Carrots are a very popular root vegetable. Carrots are usually orange in color, but there are some that are white. They are very healthy and common in meals, as they have a variety of different applications, from stews, soups, salads and even carrot cake. Learn more about this diverse and tasty vegetable.
The history of carrots goes back thousands of years, originally having been grown in Middle Eastern and Central Asian nations. However, carrots back then looked very different from the carrots we know and enjoy today. The carrots were a rich purple shade. Yellow carrots showed up in Afghanistan in the pre-Hellenic era, and both of these carrots spread to Mediterranean region. Carrots become popular in Europe during the Renaissance, when Europeans started developing orange carrots that had more pleasant textures than their predecessors (the earlier versions were very fibrous and tough).
There are a lot of excellent health benefits that come from consuming carrots. Carrots are the best vegetable source for vitamin A carotenes. Carrots are also high in antioxidants, promote healthy lungs, protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease and help improve and promote good vision, especially during the night.
There are several things you should look out for when shopping for carrots at the supermarket. Deep orange carrots have a lot of beta-carotene (strong disease fighter and antioxidant), so look for those. Also, check out the carrot's roots. If they are smooth, firm and bright in color, then they are of high quality. Be sure to avoid forked, cracked or limp carrots. Dark-colored stem ends of carrots are also a sign that the carrots are old and should not be consumed.
Carrots have great potential in cooking and baking. There are countless tasty and satisfying recipes you can make using carrots as a major ingredients. Some excellent carrot dishes include carrot and coriander soup, carrot marmalade, spicy carrot soup, carrot zucchini bread, carrot casserole and of course, the classic carrot cake.
Although carrots have a lot of positive benefits, excessive eating of carrots can lead to a condition called carotoderma, which can turn a person's palm or other skin areas orange or yellow colors, due to high levels of carotene existing in the blood. Reducing carrot intake can make the carotoderma go away gradually. Be sure to eat your carrots, but not excessively.