C is for Carrots
Ancient Greeks and Romans had the right idea using carrots for medicinal purposes. A sweet, hardy vegetable, carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, a compound that gives them their deep orange colour. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, which changes into vitamin A and helps improve immunity, night vision, healthy skin and has the following additional health benefits.
- Cancer: Beta-carotene is an important antioxidant well researched for its role in reducing the risk of cancer – particularly lung cancer – in its natural food form.
- Stroke: A carrot a day can reduce stroke risk by 68 per cent. Studies conducted on stroke patients suggest that those with highest levels of beta-carotene have the best survival rate.
- Diabetes: Carrots are good for blood sugar regulation because of the presence of carotenoids. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar.
- Eyesight: Deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light. Since carrots are rich in vitamin A, they are good for improving eyesight.
- Heart Disease: Research shows that eating carrots reduces cholesterol levels, which is a major factor for heart disease.
One raw 7-1/2 inch (19 cm) carrot contains 31 calories, 7 g carbohydrates, and 2.2 g fibre.
This rustic dish from the South of France is a hearty meal-in-one. The flavours stew and marry underneath a deliciously crispy crust of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
1The World’s Healthiest Foods, www.whfoods.com