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Carrots

Background

The bright orange carrots we often think of today have come a long way since they first appeared as a plant! Original wild carrots originate from Europe, Asia, and the Middle-East where they were a variety of colours and much smaller than what we are used to today. Now, carrots are among the most widely-eaten vegetables. Eat carrots raw with hummus as a snack, grated for texture in salads, or chopped and added to stir-fries, soups, stews, and more. Carrots also add moistness to classic carrot cake, creating a delicious, nutrient-dense treat!

Benefits

  • Are loaded with beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A helps with our vision and strengthens our immune system!
  • Are a great source of potassium, which keeps your fluid levels, blood pressure, and other body systems balanced.
  • Contain vitamin K. This vitamin is important for your bones, and also helps your blood clot properly.
  • Contain vitamin C, another important vitamin. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, keeps your body healthy, and repairs damaged tissues.
  • Are a source of compounds called phytochemicals, which are found in plant foods. Phytochemicals are a current popular topic in nutrition, with research being done about their preventative effects against diseases such as cancers and heart disease by reducing inflammation.

Nutritional Value of ½ cup (64 g) Raw Carrots

  • 26 calories
  • 1 g carbohydrate
  • 5 g fibre
  • 6 g protein
  • 2 g fat
  • 88% recommended daily intake of vitamin A
  • ~10% recommended daily intake of vitamin K

Did You Know

The most well-known benefit of carrots is that they contribute to vision health. This is because of the vitamin A your body makes when you eat foods that contain beta-carotene, like carrots do! However, though eating enough vitamin A is important to keeping your eyes working well, eating more than you need won’t make your eyesight better. And while vitamin A is very important for proper vision, more of its lesser-known health benefits include keeping your immune system functioning, turns on your genes to keep you developing properly, and even keeping your skin healthy.

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