Carrot facts and health benefits

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Carrot

Carrot Quick Facts
Name: Carrot
Scientific Name: Daucus carota
Origin Southern Europe but now cultivated in Canada and United States.
Colors Orange, purple, red, black, yellow, white
Shapes Conical to cylindrical; Length: 5–50 cm; Diameter: 2–5 cm
Flesh colors Yellowy orange
Taste Sweet and fruity
Calories 41 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin A (119.29%)
Vitamin K (11.00%)
Threonine (10.85%)
Vitamin B6 (10.62%)
Carbohydrate (7.37%)
Carrot (Daucus carota) is an edible root vegetable of the Apiaceae family that was domesticated around 1000 Ce in Central Asia. It is cultivated and consumed throughout the world, being mostly eaten raw. Five varieties of Carrots are: Nantes, Chantenay, Miniature/Baby, Imperator and Danvers. Carrot owe sweet flavor. It is also called Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace, Bird’s Nest Plant, and Crow ’s Nest, Carrot, Laceflower, Devil’s Plague, Rantipole, Queen Anne ’s lace and Wild Carrot. The average Carrot weights from 50-72 grams and can be orange, purple, red, black, yellow and white.

A naturally occurring subspecies of the wild carrot Daucus carota subsp. sativus, it has been selectively bred over the centuries to reduce bitterness, increase sweetness, and minimize the woody core. Most of the taproot consists of a pulpy outer cortex (phloem) and an inner core (xylem). High-quality carrots have a large proportion of cortex compared to core. Western carrot cultivars are commonly classified by their root shape. The four general types are: Chantenay, Danvers, Imperator, and Nantes carrots.

Carrots are one of the 10 most economically important vegetable crops in the world. In 2012, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), almost 37 million tonnes of carrots and turnips were produced worldwide for human consumption. About 61.8% of world carrot production occurred in Asia, followed by Europe (22.6%), and the Americas (9.1%), while 5.4% was grown in Africa.

History

Carrot is native to Southern Europe but now widely cultivated in Canada, United States and Western Asia. Wild carrot is believed to be domesticated around 1000 Ce in Central Asia. By the 13th century, carrots were cultivated in Northwestern Europe and China.

Plant

Carrots are herbaceous, erect herb which grows up to 30-60 cm in height. The hairy and stiff stem reaches the height of 60-200 cm. The leaves are about 22 cm long; 20 cm wide; tripinnate, finely divided and lacy, and overall triangular in shape. The white flower is yield by the plant from June-August. It is a cool season crop preferring well-drained soil.

Root

Carrots are biennial crops grown for the tap roots which are conical to cylindrical having the length of 5–50 cm with diameter as 2–5 cm. The root color ranges from orange through purple, red, black, yellow to white but the flesh is usually yellowy orange.

Phytochemicals Found in Carrots

Carrots do not supply a significant amount of calories to the human diet. However, they are highly nutritious and rich in a diversity of phytochemicals including carotenoids (some of them with provitamin A activity), phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol, vitamins D, K, B1, B6, and biotin, and polyacetylenes, many of which have antioxidant and other health promoting effects.

The content of carotenoids and minerals in carrots is dependent on the cultivar, season, management production, environmental conditions, and postharvest handling and storage conditions. Similarly, the cooking process can affect the nutritional contents as well as the bioavailability of carotenes and minerals.

  1. Carotenoids

Carotenoids are important micronutrients to which particular health related properties have been attributed. In general, carotenoids are mostly found in orange, red, and yellow colored fruits and vegetables. The carrot root is one of the richer sources of these pigments, and the orange rooted variety is the most familiar nowadays. The carotenoids found in orange carrots include α- and β-carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. Carotenoids belong to the tetraterpenes family and are divided into two classes, carotenes containing only carbon and hydrogen atoms (α- and β-carotenes) and oxycarotenoids (xanthophylls) which carry at least one oxygen atom such as zeaxanthin and lutein. According to the number of double bonds, several cis-trans configurations are possible for a given molecule. Carotenoids are lipophilic molecules which tend to accumulate in lipophilic compartments, like membranes or lipoproteins. During chemical reactions or under exposure to light or heating, these bonds can undergo isomerization from trans to mono- or poly-cis isomers, affecting the functional activity.

  1. Phenolic Compounds

The main phenolic compounds found in carrots are chlorogenic acids, which are hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives formed by the esterification of cinnamic acids, such as caffeic, ferulic, and p-coumaric acids, with ( )-quinic acid. The predominant phenolic acids in carrots are 5´ -caffeoylquinic acid, 3´ caffeoylquinic acid, 4´ -p-coumaroylquinic acid, 3´, 4´ -dicaf feoylquinic acid, 3´, 5´ -dicaffeoylquinic acid, and others.

The major flavonoids identified in orange carrots are quercetin, luteolin, kaempferol, and myricetin. Although flavonoid levels in orange and red cultivar are comparatively low, the level of flavonoids in black carrots is exceptionally high and can be comparable with many flavonoid-rich fruits such as strawberry, plum, and cherry. Black carrots contain significantly higher flavonoids than red and orange cultivars because anthocyanin is only detected in this cultivar.

  1. Vitamin C

In addition to the high content of provitamin A carotenoids, carrots are also a reliable source of vitamin C, containing 5.9 mg of total ascorbic acid per 100 g fw. Carrots contain more vitamin C than grapes, nectarines, pears, and plums, among others. The stability of vitamin C in carrots can be influenced by factors from preharvest (including cultivars and environmental conditions) to harvest and to postharvest handling. The total vitamin C content in plant tissues increases through the high intensity of light during summer. The maturity of horticultural crops upon harvesting was also reported to affect the vitamin C content, resulting in lower concentration as the carrot age at harvesting time increased.

  1. Polyacetylenes

Polyacetylenes are a group of compounds widely distributed in the Apiaceae family. Falcarinol, falcarindiol, and falcarindiol-3-acetate are the main compounds identified in carrot root in a range from 20 to 100 mg/kg fw. Polyacetylenes are responsible for the bitter off-flavor of carrots; they are potent skin sensitizers and irritants and are neurotoxic at high concentrations, and they have traditionally been viewed as toxicants. More recently, polyacetylenes have been considered bioactive compounds with potential effects on human physiology and disease. In vitro studies suggest that carrot polyacetylenes have anti-inflammatory activity in macro phages, biphasic stimulatory and cytotoxic effects on primary mammary epithelial cells, and cytotoxic activity against a number of cell lines. More research is needed to elucidate the health benefits of these compounds.

Nutritional Value

Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and an abundant source of Vitamin D, C, K and E. It also possesses minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. Due to the high amount of fiber, it acts as a cleansing agent. The serving size of 100 grams provides 41 calories, 4.74 grams of sugar, 9.58 grams of carbohydrate and 0.93 gram of protein. The same amount provides 3.30% of calcium needs, 6.56% of Vitamin C needs and 3.75% of iron needs per serving.

Nutritional value of Carrot
Serving Size: 1 Cup, 100 g

Calories 41 Kcal. Calories from Fat 2.16 Kcal.

 

Proximity Amount % DV
Water 88.29 g N/D
Energy 41 Kcal N/D
Energy 173 kJ N/D
Protein 0.93 g 1.86%
Total Fat (lipid) 0.24 g 0.69%
Ash 0.97 g N/D
Carbohydrate 9.58 g 7.37%
Total dietary Fiber 2.8 g 7.37%
Soluble dietary fiber 1.71 g N/D
Insoluble dietary fiber 1.62 g N/D
Total Sugars 4.74 g N/D
Fructose 0.55 g N/D
Glucose 0.59 g N/D
Sucrose 3.59 g N/D
Starch 1.43 g N/D

 
Minerals Amount % DV
Calcium, Ca 33 mg 3.30%
Iron, Fe 0.3 mg 3.75%
Magnesium, Mg 12 mg 2.86%
Phosphorus, P 35 mg 5.00%
Potassium, K 320 mg 6.81%
Sodium, Na 69 mg 4.60%
Zinc, Zn 0.24 mg 2.18%
Copper, Cu 0.045 mg 5.00%
Manganese, Mn 0.143 mg 6.22%
Selenium, Se 0.1 µg 0.18%
Fluoride 3.2 µg 0.08%


 
Vitamins Amount % DV
Water soluble Vitamins    
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.066 mg 5.50%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.058 mg 4.46%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.983 mg 6.14%
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.273 mg 5.46%
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.138 mg 10.62%
Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic acid) 19 µg 4.75%
Folate, food 19 µg N/D
Folate, DEF 19 µg N/D
Choline 8.8 mg 1.60%
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 5.9 mg 6.56%
Fat soluble Vitamins (Retinoids and Carotenoids)    
Vitamin A, RAE 835 µg 119.29%
Vitamin A, IU 16706 IU N/D
Beta Carotene 8285 µg N/D
Alpha Carotene 3477 µg N/D
Betaine 0.4 mg N/D
Lycopene 1 µg 0.02%
Lutein + zeaxanthin 256 µg N/D
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.66 mg 4.40%
Tocopherol, beta 0.01 mg N/D
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 13.2 µg 11.00%

 
Lipids Amount % DV
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.037 g N/D
Palmitic acid 16:00 (Hexadecanoic acid) 0.035 g N/D
Stearic acid 18:00 (Octadecanoic acid) 0.002 g N/D
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.014 g N/D
Palmitoleic acid 16:1 (hexadecenoic acid) 0.002 g N/D
Oleic acid 18:1 (octadecenoic acid) 0.012 g N/D
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.117 g N/D
Linoleic acid 18:2 (octadecadienoic acid) 0.115 g N/D
Linolenic acid 18:3 (Octadecatrienoic acid) 0.002 g N/D


 
Amino Acids Amount % DV
Tryptophan 0.012 g 2.73%
Threonine 0.191 g 10.85%
Isoleucine 0.077 g 4.61%
Leucine 0.102 g 2.76%
Lysine 0.101 g 3.02%
Methionine 0.02 g N/D
Cystine 0.083 g N/D
Phenylalanine 0.061 g N/D
Tyrosine 0.043 g N/D
Valine 0.069 g 3.27%
Arginine 0.091 g N/D
Histidine 0.04 g 3.25%
Alanine 0.113 g N/D
Aspartic acid 0.19 g N/D
Glutamic acid 0.366 g N/D
Glycine 0.047 g N/D
Proline 0.054 g N/D
Serine 0.054 g N/D


 
Flavones Amount % DV
Luteolin 0.1 mg N/D


 
Flavonols Amount % DV
Kaempferol 0.2 mg N/D
Quercetin 0.2 mg N/D

*Above mentioned Percent Daily Values (%DVs) are based on 2,000 calorie diet intake. Daily values (DVs) may be different depending upon your daily calorie needs. Mentioned values are recommended by a U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are not healthbenefitstimes.com recommendations. Calculations are based on average age of 19 to 50 years and weighs 194 lbs.
 

Health Benefits of Carrot

Carrots are loaded with high content of beta carotene and fiber. It also possesses various antioxidant properties. Moreover, Carrots are also loaded with high amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, pantothenic acid, vitamin B8, potassium, folate, copper, iron, and manganese. It is a rich in nutrients and minerals. It helps treat diseases and also enhances vision, hair, skin, nail etc.

Carrot – Daucus carota Facts

The carrot is a root used as a vegetable which is usually orange with a crispy texture. Taproot is an edible part of a carrot. It is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia. It is added to the soups, salads, side dishes and snacks. Carrots are available throughout the year but its peak season is summer and fall.

Name Carrot
Scientific Name Daucus carota
Native Southern Europe but now cultivated in Canada and United States.
Common/English Name Bird’s Nest, Bishop’s Lace, Bird’s Nest Plant, Crow’s Nest, Carrot, Laceflower, Devil’s Plague, Rantipole, Queen Anne’s Lace, Wild Carrot
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Geelwortel
Arabic: Bazrul-Jazar
Brazil (Portuguese): Cenoura
Bulgarian: Mopkob
Catalan: Apagallums
Chinese: Chin Sun
Croatian: Mrkva
Czech: Mrkev
Dutch: Peen
Estonian: Metsporgand
Finnish: Porkkana
French: Carotte
Gaelic: Curran
Georgian: Staphilo
German: Echte Möhre
Greek: Karoto
Hebrew: Gezer
Hungarian: Étkezési Sárgarépa
Icelandic: Gulrót
India:-
Bengali: Gaajara
Gujarati: Gajar
Hindi: Gagar
Kannada: Bazrul-Jazar
Marathi: Gaajar
Mizo: Antam Bulbal
Sanskrit: Dindiramodaka
Tamil: Gajjarakkilangu
Telugu: Gajjaragedda
Urdu: Gajor
Indonesia:-
Javanese: Bortol
Madurese: Ortel
Sundanese: Bortol
Italian: Carota
Japanese:
Ninjin
Khmer: Karôt
Kirgiz: Sabiz
Korean: Hongdangmuu
Lithuanian: Morkos
Luxembourgeois: Muurt
Macedonian: Pitom Morkov
Malaysia: Karot
Maltese: Zunnarija
Majorcan: Bastanaga Borda
Nepali: Gajar
Norwegian: Dyrka Gulrot
Persian: Gazar
Philippines:
Bikol: Karot
Bisaya: Karot
Iloko: Karon
Spanish: Reaolacha
Tagalog: Karot
Polish: Marchew Siewna
Portuguese: Carote
Romanian: Morcov
Russian: Morkov
Serbian: Šargarepa
Slovašcina: Mrkev Obecná Pravá
Slovencina: Mrkva Obyčajná
Spanish: Acenoria
Swahili: Karoti
Swedish: Vildmorot
Thai: Khaerot
Turkish: Havuc
Vietnamese: Cà Rốt Dại
Welsh: Meddyglyn
Plant Growth Habit Biennial, herbaceous, erect herb
Growing Climate Cool season
Soil Well-drained soil
Plant Size 30 and 60 cm (1 and 2 ft.)
Stem Hairy, stiff, solid, Height: 60–200 cm (20–80 in)
Leaf Tripinnate, finely divided and lacy, and overall triangular in shape, Length: 22 cm; Width: 20 cm
Edible parts of the plants
  • Carrots are added to the stir fries, soups, sauces, stews, curries, juices and pies.
  • The tender roots are pickled.
  • Shredded carrots are used in carrot puddings, carrot cakes, preserves and jams with fruits.
  • Carrot is also blended with vegetables and fruits and served as a drink.
  • The Carotene which is extracted from the root is used to colour margarines.
  • The essential oil which is extracted from the seed is used to add flavors.
  • The leaves of the Carrot are used as leaf vegetable and eaten occasionally.
  • Carrot could be pulped, boiled, mashed, grated, puréed, fried, stewed, steamed, juiced, baked or eaten raw.
  • Carrots could be consumed raw or cooked.
Flowering Season June-August
Buds Pink
Flower White, red or purple, 2 mm
Root shape & size Conical to cylindrical; Length: 5–50 cm; Diameter: 2–5 cm
Root weight (Average) 50-72 grams
Root color Orange, purple, red, black, yellow, white
Flesh color Yellowy orange
Flavor/aroma Sweet
Fruit Taste Sweet and fruity
Varieties/Types
  • Nantes
  • Chantenay
  • Miniature/Baby
  • Imperator
  • Danvers
Season Summer and Fall
Major Nutritions Vitamin A, RAE 835 µg (119.29%)
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 13.2 µg (11.00%)
Threonine 0.191 g (10.85%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.138 mg (10.62%)
Carbohydrate 9.58 g (7.37%)
Total dietary Fiber 2.8 g (7.37%)
Potassium, K 320 mg (6.81%)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 5.9 mg (6.56%)
Manganese, Mn 0.143 mg (6.22%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.983 mg (6.14%)
Health Benefits  
Calories in 1cup (100 gm) 41 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • Carrot is used to treat gastric disorders, acidity and gastric ulcer.
  • Carrot is used as a diuretic, ease digestive tract and enhance uterus.
  • The infusion made from the plant is used to treat the kidney, bladder diseases, digestive disorders and dropsy.
  • Shredded carrot is used as a treatment for threadworm infection.
  • The infusion made from the leaves of Carrot is used to cure kidney stones and cystitis.
  • The infusion of Carrot seed helps to treat oedema, indigestion, flatulent and menstrual problems.
Precautions
  • The people allergic to birch, mugwort, celery, spices might experience an allergic reaction to Carrots.
  • Carrot might interfere with diabetes medications and lower the blood sugar levels.
  • Carrots should not be used in excessive amounts by the children.
  • The allergic symptoms to the Carrot are swelling, asthma hives, skin rashes, diarrhea or anaphylactic reactions.
  • The patients with hypoglycemia, hormone-sensitive conditions, diabetes, or bowel obstruction should use Carrot with caution.
Other Facts
  • Usually Carrot is orange in colour but purple, white, red and yellow varieties are also found.
  • Carrot is an excellent source of Beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A by the human body.
  • The pigment named anthocyanin in Purple carrots acts as an anti-oxidant.
  • Carrots provide an adequate amount of fiber which helps to maintain the digestive health.

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