Carrot Day: Why You Must Add Carrots To Your Meals; 8 Varieties To Try
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Carrots and their benefits: International Carrot Day is celebrated on the 4th of April through carrot festivities and carrot-related parties. It is also the carrot lovers' pinnacle worldwide. Daucus carota or carrot is a root vegetable that is delicious and healthy. They're a rich source of vitamin K1, fibre, potassium, beta carotene, and antioxidants. They are typically orange in colour, though purple, black, red, white, and yellow varieties also exist worldwide. The carrot obtains its distinctive bright orange colour from lesser amounts of zeaxanthin, γ-carotene, lutein, α-carotene, and β-carotene. β- and α-carotenes are partially metabolized into vitamin A. Raw carrots are 88% water, 9% carbohydrates, 0.9% protein, 2.8% dietary fibre, 1% ash and 0.2% fat. Carrot dietary fibre comprises cellulose with smaller hemicellulose, lignin, and starch proportions. Carrots' free sugars include glucose, fructose and sucrose.

Some common varieties of carrots are-

Benefits of Carrots- 

  1. Carrots prevent cancer because of their antioxidant properties. 
  2. Carrots reduce the risk of molecular degeneration.
  3. Carrots improve digestion because of their fibre content
  4. Carrots are known for good eye-sight because of the β-carotene present in them.
  5. Carrots play an essential role in managing diabetes.

Some recipes that offer numerous benefits of carrots-

  1. Carrot Pickle – This fermented form of carrot is not just delicious but also provides many vitamins and minerals.
  2. Carrot Halwa- Carrot is rich in β-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A, which gets absorbed in the body when paired up with healthy fats.
  3. Carrot Curd- This recipe offers good digestive health as it may relieve constipation because of its pre-biotics and pro-biotics properties
  4. Carrot Smoothie- This recipe is good for healthy vision and bone health, especially for growing children and adults.
  5. Carrot Walnut Cake- This recipe is good in providing healthy fats along with beneficial nutrients and improves memory.
  6. Baked Carrot Sticks- This recipe offers good nutritional value and can be consumed as healthy snack munchies by children.
  7. Carrot and Coconut Burfi- This recipe increases appetite and improves digestive health.
  8. Carrot and Oats Porridge- This recipe provides a good amount of fibre and helps in managing diabetes.
  9. Carrot Dosa- This recipe is suitable for people having gastric issues. It is effortless to digest and nourish.
  10. Carrot and Lettuce Salad- This recipe is suitable for people cutting down on calories and improving overall health, including obesity. 

(Inputs by Dietician Pooja & Dietician Anshika, Clinical Nutritionist, Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh)