in carrot such as calcium, iron and potassium usually help in strengthening the bones. These minerals are readily absorbed by the body and they immediately utilized to make the bones stronger. As a result, a person who eats carrots regularly gets stronger bones which are important especially for people who do a lot of physical activities which might give the bones pressure.
- Eating a meal that contains carrots is also beneficial because it enhances smooth digestion. This is facilitated by the dietary fiber which is usually found in carrots. The fiber gets into the intestines together with other foods consumed. This fiber allows the body to conveniently absorb all the nutrients that are essential for good health.
- Carrots are also recommended to people who look forward to losing weight efficiently. This is because a carrot has the ability to suppress appetite effectively therefore enabling one to feel full after consuming just small quantities of food. The importance of this is that most people with excess weight usually do not know how to control their eating habits. But after eating meals with carrots such people are able to reduce the quantities of food they eat in every meal therefore being able to lose weight.
- Carrot also helps people avoid various heart problems. This is facilitated the fact that carrot removes the bad cholesterol from the various body organs including the heart. This results to the heart functioning in a better way. Furthermore, the blood vessels of a person who eats carrots regularly are wider since the bad cholesterol is removed from them. Therefore, such people are able to have efficient blood flow as the blood is properly pumped by the healthy heart.
- Studies by qualified scientists have also shown that carrot is effective in fighting different types of cancer. The beta carotene found in carrot usually fights cancer in different parts of the body. One of the primary types of cancer that can be avoided through eating carrots regularly is the colon cancer where people who eat carrots regularly have a twenty four percent less chances of being affected by this cancer compared to people who do not eat carrots regularly.
- The high levels of vitamin A in carrots also play a big role in enhancing better lungs and respiratory health. This was discovered after a study on a group of smokers where a section of the smokers ate carrots regularly while the other did not. Those who ate carrots had stronger lung tissues which in turn enhanced their respiratory health. This study concluded that the main reason why some smokers live for many years without getting lung diseases is because they take foods with carrots regularly. Therefore, people who would like to enhance their respiratory health should consider eating carrots more regularly.
- Carrots also are beneficial in improving dental health. This is especially when one eats the carrots while they are raw and without slicing them. The firmness of carrot strengthens the teeth without causing negative effects. Furthermore, carrot does not contain sugary substances which are known to harm teeth. This is helpful because even if some portions of carrot are left on the teeth they will not damage the teeth as long as one will brush during the appropriate times.
- It has also been established that carrots plays a major role in preventing various stomach problems such as constipation. This is because the dietary fiber in carrots enables smooth digestion of almost all foods. The fact that carrots can be taken together with almost any type of food makes them ideal to be taken together with foods which are known to upset the stomach. When carrots are mixed with these foods they get into the stomach and make the food come together in a smooth way consequently avoiding various stomach problems.
Facts about carrot
A carrot plant can grow well in almost any kind of weather and in almost any type of soil. This is the primary reason why carrot is grown in almost every part of the world. The primary reason behind this is that carrots just require an environment where they can absorb the necessary nutrients from the soil. The root part which is the most important part of the carrot is able to store nutrients effectively and therefore carrot grows even in soils with minimal quantities of nutrients with adequate water supply.
Another fact about carrot is that it can be eaten in various forms. Initially carrot was being eaten while raw but as time progressed people started cooking it. Some people even use the carrot leaves as vegetables since they also have nutritional value.
While cooking the carrots it is advisable not to overcook them because this can destroy the nutrients. But while when carrots are cooked properly they still maintain their nutritional value. Carrots are also blended to produce carrot juice. Most of the people who blend carrots usually combine them with other vegetables or fruits. This juice is also nutritious since the essential nutrients of carrots still remain even after blending. The carrot juice is also absorbed faster by the body and therefore provides the body with the necessary nutrients in a more efficient manner.
Carrots are also amongst the vegetables that can be stored for long periods without going bad. This is a great advantage because most vegetables are known to go bad after being stored for short periods. The fact that carrots do not go bad easily makes them ideal to be used by people who might be going for trips or other places where there might be no supply of fresh foods. The long life of carrots also makes them popular in regions where there are extreme temperatures which are known to have a negative effect on different types of foods. All what is required is to clean these root vegetables properly and then avoid exposing them to high temperatures.
Many people also do not know that there are many species of carrots. Most people assume that carrots as long as they are orange in color are of the same species. However, there are certain species of carrots that becomes long while others grow to be thick. These different species usually have almost the same nutritional value provided they are eaten properly. Furthermore, some species are able to do well even in soils without much nutrients or water since they have components that help them withstand the harsh environments. This makes it paramount for one to check the species of carrot that can do well in certain conditions so as to acquire the right seeds.
Therefore, it is evident that carrots have a rich history and also provide the body with various important nutrients therefore making them ideal to be added into any meal.