Nick Denty’s Superfood Recommendation: Carrots!
All right, so Nick Denty, the new Pilates trainer, says carrots are the ultimate superfood—let’s check this out, shall we?
I bet you didn’t know that orange root that is so yummy when glazed with honey and butter or eaten raw in salads could do so much for your body. There is quite a punch in that little stick of dynamite!
Some people call this vegetable the “poor man’s ginseng” because of how many phytochemicals and nutrients are naturally inside. The source of the carrots is important of course, because you don’t want to eat vegetables that have absorbed chemicals and pesticides while they were growing. Clearly, that is going to combat any health benefits they might give you, so find an organic source of vegetables when shopping for them.
Bugs Bunny had the right idea eating so many carrots, because he could see a threat a mile away. If you’re trying to improve your vision, munch on some carrots as a snack, and you’ll give your body (and your eyes) a big boost of Vitamin A. Night vision improves as well, of course, meaning anyone who drives regularly during these hours will benefit from this nutritious snack.
You may not know that Vitamin C and Vitamin K are also present in these vegetables. Talk about a double hit benefit for your eyes and your immune system at the same time!
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, then you should be eating carrots with the darkest orange color you can find. Carrots naturally have high levels of beta carotene, but the darkest ones contain the most, and this protects your skin against sun exposure and damage. Whether you’re sun tanning by the pool or have a job that keeps you outside a lot, a carrot can go a long way towards protecting your skin. If you steam them before eating, that seems to release even more beta carotene, so keep that in mind when you’re cooking. Also, cook them whole whenever possible, because cutting them after they are cooked helps them retain the most vitamins.
Along with protection from skin cancer, carrots can also protect you against lung cancer, surprisingly. It’s the high levels of Vitamin A and falcarinol that are doing the job here, and this benefit will help anyone who smokes or spends a lot of time around people who do. There is no need to leave your lungs unprotected when eating a simple delicious vegetable can offer some natural armor.
From a statistics point of view, the glycemic index of carrots is very low, as well as the calorie count, which is about five calories per carrot. If your diet has you counting calories, this is a snack you could enjoy all day long. In terms of carbs, the carrot consists of mainly water and carbohydrates, but there is no protein—and of course, no fat.
So there we have it…not only can you eat carrots in many delicious ways, but they are portable and convenient and kids love them. Start adding more carrots into your diet and give your body the vitamin-filled boost it deserves!