Botanical Name :: Daucus carota
Indian Name :: Gajar
The carrot is a popular vegetable the world over. It is a powerful cleansing fool Green carrot leaves are highly nutritive, rich in protein, minerals and vitamins.
There are many varieties of carrot. Broadly, they can be classified into two groups, namely, Asiatic types and European types. The former are marked by their larger size, darker color and sweet taste. However, the latter are preferred due to the smooth surface, thin core, better shape and being less fibrous in nature.
Origin and Distribution of Carrot
The carrot appears to have originated in Central Asia, in the hills of Punjab and Kashmir in India, with a secondary centre of distribution in Asia, Europe and North Africa around the Mediterranean. It is cultivated in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Central, East and West Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
Food Value of Carrot
Nutritionally, the carrot is an extremely rich source of vitamin A. The name carotene, which is a form of pro vitamin, has been derived from carrot. The carotene is converted into vitamin A by the liver and it is also stored in our body.
Carrots are rich in sodium, sulphur, chlorine and contain traces of iodine. The mineral contents in carrots lie very close to the skin. Hence they should not be peeled or scrapped off.
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 86.0%||Calcium – 80 mg|
|Protein – 0.9%||Phosphorus – 530 mg|
|Fat – 0.2%||Iron – 2.2 mg|
|Vitamin C – 3 mg|
|Fibre – 1.2%||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|Minerals – 1.1%||* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion|
|Carbohydrates – 10.6%||Calorific Value – 48|
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Carrot
Carrot is rich in alkaline elements which purify and revitalize the blood. It nourishes the entire system and helps in the maintenance of acid alkaline balance in the body.
The juice of carrot is known as a “Miracle Juice”. It makes a fine health giving drink for children and adults alike. It strengthens the eyes and keeps the mucus membranes of all cavities of the body in healthy condition. It is beneficial in the treatment of dry and rough skin.
However, the use of carrot seeds should be avoided during early period of pregnancy, because it increases the toxicity of uterine walls and may cause abortion
- Tooth Decay:- Chewing a carrot immediately after food kills all the harmful germs in the mouth. It cleans the teeth, removes the food particles lodged in the crevices and prevents bleeding of the gums and tooth decay.
- Digestive Disorders:- Chewing of carrots increases saliva and quickens digestion by supplying the necessary enzymes, minerals and vitamins. Regular use of carrot prevents the formation of gastric ulcer and other digestive disorders. Carrot juice is an effective food remedy in ailments like Intestinal colic, colitis, appendicitis, peptic ulcer and dyspepsia.
- Constipation:- Carrot juice, combined with spinach juice and a little lemon juice, is very effective in the treatment of constipation. Spinach juice cleanses the bowels. This effect cannot be expected soon after taking the juice. But within two months, the bowel starts emptying regularly. About 50 ml. of spinach juice should be added to 250 ml. of carrot juice to make this combination.
- Diarrhea:- The carrot soup has been found an effective natural remedy for diarrhea. It supplies fluid to combat dehydration, replenishes sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur and magnesium. It is a good source of. pectin and coats the intestines to allay inflammation. It checks the growth of harmful bacteria and prevents vomiting. It is especially useful for children. 1/2 Kg. of carrot may be cooked in 150 ml. of water until it is soft. The pulp should be streamed. Three quarter tablespoon of salt may be added and a small amount of the soup should be given to the patient every half an hour. Improvement is usually noticeable in 24 hours.
- Thread Worms:- The carrots are valuable in the elimination of thread worms from children as it is offensive to all parasites. A small cupful of grated carrot taken every morning, with no other food added to the meal, can clear these worms quickly. Raw carrots are good for fertility. Sterility is sometimes overcome by its use. The cause of sterility has been traced to the continuous use of food in which enzymes are destroyed by working or pasteurizing.
Uses of carrot
Carrots can be used in a variety of way. They may be eaten raw in salads, or they may be boiled or cooked. They can also be used in the form of soup and juice. They are most helpful when they are taken raw. In cooking, a large amount of the important minerals are lost. They form very important ingredient of a raw salad.