Useful properties of carrots
The famous Renaissance physician and chemist Theophrast Paracelsus justifiably called carrot roots a mandrake that gave people a long life without disease. The wonderful properties of carrots are in its composition, which includes not only many trace elements, but also contains a rich set of vitamins, some of which are not formed by the human body as a result of metabolic processes. Carrot concentrates in its root crop substances that contribute to the cure of many diseases, the acquisition of stable immunity and the rejuvenation of the body as a whole. Read more about the beneficial properties of carrots, the biochemical composition and the influence of growing conditions on the value of root crops in this material.
Some facts about carrots
Cultural forms of carrots originated from the wild, many growing in Asia and Europe. Afghanistan is considered the birthplace of the root crop.
The first mention of carrots dates back to the 10th century BC. The cultivation of carrots, thanks to the treatises of the first healers who wrote about its benefits to the body, began more than 3 thousand years ago. In Europe, including Russia, carrots began to be cultivated in the 14th century. The root crops of those years, and almost before the start of breeding work in Western Europe in the 19th century (in Russia in the 20s), were predominantly white, red and even purple, contained few vitamins, and the flesh was rough and fibrous.
It should be noted that in natural conditions, the content and list of useful properties of the root of carrots differ from cultivated forms, when as a result of selection the useful properties of this crop develop purposefully.
Only in the 20th century, as a result of selection, varieties of carotene carrots familiar to us appeared, mainly orange flowers, sweet, with a pleasant juicy pulp. If before breeding work in cooking, mainly toppers and carrot seeds were used, and root crops were much less common, then later a real culinary boom occurred. The cookbooks have devoted significant volumes to descriptions of various recipes for preparing dishes from the root of carrots in combination with other food crops, and medical guides to the formulation of medicines for various diseases.
The influence of carrot growing conditions on the quality of root crops
The value of carrots is determined by the content of vitamins and other useful substances that accumulate in the root crop. Their quantity and quality depend on growing technology. In case of violation of agrotechnical requirements, not only the external signs (small, low-orange, cracked root crops, etc.) change, but also their biochemical parameters. The content of vitamins, flavonoids, anthocyanides and other compounds very important for the body is sharply reduced.
Carrots are a temperate culture. Demanding on basic living conditions: soil and temperature, moisture and light. With poorly prepared soil (low looseness and insufficient dressing with basic fertilizers), insufficient watering and top dressing during the growing season, violation of the ratio of basic nutrients (a lot of nitrogen and a little potassium) and other conditions, the quality of the root crop decreases.
When buying root crops in the market, be sure to be interested in the conditions for growing the crop. But it is best to maintain the health of family members to grow carrots on their site, observing all the requirements of agricultural cultivation. In this case, sowing should be carried out only by zoned varieties and hybrids. In winter, in your garden diary, make a list of varieties of early, medium, late with the highest biotechnical indicators of product quality and prepare carrot seeds of these varieties.
The biochemical composition of carrots
Vitamins in Carrots
- Carrots contain 22% provitamin A (carotene), including alpha and beta carotenes, which are synthesized in the body into vitamin A, which is responsible for visual acuity.
- B vitamins in 100 g of carrots contain more than 0.5 g, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12, which the body needs to synthesize hemoglobin.
- Carrot juice contains a group of active chemicals of calciferols, presented in the form of vitamin “D”, including “D2”, “D3”. Vitamin "D" under the influence of natural sunlight and ultraviolet (artificial radiation) rays can be produced in the body, manifesting itself in the form of a tan. Its deficiency in the body in children is manifested in the form of rickets, and in adults - in the form of osteoporosis (fragility) and softening (osteomalacia) of bones.
- Carrots are distinguished by a high (11%) vitamin K content, which regulates the blood coagulation process, preventing blood clots.
- Vitamins "C" and "E" provide energy to the body and normalize the function of the endocrine glands. In addition, vitamin "E" slows down the aging process. It is called the vitamin of youth. It is indispensable for diabetics, as it helps to reduce the need for insulin.
- Vitamin "PP" (niacin), like previous vitamins, provides energy to the body, supports heart function, blood circulation, participates in the metabolism of amino acids.
- Vitamin "N", or lipoic acid, regulates the functioning of the liver, thyroid gland, participates in carbohydrate metabolism, and affects the level of cholesterol in the blood.
The entire vitamin complex is stored in freshly prepared carrot juice for an hour. When defrosting - within 0.5 hours. The most complete use of it by the body occurs in the presence of fats (oils, sour cream).
Trace elements with carrots
Carrots and a fairly high content of trace elements are distinguished. In 100 g of raw carrots contains 320 mg of potassium, which responds to the normalization of the heart. In Soviet times, runner athletes were prescribed potassium orotate. The concentration of sodium ranges from 69-70 mg, and the sum of phosphorus and calcium exceeds 65-68 mg. In sufficient quantities, carrot root contains copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, cobalt and molybdenum.
Selenium is also present in carrots - an element of youth and fluorine, which is responsible for the thyroid gland, and helps to remove heavy metals and radionuclides from the body.
Other elements are present in the root crop, in compounds and combinations necessary for the normalization of water metabolism (chlorine), water-salt metabolism (sodium), and the composition of proteins (sulfur). The list of trace elements is supplemented by aluminum, boron, vanadium, nickel, chromium, lithium, iodine.
An impressive list against the background of low calorie content of the product becomes indispensable in the treatment of obesity, weight loss, and stimulation of hematopoiesis.
Carrots are part of all fitness diets. 100 g of root vegetables (one small carrot) contains from 35 to 40 kcal, but more than 9.5 g of carbohydrates, 2.8 g of dietary fiber.
Other nutrients in carrots
Recently, a decrease in immunity has been observed everywhere in children and adults, and attacks of colds are intensifying. Carrots in their phytoncidal properties are almost equivalent to garlic and onions, but have no unpleasant odor. On the contrary, essential oils add piquancy to manufactured dishes.
At the beginning of the recognition of carrots as a food product, seeds and green tops were used in the preparation of dishes, as already mentioned. In lower concentrations than in other vegetables, but in a more complete list, amino acids are present in carrots. Their list includes tyrosine, lysine, leucine, ornithine, cysteine, asparagine, threonine, histidine, methionine and others.
Carrots anthocyanidins and bioflavonoids give a nice saturated color. It consists of umbelliferone, which takes part in the biosynthesis of such irreplaceable compounds as phytosterols, coumarins, quercetins, fiber, pectins, sugar, etc.
Useful properties of carrots
For the treatment and prevention of diseases, carrots are used as a raw product, boiled, frozen after thawing. When boiled, it enhances the positive effect on the body in the treatment of nephritis, cancer, diabetes, and general dysbiosis. Raw carrots prevents microbial infection in the oral cavity and the body as a whole with infectious colds (ARI, flu).
Carrots are used for vitamin deficiency, anemia, atherosclerosis. It is included in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, gastrointestinal tract, helminthic invasions, bile and urolithiasis, pyelonephritis, cystitis. Carrot juices are effective for conjunctivitis, night blindness, and other eye diseases. It is used in official and traditional medicine for diseases of the skeletal and hematopoietic system.
50 g per day of fresh carrots (average daily rate) will reduce the risk of stroke by 60-70%, malignant breast tumors by 25%, retinal diseases with visual impairment by 40%.
- Carrots are contraindicated in case of allergies to this product.
- With inflammation of the digestive tract, small intestine, gastric ulcer. In these cases, the vegetable is used boiled or stewed.
- In case of liver disease, before consuming carrots, consult your doctor.
- With excessive consumption of raw carrots and juices, yellowing of the feet and skin of children and adults can be observed. It is necessary to reduce the daily dosage of the product until yellowness disappears.
In conclusion, I want to warn readers. Carrots are very useful, but everything needs a measure. It is enough to eat 1-2 carrots per day, not exceeding 100-120 g in any form - salads, mashed potatoes, juices.