Sue Watkins Nutritional Therapist & Wellness Coach, based in Hertfordshire

Nutritional Therapy

07773 689441
Antioxidant - the carrot connection
Carrots are a very versatile vegetable and whilst we recognise their bright orange colour they are also grown in colours from white to yellow, reds and purple. Often eat cooked as part of a roast meal it is also tasty to have raw in salads, slaws and even as an important part of the much loved carrot cake.

The orange colour of the carrots contain the pigment beta-carotene which is used by the body to form Vitamin A. This is used by the body to support healthy skin and mucuous membranes, our immune system as well as eye health.  Perhaps this is why we associate carrots helping us to see in the dark.

When buying carrots select the firmest and most brightly coloured, interestingly the wider the carrot the more sweet it will be as the sugars are stored at the core of the vegetable. Storing them in the fridge will slow down their loss of Vitamin C and should last up to 2 weeks if bought fresh. Do store them away from apples, pears and potatoes as the ethylene gas that they give off can cause the carrots to become bitter in taste.

Anyone eating huge quantities of carrots may find their plams or skin turning yellow or having an orange hue, this results from excess storage of the beta-carotene in skin tissue (which is separate from the condition jaundice) and the problem goes away once there is a reduction in consumption. So eating a wide variety of vegetables can avoid this occurring.

Carrots are often used in food colourings and are labelled with the number E160a when you are checking your product packaging.

How to enjoy carrots? They are so colourful to use in soups, stews, steamed, roasted or lovingly shredded for use as a fresh accompaniement.

Reference to WHFoods