We were often told as children to“Eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes.” The main reason for this health benefit is that carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene, the pigment that gives many fruits and vegetables their bright red, yellow and green colors.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CARROTS
Vitamins and Good Fiber
Carrots contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, minerals and fiber. 1 cup of chopped carrot provides approximately 73% of your daily recommended intake for vitamin A and 3 grams of fiber.
- Beta Carotene
We were often told as children to“Eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes.” The main reason for this health benefit is that carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene, the pigment that gives many fruits and vegetables their bright red, yellow and green colors. Beta carotene is a form of Vitamin A. When we include carrots or other Vitamin A containing foods in our meal plans regularly, they not only plays a crucial role in great vision and sight, but also help to make our immune system stronger.
- Vitamin A Antioxidant
Vitamin A plays an important role as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables that help to fight free radicals according to a number of studies.
Free Radicals and Abnormal Cell Growth
Free Radicals are generated in our bodies from metabolic processes or external influence such as radiation, environmental toxins, cigarette smoke, and pesticides used on our foods.
Over time, high exposure to free radicals can interfere with the normal growth of cells inside our bodies. When our bodies become overwhelmed with free radicals, it begins to attack our cells and can potentially lead to the development different forms of Cancers, Cardiovascular diseases and other Inflammatory diseases.
- Increase Your Phytonutrients Intake
It is very important to consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetable every day. They provide us with a wide range of vitamins, minerals and Phytonutrients that can help us to fight against free radicals and nourish our bodies.
COVID-19 and Immunity
Eating carrots are not only good for your vision, but they can can help boost your immune system. Who does not need a stronger immune system during this COVID-19 Pandemic?
COVID-19 or the corona virus pandemic have taken the lives of many especially those who are immunocompromised or with underline medical conditions.
With the increased level of anxiety and fear that many people experience form the Corona Pandemic can lower our immune system and make us susceptible to viral infections. Boosting our immune system can help to prevent us becoming sick.
CARROTS AT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS MARKET
Carrots are the most versatile and readily available vegetable on the market. You can find them in almost all grocery stores or your local Grand Army Plaza Farmer Market. Carrots are cheap and can be used in most recipes ranging from desserts, drinks, soups, to salads. My visit to the Union Square Farmers Market in New York City opened my eyes to the variety and different colors of carrots. Visit your local farmer market because you will find a variety fruits and vegetables that may not be sold at your local grocery store.
IMMUNE BOOSTING CARROT RECIPES
The process of extracting the juice from the carrots using a grater was time consuming. However, was a good upper arm workout on the weekends. Today, we have the convenience of a blender that extracts the juice with just the push of a button.
MILK BASED CARROT DRINK
Sweetened Condensed Milk ,brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla extract were then added and served over ice. My neighbor, affectionately call Granny, added Jamaican Red Label Wine and/or Jamaican Wray and Nephew Rum as flavor and preservative agents.
NON-MILK BASED CARROT DRINK
A non milk based carrot drink is ideal for people who can not tolerate milk and for vegans or vegetarians. Carrot juice sweetened with brown sugar and lime or lemon juice instead of condensed milk because it is very refreshing especially during the hot summer days. I sometimes add the juice of fresh ginger because it adds flavor in addition to increasing the anti-inflammatory properties of the drink.
DON’T THROW OUT THE CARROT “TRASH”
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The carrot pulp is where you get most of the fiber. The pulp of the carrot or what most Jamaicans call “trash” were often used to make one of my favorite sweet treats similar to the Jamaican grater cake recipe
Make Carrot Grater Cakes
To the remaining carrot pulp, add brown sugar, nutmeg, grated ginger, water, salt and vanilla essence.
Combine all ingredients.
Over medium heat, cook carrot mixture until it becomes thickened.
Spoon small amount onto grease paper and allow to cool.
These carrot cakes are a great snack idea for the kids or the entire family.
Carrot are available all year round and are very versatile. Try this simple immune boosting carrot pineapple drink. Replacing the pineapple with beets can be beneficial if you need a boost in your blood iron status.
CARROT PINEAPPLE DRINK
1 medium carrots
1/2 cup pineapple
1 cup almond milk