Add carrots to your diet

Monday December 9 2019

They can be eaten raw or cooked. Either way,

They can be eaten raw or cooked. Either way, carrots are a must add to your meal plan and here is why. 

By BEATRICE NAKIBUUKA

Carrots are root vegetables that can be cooked or eaten raw.

They come in different colours; that is orange, purple, white and yellow but the commonest is the orange.

The taproot of the carrot is the part of the vegetable most commonly eaten but the leaves can also be eaten. Carrots, consumed as raw vegetables, juice or in cooked form are good for your health.

According to Bridget Kezaabu, a freelance nutritionist, these antioxidants contain a good amount of beta-carotene and fibre. They are also rich in vitamin A, C, K, and B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper and manganese.

They are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. They get their orange colour from beta-carotene which gets converted into vitamin A during digestion.

Help in digestion
Carrot juice improves stomach and gastrointestinal health, says Kezaabu because they contain fibre.

These reduce the severity of constipation and protect the colon and stomach from illnesses, including colorectal cancer.

“Carrots contain dietary fibre which is an important element in maintaining good digestive health. Fibre adds bulk to stool and stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices,” Kezaabu says.

Lower blood pressure
Carrots are rich sources of potassium, which is a vasodilator and can relax the tension in your blood vessels and arteries.

This, therefore, increases blood flow and circulation, boosting organ function and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system.

Macular degeneration
As aging occurs, sight is usually impaired. A deficiency of vitamin A worsens the situation and can cause difficulty seeing in dim light. Carrots are a rich source of carotenoid from Vitamin A which plays an important role in keeping the mucus membranes in the eyes healthy.

Simon Mabike, a general practitioner at IHK, says age-related macular degeneration in extreme cases can lead to blindness for elderly people.

“Since carrots are rich in vitamin A, they are good for improving eyesight and preventing conditions such as night blindness and age related macular degeneration which causes blurred or blocked sight as we age. Beta-carotene also forms a pro-vitamin A, which is often associated with better sight,” he notes.

bnakibuuka@ug.nationmedia.com

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