Thanks to the number of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packed into each carrot, many experts have elevated this humble veggie to “superfood” status. Here are some fun carrot facts to chew on.
Carrots can make your skin look amazing. Carrots contain some of the most important nutrients to protect your skin from sun damage, dullness and signs of aging, including vitamin A and antioxidants. They also have retinoic acid, which supports your skin’s resiliency.
Carrots love your heart. The amount of fiber in a carrot (approximately 2g in a medium carrot) may help decrease blood pressure by reducing the amount of cholesterol found in the blood. Research also shows that drinking carrot juice may help promote heart health by increasing total antioxidants and decreasing lipid peroxidation.
Carrots have a low glycemic index. While carrots taste sweet and contain some sugar and carbohydrates, they are quite low on the glycemic index. Those with glycemic disorders can likely safely eat carrots without worrying about a sugar spike after eating them.
Carrots may help support bone health. The mix of vitamin K1, vitamin A and potassium in carrots can help support bone mass for excellent bone health.
Carrots can be good for your gut. The fiber in carrots (and any high-fiber vegetable) acts like a natural vacuum cleaner in your gastrointestinal tract, picking up debris as it runs through your body. Carrots also help keep gut cells healthy, supporting a decreased risk of illness and improving overall health.
Carrots can help support your immune system. A key ingredient in chicken soup is carrots and for good reason. They’re full of antioxidants, which support your body in fighting free radicals, inflammation and cellular damage.
Carrots are a great source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is the critical for good vision. Carrots contain a whopping 210% of the recommended daily dose. Vitamin A contributes to forming rhodopsin — the light-sensitive pigment in eye cells that is necessary for night and color vision.
Try this delicious recipe featuring carrots:
Kebab-less Chicken and Vegetables
- ½ c olive oil
- ½ c balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in pieces
- 2 medium yellow summer squash, sliced
- 2 medium zucchinis, sliced
- 1 medium carrot, sliced
- 1 c grape tomatoes
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar and lemon-pepper and Italian seasonings.
Step 2: Pour half the marinade into a separate bowl or shallow dish. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Step 3: Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade in a separate bowl or shallow dish.
Step 4: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15” x 10” x 1” baking pan with foil.
Step 5: Drain chicken, discarding that marinade.
Step 6: Place squash, zucchinis, carrot and tomatoes in the pan in a single layer. Place chicken on top of the vegetables; pour reserved marinade on top.
Step 7: Cook until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.