Nutritional value of carrot
Carrot (Daucus carota L., 1753) is a herbaceous plant of the Apiaceae family.
It is one of the most common vegetables and, spontaneously, it is widespread in Europe, Asia and North Africa. There are many and different cultivars that are grown in all temperate areas of the globe.
The carrot is a biennial herbaceous plant, up to 100 cm tall, which in the second year develops an erect and branched stem with deeply divided and hairy green leaves.
The small, white flowers, with five petals, are collected in large globular umbels made up of umbels. The central flower is dark red, a character selected by the plant to direct pollinating insects to it, so that it can carry pollen into other flowers. The inflorescence has large yellowish bracts similar to leaves.
The flowers are visited by bees for pollen and nectar. It blooms in spring from May until late December.
The fruits are diachenes bristling with spikes that help animals to disseminate.
The root, which is the edible part, is long with a yellowish taproot, cylindrical in shape, 18-20 cm long with a diameter of around 2 cm.
Nutritional factsheet –
Carrot is a plant rich in vitamins A (Betacarotene), B, C and E, as well as mineral salts and simple sugars such as glucose. For this reason, its consumption favors an increase in the body’s defenses against infectious diseases.
As for the nutritional value of the root, in percentage, per 100 gr. of raw carrots you will have on average:
– Edible part 95%;
– Water 91.6 g;
– Protein 1.1 g;
– Lipids 0.2 g;
– Available carbohydrates 7.6 g;
– Dietary fiber 3.1 g;
– Energy 35 kcal;
– Energy (kJ): 147;
– Sodium 95 mg;
– Potassium 220 mg;
– Iron 0.7 mg;
– Calcium 44 mg;
– Phosphorus 37 mg;
– Magnesium: 11 mg;
– Zinc: 2.92 mg;
– Copper (mg): 0.19;
– Selenium (µg): 1;
– Thiamine (mg): 0.04;
– Riboflavin (mg): 0.04;
– Niacin (mg): 0.7;
– Vitamin A retinol eq. (µg): 1148 (levels vary from 880-2300);
– Vitamin C (mg): 4.
The use of carrots in the kitchen is varied; it can be used to prepare purees, juices, soups, desserts etc., but also raw in salads. At a temperature of 0 ° C and a percentage humidity between 90-95 it can be kept for several months while maintaining all its organoleptic properties unaltered. If steamed or eaten raw it still retains all its properties.
Carrot is also widely used in cosmetics because it is antioxidant and rich in beta-carotene, therefore it stimulates tanning by preventing the formation of wrinkles and treating dry skin and its impurities; its pulp is an excellent anti-inflammatory suitable for treating sores, skin rashes and skin cracking. It is very suitable for the treatment of lung diseases and dermatoses; as a gastro-protector of the stomach walls it is an excellent anti-ulcer. Among the many other healing properties, carrot has those of preventing skin aging, facilitate the secretion of milk in mothers, tone the liver, regulate cholesterol. Other recognized benefits are the facilitation of diuresis, the toning of the kidneys, the elevation of hemoglobin, the regulation of intestinal functions.
On average, the assimilation of carotenoids in raw carrots is 4-5%. It increases up to 5 times in the presence of omega-9 fatty acids (as in avocado), and in the presence of not prolonged cooking (as is the case with steam).
The carrot, as mentioned, is a vegetable very rich in carotenes, substances that the body uses for the production of vitamin A, which is important for various body functions, particularly for the visual function. The carrot is rich in vitamins A (Betacarotene), B, C, PP, D and E, as well as mineral salts and simple sugars such as glucose. For this reason, its consumption favors an increase in the body’s defenses against infectious diseases. Carrots are low-calorie and almost fat-free foods, very rich in substances useful to the body and especially in fiber, alpha and beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene, together with alpha carotene and lutein are responsible for the orange color of carrots and the greater the intensity of this color, the greater the presence of these elements. Beta-carotene is a very important source of vitamin A for our body, but its excessive consumption can have the side effect of increasing the yellowish pigmentation of the skin. Beta-carotene is very useful for tissue growth and repair and helps keep the skin soft and healthy, prevent respiratory tract infections and protect us from pollution; a lack of it can lead to a decrease in night vision, increased susceptibility to infections, dry and scaly skin, loss of appetite and smell, frequent fatigue, absence of tearing, defective teeth, and delayed gum growth.
Finally, as mentioned, the use of carrot in cosmetics is due to its antioxidant property. The presence of beta-carotene stimulates tanning by preventing the formation of wrinkles and treating dry skin and its impurities; its pulp is an excellent anti-inflammatory very suitable for treating sores, skin rashes and skin cracking. The intake of carrots does not produce more tanning as beta-carotene is deposited only at the level of the dermis and does not reach the layer most exposed to the sun, the epidermis; beta-carotene is not a bronzer like melanin can be. Vitamin A is however to be considered as the skin vitamin: very useful in case of dry skin, wrinkles, acne.