Times of Oman
Nov 26, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 04:45 PM GMT
Carrot calling
December 12, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Images - Shutterstock

Who is not aware of this naturally sweet, nature's bounty, brightly coloured, and packed with nutritional goodness, bugs bunny's favourite and one of the most consumed root vegetables in the world? No wonder people have been using this unique vegetable in different ways and preparations in their kitchens since ages.

Believe it or not, the first carrots were purple and gradually the idea of bright coloured carrots became popular all around the world.

This brightly-coloured vegetable is loaded with beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A in your body and other carotenoids which safeguard you against cancer and heart disease. Carrots have enough fibre to put you on a safe path to regularity. Plus, carrots have few calories, no fat and the highest sugar content of any vegetable besides beets (diabetics should watch their carrot intake).

5 best benefits of carrots
1) Eating carrots may reduce your risk of breast cancer by nearly 40 per cent and the more carrots you eat, the more beta carotene you get and the stronger your protection.
2) To protect yourself from second-hand smoke and air pollution, crunch on some carrots — this popular orange root might lower your risk of lung cancer if you don't smoke. This time carrots can thank their other carotenoid, alpha carotene which can work by scavenging free radicals before they attack your cells causing damage that can lead to cancer. So the more carrots you eat the fewer free radicals you have which could mean a reduced risk for developing cancer.
3) One medium-size carrot can give you a quick 2gms of fibre which works as well as cereal grains at adding bulk to your stools; this makes them softer and easier to pass, which means regularity and less straining without taking laxatives.
4) Its never too late to start fighting heart disease especially when you have carrots on your side. The same fibre in carrots that keeps you regular might also guard your ticker by lowering your cholesterol levels.
5) If you want to reduce your risk of cataracts, eat plenty of carrots due to their vitamin A content which is a powerful antioxidant that guards your eyes against cataract causing free radicals.

Some unique facts about carrots
-- The very first carrot was purple in colour.
-- Available in different sizes, shapes and colours.
-- The longest carrot was 17 feet long.
-- It is the second most popular vegetable (first is potato)  all over the world and grown all over the world.
-- Three carrots give you the instant energy to walk you 3 miles.
-- It is the most popular snack.
-- It is known worldwide for its use in versatile food preparations.

Monika Seth/Nutritionist and diet consultant

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