Published : 02/01/2018
Whether enjoyed raw, cooked, steamed, baked or mashed – carrots are a real classic and a go-to vegetable in (mostly) every household. And because carrots form such an essential part of our every-day menu, it is well worth having a look at their astounding interior composition.
Carrots, like most other vegetables, consist of about 90% water and are thus, despite their natural sweetness, very low in calories. In addition, they harbour valuable amounts of vitamins and minerals. Particularly abundant is potassium, important for muscle activity and blood pressure, manganese, which plays a vital role in our bone health and participates in the formation of dopamine, vitamin C and K as well as beta-carotene, for which carrots are most renowned for.
Carrots are known to contain a wealth of secondary plant metabolites, primarily antioxidant carotenoids – natural pigments such as beta-carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A according to its needs. Vitamin A on the other hand is being transported to the retina, where it contributes to a healthy eye-sight. Consequently, a vitamin A deficiency may have serious implications for imparting our vision and may even lead to blindness. A study done by the university of California-Los Angeles with 1155 elderly women was able to show that a diet rich in carotenoids could protect from glaucoma. Moreover, the German Association for Nutrition claims that a high carotenoid concentration in our blood may reduce the risk to suffer from the metabolic syndrome, i.e. from obesity, insulin resistance and hypertension.
Since the bioavailability of carotenoids can fluctuate between 2 and 80%, the preparation of carrots plays a rather important role. To optimize uptake, carrots should either be mashed or mixed with a little bit of oil. Our EAT carrot-ginger-orange soup is thus an ideal way of ensuring that you gain all the good-for-you ingredients harboured inside this wondrous vegetable.