The carrot (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) is a root vegetable, usually orange or white, or red-white blend in color, 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.
With the exception of beets, carrots contain more sugar than any other vegetable, which makes them 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 in the body to vitamin A. The deeper the orange colour of a carrot, the higher the beta carotene content. Vitamin A helps with night vision - that’s 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 the immune system.
With many vegetables, cooking destroys some of their vitamins, but you can absorb more beta carotene from cooked carrots than from raw ones. However, If you prefer to eat carrots raw, that’s fine because even one carrot has many day’s supply of beta carotene. 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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