Carrot

Carrot is a biennial plant that has long been cultivated by man. In the first year of life, it forms a rosette of leaves and a fleshy root crop, and the next - a seed bush with many seeds. This vegetable is widely distributed throughout the planet, including the Mediterranean countries, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, America.

About 60 species of carrots are now known. Among themselves, they differ in the shape of the root crop (conical, spherical, oval, cylindrical, spindle-shaped) and color (yellow, red, orange, white, purple).

A bit of history

Carrot is the oldest vegetable plant that has been used by people for more than 4 thousand years. The homeland of species with orange and reddish roots is the Mediterranean, and those with white, yellow and purple roots are Afghanistan and India.

In ancient Greece and Rome, carrots were called "carote" and "daucus". The ancient Romans attributed this vegetable to treats used for celebrations and holidays. He was also revered in the Middle Ages. Dishes from carrots were treated to distinguished guests who visited Charlemagne back in the 8th century. Only a little later, in the 16th century, this vegetable turned from a delicacy into a widely grown plant.

The following century saw the development of fodder carrots, which are now mass-produced in the UK. This variety is not very appetizing, but very large: its length can reach 40 cm, and its diameter is about 30 centimeters. Carrots came to our country in the 16th century.

The composition and useful properties of the root crop

Carrots in terms of vitamin content are superior not only to all vegetables, but also to meat and dairy products. It contains a lot of minerals: calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, iodine and other essential minerals for humans.

The outer part of the carrot contains the most nutrients.

Table 1. "Chemical composition of carrots"
]Nutritional value per 100 grams
Proteins 1.3 g
Carbohydrates 6.9 g
Fats 0.1 g
Water 88 g
Dietary fiber 2.4 g
Ash 1 g
Starch 0.2 g
Organic acids 0.3 g
Vitamins
Beta-carotene 8.8 mg
Vitamin B3/PP (niacin) 1.1 mg
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 5 mg
Vitamin E (tocopherol) 0.04 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 0.06 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 0.07 mg
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 0.3 mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.1 mg
Vitamin B8 (inositol) 29.2 mg
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) 9 mcg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 13.3 µg
Vitamin H (biotin) 0.06 µg
Minerals
Potassium 200 mg
Calcium 27 mg
Sodium 21 mg
Magnesium 38 mg
Phosphorus 55 mg
Sulfur 6 mg
Chlorine 63 mg
Copper 80 mcg
Zinc 0.4 mg
Iron 0.7 mg
Fluorine 55 mcg
Copper 80 mcg
Iodine 5 mcg
Chromium 3 mcg
Manganese ​​ 0.2 mg
Selenium 0.1 mg
Vanadium 99 mcg
Molybdenum 20 mcg
Boron 200 μg
Nickel 6 µg
Aluminum 326 μg
Lithium 6 μg
Cobalt 2 µg

Carrots are a low-calorie product: 100 grams contain 35 kcal. A boiled root vegetable contains 7 to 10 calories less.

Carrots can be consumed at any time of the year, as they are perfectly processed and preserved. It can be pickled, fermented, dried, frozen, salted. Not only root vegetables are edible in a vegetable, but also young tops.

Carrots contain a lot of carotene, a substance that is converted into retinol (vitamin A) in the human body. So, 100 grams of raw carrots contain 9 mg of carotene (for reference: this is 8 times more than in tomatoes). Retinol is extremely important for the proper physical and mental development of children, and also contributes to the elasticity of the skin and improves metabolism. With its deficiency, the skin becomes dry, ulcers may appear on them, and the nails become brittle. That is why retinol is known as the beauty vitamin. For better assimilation of carotene, carrots should be grated and seasoned with oil (vegetable, cream) or sour cream. A typical manifestation of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness, in which visual impairment occurs at night and at dusk.

Carrots have a choleretic, anthelmintic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-sclerotic and expectorant effect on the body. It also enhances the functioning of the digestive system.

Carrot juice helps relieve fatigue, increases the body's resistance to colds, improves appetite, eyesight and complexion, reduces the toxic effects of antibiotics on the body, and eliminates ) constipation.

Benefits of boiled carrots

Scientific studies have shown that boiled carrots have more antioxidant properties than raw carrots. During cooking, the level of antioxidants increases by almost 34%. Antioxidants not only rejuvenate tissue cells and skin, but also prevent the development of many diseases of the brain and nervous system, in particular Alzheimer's disease.

Boiled root helps to treat dysbacteriosis, nephritis and malignant neoplasms. It has antimicrobialproperties. For medicinal purposes , nutritionists advise using a bright red young vegetable.

Boiled carrots are often included in the diet of people suffering from diabetes mellitus, because they tend to normalize blood sugar levels, while saturating the body well.

The benefits of the tops

Many useful substances for the human body are contained in the tops of carrots. From greens with root crops, you can prepare a filling for cakes or pies. In boiled form, fragrant decoctions come out of it, allowing you to make the taste of soups more saturated.

The leaves and stems of the leaves help reduce the appearance of varicose veins. To do this, you need to prepare a decoction: pour 2 tablespoons of crushed tops into 2 cups of boiling water, insist overnight. Drink 2-3 times a day for half a glass. To get rid of hemorrhoids, the tops need to be brewed like tea. The drink can be consumed without restrictions throughout the day. The duration of treatment is 1 month. By applying carrot tops to the back of the head, you can get rid of various sleep disorders. With prostatitis, you need to do compresses on the lower abdomen every day from mashed carrot tops. With cystitis, pour a handful of chopped tops into 500 ml of boiling water and insist for an hour. Drink 30 minutes before meals 3 times a day.

The benefits of carrot juice

Carrot juice has the ability to strengthen the retina of the eyes, so doctors advise people who have vision problems to drink it daily. If a person has to work at a computer for a long time, then you should regularly drink it on an empty stomach.

Carrot juice with honey helps with hoarseness and cough. It is also useful for diseases of the kidneys and liver, as well as cardiovascular pathology. It is advised to use the elderly and pregnant women. To eliminate spring beriberi, juice is consumed three times a day for half a glass.

Rules for selection and storage

When choosing carrots, you need to take into account the following points:

  1. Pay attention to the shape of the vegetable. It should be hard, with a smooth surface, without cracks and growths, of the correct form. It is better to choose carrots with green tops - this indicates its freshness.
  2. Choose medium-sized carrots for easy cooking. Large carrots are very often tough.
  3. A young thin vegetable is sweeter.
  4. Do not take carrots with limp tops, cracks or spots, soft and with a green zone at the base.

What is the best way to store carrots? In this case, it is important:

  1. Remove the tops, as it will absorb nutrients from the rootsubstances and moisture.
  2. The carrots should then be wrapped in bubble wrap to keep the right amount of moisture and freshness for several weeks. When stored in plastic bags, the rotting process quickly occurs.
  3. Wrapped carrots should be refrigerated. It is better to use it within 1-2 weeks, as this is the time when it tastes best and contains many nutrients.
  4. You can store a vegetable in the basement in small boxes with a lid and thick walls. For longer storage, you need to take coniferous sawdust. They contain essential oils that prevent rot and germination. In the cellar, carrots can be stored by placing them in the sand.
  5. When growing carrots on your own plot, you can leave a small amount of them in the ground. A little snow cover will protect it from freezing and with the advent of spring it will be possible to harvest.

The shelf life of the root crop depends on the storage option:

  • in a film in the refrigerator - 1-2 months;
  • in the sand - 6-8 months;
  • in closed boxes - 5-8 months;
  • in softwood sawdust - about 1 year.

Cooking Uses

Carrots can be used in a variety of dishes. It goes well with almost any product: cereals, other vegetables, meat. It is part of the second courses, soups, salads, sweets. It is eaten in stewed, canned, boiled, raw and dried form.

Carrots have a sweetish taste, which depends on the variety (there are root vegetables of varying degrees of sweetness). The peculiar aroma of the vegetable is determined by the essential oils that are present in its composition.

When cooking carrots, you must follow some rules:

  1. Cook dishes with sour cream or butter. This is because the carotene contained in the vegetable is fat-soluble, and it is this cooking that will contribute to better absorption of vitamin A.
  2. To preserve the nutrients, carrots are best stewed and steamed.
  3. It is imperative to cook a vegetable under a lid: this way you can preserve all its useful composition, aroma and taste.
  4. Fans of a raw food diet should not grate carrots, but gnaw them. This is because when its surface comes into contact with metal, some useful substances evaporate. In addition, if you gnaw this vegetable raw, you can strengthen your teeth.

What exactly can be cooked from carrots?

  1. Juice. It has a wonderful taste and contains many useful substances. To get the necessary vitamins, it can be combined withother juices.
  2. Carrot puree. It can be added to a variety of dishes, including rolls and sauces. This is a healthy meal for kids.
  3. Carrot julienne.
  4. Carrot halva. It is very tasty and low in calories, so it is used as a snack between main meals or as a dessert.
  5. Carrot cake. In addition to excellent taste, it has the maximum benefit, its regular use has a positive effect on vision.
  6. An appetizer of carrots with pepper and salt. This is a great healthy food option.

Carrots are used in dietary nutrition for anemia, hypovitaminosis, diseases of the liver, kidneys and cardiovascular system.

Use in cosmetology

The vegetable is widely used in cosmetology. Carrot juice relieves inflammation, dries a little and disinfects the skin. You can use only whole freshly squeezed carrot juice, but in no case from packages.

Facial care

If there are rashes on the skin (pimples, acne, etc.), as well as freckles, cleansed skin should be wiped with a mixture of carrot and lemon juices.

Carrot face masks can be prepared. In order to remove dead skin cells, you must first use a scrub. Due to this, the skin areas will not turn orange. Before use, it is imperative to conduct a test: first apply a mask on your wrist to make sure that you are not allergic to carrots. For masks, you can use the vegetable both raw and boiled. Keep masks with carrots for no more than 15-20 minutes, do it once a week. Let's dwell on some of them.

For dry skin

Grate 2 tablespoons of carrots on a fine grater, add a teaspoon of olive oil and 1 egg yolk. Mix everything. Apply the mask on the face, then rinse with warm water.

For combination skin

We combine 2 tablespoons of boiled carrots, chopped on a fine grater, with 1 teaspoon of honey. Apply to face and wash off after 15 minutes. This mask is used in the absence of allergies to honey. It perfectly moisturizes, nourishes the skin, makes it beautiful and radiant.

For oily skin

Take 2 tablespoons of raw grated carrots, 1 teaspoon of flour and 1 egg white, mix everything and apply the mask on cleansed face for 20 minutes. Wash off after 20 minutes. This mask allows you to narrow the pores, dries the skin and increases its elasticity, eliminates oily sheen from the face.

In addition to masks, you can make carrot cosmetic ice. To do this, the vegetable juice must be poured into molds and frozen. Such an ice cube is rubbed on the face in order tomoisturizing and refreshing. Then they are washed with running water.

Hair care

Carrots will also help strengthen hair and give it a beautiful shine. To do this, after washing, they need to be rinsed with a decoction of carrot tops, then wrap the hair and hold it for an hour. No need to rinse. Hair can be rinsed with carrot juice diluted halfway with water. You can also dilute it with infusions of some plants - calendula, chamomile, string.

You can prepare special hair masks that contain carrots:

  • When planning to wash your hair, rub grated carrots mixed with burdock oil (2 tablespoons). Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse with cool running water. Next, wash your hair with shampoo.
  • Mix grated carrots with 1 tablespoon of honey, rub into hair. After 10-15 minutes, wash off the mask and wash your hair with shampoo.
  • Mix 1/4 cup carrot broth with an equal volume of strong chamomile infusion. Add 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon castor oil. Apply to hair and rinse after 10-15 minutes.
  • Take equal parts (1/4 cup) of carrot juice and strong nettle infusion, mix and dilute 1 teaspoon of sea salt in the resulting liquid. Soak your hair in the resulting solution and hold for 5-10 minutes. Rinse first with running water and then, as usual, with shampoo.
  • Grind dried chamomile flowers in a coffee grinder, fill them with infusion of carrot tops (a small amount) so as to obtain a non-liquid slurry. Add 1 egg to the resulting mass, stir and apply to hair, hold for 15-20 minutes, then rinse.

Hand care

Carrot decoction will make the skin of the hands soft and velvety, so it is used to prepare baths:

  • Dissolve 1/2 tsp. soda and 1 tbsp. l. honey. Lower your arms for 10-15 minutes.
  • Take equal parts of a decoction of carrots and milk, mix and do a bath for 10-15 minutes.
  • Dissolve baby soap (a small piece) in hot carrot broth, cool everything a little and hold your hands in this mixture for 10-15 minutes.

Baths that are too hot are not recommended as they can dry out the skin. After the procedure, rinse your hands with warm water, wipe dry and lubricate with cream.

Carrots have a healing effect. Therefore, if there are cracks on the hands, carrot gruel can be applied to the affected areas, which will help get rid of this problem.

Hands must be prepared before manicure. To do this, you can use a decoction orcarrot juice, which help strengthen nails and soften the skin of the hands.

Foot care

Carrot water is also used for foot care. It will help in such cases:

  1. For rough skin on the heels, take 3 liters of carrot broth, dissolve 3 tbsp. l. mustard. Use this mixture for a bath, after which rub the roughened areas with a pumice stone. Rinse your feet with cool water, wipe dry and lubricate with cream.
  2. A bath of 3 liters of carrot broth and 2 tablespoons of soda will soften the skin of the legs.
  3. To relieve fatigue, make a foot bath of carrot broth with infusion of chamomile or sage.

For weight loss

The carrot diet is very often used for weight loss. It is not only very useful, but also delicious. Such a diet can be used in different ways depending on the goal (for 3, 7 and 10 days).

For 3 days

For the course of such a diet, you can lose 2-3 kilograms. All this time, the root crop can be eaten without any restrictions and in any quantity.

The rules for the three-day carrot diet are as follows:

  • nothing but carrots;
  • Lemon juice can be used for salad;
  • the root crop must be fresh, chopped on a fine or medium grater;
  • Be sure to drink several glasses of freshly made juice per day;
  • Non-carbonated water and unsweetened green tea are also allowed.

Rules 3 and 4 apply to the seven and ten day diets as well.

The diet plan with such a diet is 6 times a day.

For 7 days

A weekly course of the carrot diet will allow you to get rid of 4-6 kilograms. The meal plan in this case is as follows:

  1. Breakfast: carrot salad dressed with 1 tsp. honey, a glass of low-fat kefir.
  2. Lunch: carrot salad with kiwi dressed with 1 tbsp. l. sour cream.
  3. Snack: boiled carrot and apple salad dressed with sour cream.
  4. Dinner: carrots with fruits (any), fat-free cottage cheese (120 g).

The menu items are repeated daily.

For 10 days

When planning to get rid of 7-9 kilograms, you can apply a ten-day carrot diet. She is very tough, so the menu is sparse. Throughout the time, you can only eat carrots seasoned with 1 tbsp. a spoonful of low-fat sour cream. At this time, you will feel very tired, because the protein reserves of the body are consumed without being replenished. This will be especially pronounced during physical exertion. However, after 4 days you can see the firstresult.

To diversify the menu, a salad can be prepared from a boiled root vegetable, but you should not do this more than 1 time per day. For a day, you can drink 2-3 glasses of carrot juice.

Contraindications

You can not resort to such a diet if you have problems with the cardiovascular system and digestive organs, since any mono-diet is a high load on the body. It is not advisable to go on a diet for lactating and pregnant women. In the presence of chronic pathology, the diet can be used only after consultation with a specialist or under medical supervision.

Important! Do not drink carrot juice on an empty stomach. It is better to drink a glass of water an hour before breakfast.

Long-term use of carrots in fair-skinned people may cause them to become icteric. Therefore, they do not want a diet that lasts more than 3 days.

As soon as the state of health worsens, the diet should be interrupted.

Rules for exiting the diet

To consolidate the achieved result, you need to properly exit the carrot diet.

On the 4th, 8th or 11th day (depending on the duration of the course), you can add some baked or boiled potatoes and a slice of rye bread to the diet. Then dairy products with low calorie content are gradually added, then vegetables and meat.

Even after reaching the desired result, do not rush to return to buns, sweets and other delicacies. After all, gaining weight can be faster than losing it. Don't forget about it!

Harm and contraindications

Despite the benefits, carrots can be harmful in some cases. We are talking about allergic reactions and overeating.

If you eat more than a kilogram of this vegetable in a day, you may experience an upset stomach with unpleasant consequences. It is also possible to develop carotene jaundice (characteristic yellow spots will cover the whole body and face). If this happens, then carrot lovers need to refrain from eating it for several days and the spots will gradually disappear.

There are a number of contraindications to eating carrots. You can not eat it with inflammation of the small intestine, peptic ulcer of the duodenum and stomach. You should not get carried away with the juice of this vegetable, because an excess amount of carotene in the body has a negative effect on the liver. The liver cannot cope with the absorption of this substance, which can cause carotene hepatitis.

Sources
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  5. NCBI.gov. – Vitamin A deficiency and night blindness.
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