- Carrots have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant and helps protect the body from free radical damage, harmful bacteria, viruses and inflammation. Just one cup of carrots provide 400% of your vitamin A needs. In addition to beta carotene, carrots also contain vitamin C, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxathin.Here are some of the reasons you should include carrots in your diet:1. Eye health: Yes carrots can really help your eye health. They contain 3 essential nutrients. Beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Vitamin A helps protect your eyes from disorders such as macular degeneration, cataracts and even blindness later in life.
2. Skin health: Beta carotene helps wounds heal faster and has anti-bacterial properties that help fight infection and inflammation. This powerful antioxidant helps cell turnover, which in turn helps prevent acne and also dry, rough, scaly skin.3. Protecting your teeth: Carrots have been shown to be antibacterial which can help prevent cavities and tooth decay and can help remove plaque and stains if eaten after meals.4: Disease prevention: Studies have shown that the antioxidants in carrots can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Daily intake of carrots can also benefit the body’s defenses against cancer, and may even help to lessen your chances of getting Alzheimer’s later in life.With all these benefits it’s definitely worth including carrots in your diet. Carrots can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Always try and buy organic carrots if possible, especially if you are eating them raw or juiced. Raw carrots contain more fiber, but cooked carrots may contain more antioxidants. Whichever you decide they are always good for you.I love carrots and always have some in the fridge. Here are two of my favorite ways to enjoy carrots. They are both super easy and delicious.
- Carrot JuiceYou don’t need a juicer to make carrot juice. Any good blender can do the job, although there are a few extra steps.What you will need:3-4 carrots (washed and peeled)1 apple (washed and peeled)lime juice to tastefresh ginger (grated)a squeeze of honey (optional)water
Cut up apple and carrots and place in the blender. Add enough water to cover them completely. Squeeze on the lime juice and add some grated ginger to taste. Add a few squeezes of honey if desired. Blend until liquefied.
Your juice will have a lot of pulp at this point. Place a small sieve over a container and strain the juice to remove as much of the pulp as you would like. If you would like to keep the pulp, just add more water. I do this sometimes and drink it over ice. It’s very refreshing in the summertime, plus I’m not throwing away all that healthy pulp.
- Ginger Carrot Soup:What you will need:3 cups chopped carrots1 medium potato, peeled and chopped1 1/2 cups chopped onion3 cloves garlic, chopped1 T freshly grated ginger ( add more if you like)lemon juice6 to 8 cups chicken stock or brotholive oil or butterparsley (chopped)sour cream for garnish (optional)
Cut up carrots, potatoes, and onions. Mince garlic and grate ginger.
- Add a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter to large pot. Saute onion for around 4 minutes, then add ginger and garlic and saute a few minutes more.
- Add vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil, then turn temperature down and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes with pot partially covered, until vegetables are soft.
- Puree until smooth and blended. Taste and add a few tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle on chopped parsley and blend thoroughly. I used an immersion blender which is so fast and easy. You puree it right in the pot. If you like making soups this will be your best friend! You can also use a blender, just be careful when blending hot liquids. Only fill the blender half way. Place a small kitchen towel over the lid and blend in batches.Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, which adds the perfect touch. This recipe is so easy and delicious!Makes approximately 8 servings.