Even if you have kids who don’t like carrots, they are often tempted by the sight of whole baby carrots which are delicious steamed or boiled. There are many reasons why carrots are good for health, and one of these is that they really can help improve the health of our eyes. They can help delay age-related macular degeneration and yes, they really do help with night vision, along with other foods containing vitamins A, E and anthocyanins which make carrots and berries black.
The best types of carrots for health and vision are the purple, almost black ones and the red ones, both of which we have here in Pakistan. They look very appealing when seen on stalls freshly scrubbed and set against slices of pure white fresh coconut. They are a real feast for the eyes.
The problem with carrots as with most fruit and vegetables is that the nutrients which they contain lie just below the skin (in the case of carrots) or in the skin. To clean carrots so that they retain this layer of goodness you should gently scrub them with a slightly abrasive sponge or with a vegetable brush; this way you keep those beneficial substances.
The red carrots also contain lycopene and to get the best of this you have to expose it to heat, so carrots are best served hot rather than raw, especially as the body can’t absorb all the beta-carotene contained in a raw carrot. It is best to juice them or cook them to make the most of this. Lycopene is found in watermelons and tomatoes too and other red fruit, it has been called the natural Viagra and is believed to help men with erectile dysfunctions.
The purple or black carrots get their colour from anthocyanins as do blueberries, blackberries and bilberries, for example, and all these fruit and vegetables have potent antioxidant properties, as well as helping to improve eye health. Antioxidants scour the body fighting the free-radicals which can cause healthy cells to turn cancerous, so we need to eat food which has this powerful property. The phytonutrients contained in carrots are extremely beneficial to us, as they can help reduce the risks of heart disease and cancer as well as to help with vision and of course the beta-carotene contained in the orange and red carrots (and the purple ones) helps to protect the skin from sun damage, and although you can get the maximum protection from drinking 8 fluid ounces of carrot juice a day, eating boiled or steamed carrots also provides this protection.
Carrot juice can help soothe the pain of a burn or scald too, so it has immediate as well as long-term effects. You can also use grated carrot as a face pack, simply grate the carrots and apply to your face and leave this on for half an hour before rinsing it off with warm water. Your skin will feel better and less tired. It’s a very good remedy for dry skin but works with any tired complexion.
In Rome the carrot was considered an aphrodisiac, and given the constituents of the purple and red ones, this makes sense, as the wild carrot eaten then was probably the purple one. The orange one which is so popular today was produced from mutant carrots by the Dutch, whose national colour is orange, symbolizing their royal House of Orange.
It has been found that carrots can help cleanse the liver due to their chlorine content, can ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol, improve the health of HIV sufferers, help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and fight infections by boosting the immune system. They can also help with anemia as well as improving eyesight.
Adding carrots to your diet whether in the form of juice, or raw in salads or cooked will help improve your overall health, as well as your eyesight.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.