This classic vegetable is much more beneficial than you think!

As much cooked as raw, this vegetable helps you see in the dark and helps keep your immune system healthy. Prepare your vegetable garden, the carrot is in the spotlight!

The ideal weather for the carrot is....

Heat, damp soil and rain every three days are the perfect ingredients for a perfect carrot. If all are together, you could harvest a 6.2-metre one, as in 2016 in the United Kingdom, or a 10.2 kg one, as in 2017, in the United States.

It has the characteristic of germinating very slowly. That's why you need to make sure you moisten your soil to help it grow. "Carrots are vegetables that must be sown directly on the ground. It takes a certain amount of heat to facilitate its germination," adds Francis Madore, owner of Les Jardins d'Ambroisie.

The ideal temperature for the core is 24°C. "The carrot is like us. She hates extremes, that's why she grows in the ground. She likes 24 degrees, it's her ideal temperature, like many Quebeckers! ", explains Réjean Ouimet, weather expert at MédéoMédia. However, this vegetable can grow very well in the spring or fall and even survive ground freezing. This cold weather makes the carrots sweeter. Don't worry if the heat escapes during its cultivation!

The benefits of orange vegetables

Eating carrots brings a dose of benefits to the body. This is because of carotenoids, which combine molecules such as carotene and beta-carotene. The latter releases vitamin A once in the body and helps the immune system to function properly. "This vitamin is super important for the health of the retina, to see in the dark," says Julie Desgroselliers, a nutritionist and spokesperson for the "I love fruits and vegetables" movement. So it is not wrong to say that the more carrots you eat, the less likely you are to wear glasses... but that is not entirely true." The carotenoid family is very beneficial for eye health, but that won't stop us from wearing glasses. On the other hand, a diet that is very rich in orange vegetables can prevent us from suffering from cataracts," says Desgroselliers.

Carotenes are more absorbed by the body when they are cooked. That's why carrots are also beneficial when cooked. Also, avoid peeling it as its skin is rich in nutrients. Interesting fact: all parts of this vegetable are edible. Don't throw his tops away! Remove them as soon as you get home, after the grocery store, to hopefully keep your carrots longer. You can then use the leaves as you do for parsley: they come from the same family! "As a garnish on salads, soups, green smoothies", they are excellent! The tops can even reach a height of one meter, enough to cook a lot, a lot of pesto!

Discovery of the gene that makes orange carrots healthy and orange

By carrying out the complete sequencing of the carrot genome, researchers discovered a gene responsible for the accumulation of carotene, a pigment with many health benefits.

Researchers have been working on the complete sequencing of the carrot genome, uncovering a gene responsible for the accumulation of carotene, a pigment with broad health benefits, according to a study published in the journal Nature Genetics. "We have discovered a gene that conditions the accumulation of carotenoid pigments in carrot roots," Philipp Simon of the University of Wisconsin at Madison in the United States and co-author of the study told AFP.

Improving the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables

Carotene is an orange pigment found in carrots and other coloured plants, which is converted by the liver into vitamin A, a vitamin essential for the proper functioning of our body. It is also an antioxidant beneficial to health. According to the study, the treatment of vitamin A deficiency is essential for global health. The development of sustainable sources of vitamin A must therefore be one of the objectives of crop optimisation. "Advances in genome sequencing technologies will allow scientists to develop new varieties of fruits and vegetables with improved nutritional value," says Philipp Simon.

After identifying a gene and its associated function, researchers can ensure its presence in future generations and thus accelerate classical breeding by choosing the "good descendants". "Marker-assisted selection will be one of the most important uses of carrot genome sequencing," explained the researcher.

There are no GMO carrots on the world market"

A technique that differs from GMOs, the latter being the same as inserting a gene from another species into the genome of the target species, an exchange that cannot be done in a natural way. Moreover, "currently, there are no GMO carrots on the world market", said the researcher. Their discovery could also allow us to work on modifying the genes of other vegetables using genome editing techniques. Philipp Simon mentioned cassava in particular. Similar  mutations have allowed certain fruits (pumpkin and pumpkin, apricot...), during their evolution, to accumulate these pigments "so there can be an application beyond root vegetables", noted the researcher.

7 virtues and benefits of carrot

We all remember our parents who wanted us to finish our carrots at all costs... but since we grew up, it's simple: we love it! Carrots, cooked or raw, are undeniably one of our best friends. Discover its benefits and virtues.

    Good for the skin

The carrot is rich in beta-carotenes. A powerful antioxidant, beta-carotene slows down aging and improves skin condition. In addition, it promotes healing.

    Against disease

Rich in antioxidants, carrots reduce bad cholesterol, protect the lungs and heart against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Rich in vitamins, it also participates in the production of red blood cells that provide oxygen to all cells in the body.

    Good for weight control

Extremely rich in vitamins, carrots are an undeniable slimming ally. Cooked or raw, it only takes 33 kilo calories per 100g. You can even afford to serve your carrots with a knob of butter!

    Good for the eyesight

    And especially for night vision. Rich in vitamin A, essential for vision, carrots can reduce the risk of degeneration and cataracts. Also rich in rhodopsin, it allows us to see in low-light conditions.

    Good for the liver

By providing the body with a dose of natural sugar, carrots regenerate the liver.
    Good for bones
Thanks to its impressive vitamin A content combined with its high phosphorus content, carrot strengthens bones and teeth.

    To face the sun

The carrot strengthens our resistance to ultraviolet rays. Enough to allow us to have a pretty complexion and prolong our tan!
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3 good reasons to drink carrot juice

When consumed in moderation, carrot juice provides many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to the body.

Fresh fruit and vegetable juices have been on the rise for several years. Carrots are among the most commonly used ingredients because they provide taste and many nutrients that are beneficial to health. Among other things, they go well with other fruits and vegetables.

A few warnings, however: according to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), pregnant women should avoid freshly squeezed juices, as well as pasteurized or preservative-containing juices. Carrots contain a type of carotenoid called beta-carotene that the body transforms into vitamin A. Long-term excessive consumption is associated with harmful effects, including yellow-orange coloration of the skin. Finally, juices contain less fibre than foods in their original form. Drinking juice does not replace eating whole fruits and vegetables.

Taking these recommendations into account, you can enjoy the benefits of carrot juice for these three good reasons:

For its nutrients

A large glass of carrot juice contains less than 100 kilocalories, very little fat, protein, carbohydrates, and some fibre. It is rich in potassium, vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin K. These vitamins and minerals make it an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory drink.

For its health effects

This multitude of nutrients makes carrot juice particularly beneficial for the body.

  •     According to a study cited by Medical News Today, the consumption of carrots is associated with a 26% reduction in the risk of stomach cancer.
  •     Carrot juice would also have a role to play in the treatment of leukaemia, but further research will be needed to certify these results.
  •     A high level of carotenoids (but not excessive), would reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  •     Finally, vitamin C intake from carrot juice would be particularly useful for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

For its taste

The special flavour of carrots goes perfectly with that of other fruits and vegetables. At home, you can try mixing it with apple juice, orange juice, kale, cinnamon or ginger. In this way, you add the benefits of different foods to those already present in the carrot.

Carrot, a vegetable that looks good

Easy to cook, carrots are also full of health benefits. It is particularly renowned for its antioxidant power on the skin, eyes....

Raw or cooked, whole or grated, in soup or juice, carrots are easy to prepare and can be used for any purpose. No wonder it is one of the most consumed vegetables in France.

Carrot is rich in antioxidants

Carrots contain various antioxidants (beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C) that fight oxidative stress (prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypercholesterolemia...). To get the most out of it, a study by the Institute of Food Research, a British research institute, shows that it is best to eat it cooked and at least two to four times a week.

The main benefits of carrots

  1.     It protects the eyesight. It's not just blueberries that protect the eyes, it's carrots too! They are rich in vitamin A, but also in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidant pigments. These three substances improve visual acuity and reduce the risk of cataracts.
  2.     It contributes to beautiful skin. The orange colour of the carrot comes from its many pigments, the carotenoids. Among them, beta-carotene is an antioxidant that delays the effects of aging, slightly colours the skin and prepares it for the sun... without replacing sunscreen.
  3.     This root vegetable regulates transit. Carrot fibres (2 g to 100 g) are effective against both constipation and diarrhea. "In the first case, you have to eat the raw carrot, in the second, cooked," says dietician Audrey Aveaux.

What about the yellow, white or purple carrot?

Carrots are orange, but there are also yellow, white or purple carrots. They do not provide the same vitamins and minerals.
  •     White carrot does not provide beta-carotene and contains very little vitamin C. Its texture is rather hard and fibrous.
  •     Yellow carrots have a fine taste and the same nutritional deficiencies as white carrots.
  •     The purple carrot is the richest in beta-carotene. It is very antioxidant, and it has a sweet taste.

Whatever its colour, it is purchased firm, spotless, small rather than large (the latter is harder and stringy). We avoid the one that is green near the tops, it may be bitter. It is kept in a damp cloth for a week in the refrigerator's crisper.
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What to do with carrot tops?

We don't throw them away! They contain vitamin B9 (essential for pregnant women to ensure the proper functioning of the foetus' nervous system) and vitamin C (which strengthens immunity).

On the other hand, they are cut, washed, wrung and placed in an airtight box in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

  •     Raw, we chisel them on salads.
  •     Cooked, we make it into soup.

Health precautions: Are you allergic to birch pollen? There may also be reactions (itching and burns on the lips, palate, throat...) to the ingestion of raw but not cooked carrots, as cooking degrades allergenic proteins.

Is eating carrots good for your eyesight? True

All over the world, many people had a grandmother who was very insistent on carrots: "eat your carrots, it's good for your eyes". The Rumor Detector confirms... it's not just a grandmother's cure.

The origin of the rumour

There are actually two preconceived ideas about carrots: one that they are good for your eyesight, and the other that they improve it. The origins of the first one are perhaps very old. On the other hand, many believe that the second one originated from British propaganda during the Second World War.

According to the World Carrot Museum - a British virtual museum - during and after the 1940 German bombings on London, the British government conducted a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of eating carrots, giving them an exceptional view of the soldiers. According to the Museum, this campaign was part of the effort to conceal the fact that Britain had a secret technology - radar - that allowed it to detect in advance the arrival of German aircraft.

What does science say about it?

While the possibility that carrots improve vision is a myth, research has shown that carrots can have a beneficial role in our vision.

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. This vitamin is known for its important role in vision and mainly in adapting the eye to darkness.

On the other hand, we should not think that wearing glasses can be replaced by a higher consumption of carrots. Beta-carotene consumption cannot solve vision problems such as myopia or astigmatism.

In fact, in rich countries, where vitamin A deficiency is rare, eating more carrots will not turn poor vision into normal vision. It is in the poorest countries, where partial blindness is a recurrent problem due to a lack of nutrients, that carrot consumption could be most beneficial.

It should also be noted that although carrots are particularly rich in beta-carotene, it is also found in several yellow or orange vegetables (sweet potato, winter squash, pumpkin, red pepper) as well as in some leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, lettuce, bok choy).

For the elderly, for good eye health, a daily intake of vitamins and minerals, including those found in these foods, can also delay the progression of age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.

Verdict on the case

Keep eating your carrots, since they are also good for your general health, but if you have trouble reading this text, buy yourself glasses.
Carrots and their precious health benefits

Fresh, crisp and tasty, carrots are also a concentrate of benefits. It has many health benefits, thanks in particular to its carotenes and its high mineral content.

  1.  Its antioxidant carotene helps to prevent certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
  2.  It is excellent for night vision It is very good for the liver, improving its functioning.
  3.  It supports intestinal transit with its precious fibres.
  4.  It is a healthy and low-calorie snack when small cravings and cravings for snacks are felt.
  5.  It helps to eliminate uric acid.
  6.  She helps the pregnant woman meet her carotenoid needs.
  7.  So consume the carrot in all its forms and preferably raw to fully enjoy its properties.
  8. Rich in beta-carotene, a precious pigment that gives it its orange hue, carrots contain many other nutritional benefits.
  9.  It is suitable in case of diabetes or overweight
  10.  The carrot provides only 6.5% sugar and 35kcal per 100g (a large carrot). It is distinguished from green vegetables, whose main sugar is glucose with low sweetening power, by a supply of sucrose that explains its sweet taste. But, from a caloric point of view, it is equivalent to broccoli or leek. In addition, it is rich in pectin, a fibre that facilitates satiety and reduces fat absorption by trapping it in the digestive tract, and also lowers the glycemic index of meals.
  11.  It is gentle on the intestines
  12.  Especially when it is small and a fortiori in its "primeur" period (from May to July). Similarly, pectin is not irritating to the digestive tract. This is why carrots are among the first vegetables in food diversification (cooked and mixed) because they are particularly well tolerated by babies' fragile intestines. It is also recommended in case of diarrhea, as pectin helps to normalize stool.
  13.  It looks good.
  14.  It is the vegetable with the highest concentration of beta-carotene, an orange pigment whose regular consumption revives the tan: an average 70g carrot provides all the recommended daily intake for an adult. Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant, which helps to protect the skin from the sun's rays and prevent wrinkles from forming. Carrots (as well as other beta-carotene rich vegetables) could, according to the World Cancer Research Fund, have a preventive effect on esophageal and lung cancers.
  15. It boosts bone health
  16. Carrots are high in vitamin K, which researchers have highlighted as important for bone tissue renewal and the prevention of osteoporosis. It is also well provided with potassium and calcium, minerals that reduce bone demineralization thanks to their alkalizing properties (they neutralize excess acidity in the body).
  17. It protects the eyes
  18.  The carrot combines several pigments useful for vision. Its precious beta-carotene is partially transformed in the body into vitamin A, essential for night vision. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin (yellow in colour), which have a specific antioxidant effect on the retina. The latter thus protect against the blue light emitted by the sun and screens and contribute to the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  19.  With a fat body, it's even better
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Beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin belong to the group of carotenoids: "fat-soluble" compounds, which have an affinity for fats and are much better assimilated in the presence of fat. There is no need to drown the carrots in the cream: a dab of butter or a drop of olive oil is enough.