With its fresh, crunchy taste and multitude of bright colors, it is no surprise that carrots are a favorite vegetable for many people around the world. Here are some ways that you can actually maximize the nutrition that you are getting from each carrot
Carrots come in many different colors besides the traditional orange carrots we see in grocery stores. Purple carrots are known to be heavily concentrated in anthocyanins, which actually contain even more health benefits than the beta-carotene found in orange carrots. Alpha-carotene is also found in purple carrots, and studies have shown a link to lowering death from ANY cause. If you were to rank the color of carrots from most nutritious to least, it would go purple, yellow, red, orange, and then white. So if you are ever in a situation where you have a choice in your carrots color, always go for purple! They have the same taste, even more nutrients, and a stunning color that looks great on any plate.
2. Keep skin on!
Baby carrots are a popular snack among children, but there is no such thing as a 'baby carrot' grown in nature. In fact, it's just a regular carrot shaved down to a smaller size. These are great for small snacking, but take away a huge part of the nutritional value! The skin is the carrots first line of defense when growing, and thus the plant produces many compounds to help protect from the many dangers it is exposed to out in nature. By removing the skin, you are essentially taking away 1/3 of its phytonutrients.
3. Cook 'em!
Many times we believe that eating a vegetable in its most raw form is the healthiest, but that is not always the case! Carrots are actually more nutritious when cooked. Heat breaks the carrots tough cell wall, allowing some of the nutrients to be more available to your body. You actually absorb three times more beta-carotene when eating a cooked carrot versus a raw one.
4. Pair with Fat!
It seems a little counterproductive to pair fat with a vegetable, but this actually makes the carrot even more nutritious.. There are healthy fats, such as olive oil, that help aid your heart and brain's functions. The different vitamins and nutrients that are contained in a carrot actually need some type of fat in order to absorb and assimilate properly. A whole-cooked carrot with olive oil has eight times more nutrients than raw baby carrots