The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour but also a red-white blend, with a crisp texture when fresh. The edible part of a carrot is a taproot. It is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia.
Carrots make a satisfying snack eaten raw and a tasty addition to a variety of cooked dishes.
Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. The deeper the orange colour, the higher the beta carotene content. Vitamin A helps with night vision, which is why children are told to eat carrots so they will be able to see in the dark! Vitamin A also benefits the skin and is great for supporting the immune system. They also contain fiber (especially with the skin kept on), vitamin K, potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc.
Cooking destroys some of the vitamins of many vegetables, but you can absorb more beta carotene from cooked carrots than from raw ones.
Older carrots have a higher quantity of sugar than younger carrots and so taste sweeter, but younger carrots have more folate, one of the B vitamins which may help prevent birth defects in babies. Carrots are also a great source of dietary fibre.
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