Saturday, December 29, 2012


 Vegetables, like fruits, are low in fat but contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals. All the Green-Yellow-Orange vegetables are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin A, and vitamin K.

                          Carrots are another one of nature's perfect foods, as they confer many health benefits from reducing stroke risks to improving eyesight in dim illumination. Beta-carotene, an antioxidant known for its role in decreasing incidences of cancer, diabetes and macular degeneration is probably what carrots are best known for providing. However, recent research has discovered a different type of phytonutrient contained in carrots called polyacetylenes. According to a study published in the September 2009 edition of the "Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry," polyacetylenes may inhibit the spread of colon cancer cells, which suggest that a vital, synergetic interaction exists between polyacetylenes and beta-carotene because beta carotene seems to provide an oxidative benefit to the polyacetylenes.
                Antioxidants are substances that eliminate those destructive free radicals that attack healthy cells. Free radicals originate from excessive ultraviolet rays, pollution, stress, smoking and ordinary cellular processes in the body. Antioxidants effectively search them out and remove them from the bloodstream, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease, arthritis, immune suppression and some cancers. It is interesting to note that while most people consume the orange kind of carrots, purple and red carrots (Eastern carrots) actually contain the largest amount of antioxidants.
                  Elderly people may develop macular degeneration, which causes vision to diminish until eyesight is severely impaired. According to the Gary Heiting, OD writing on the website All About Vision, an Age-Related Eye Disease Study sponsored by the National Eye Institute involved people at high risk for the disease. They took a daily multiple vitamin that included vitamin A, C, E, zinc and copper. Results revealed that 25 percent had reduced the risks of developing advanced macular degeneration during a six-year period. In addition, carrots also contain vitamin A, a nutrient that benefits the cornea and reduces certain inflammatory conditions.
                       Because carrots contain rich amounts of antioxidants, the cardiovascular system also benefits from the free radical protection this vegetable provides. Free radicals love attacking arteries, which are responsible for sending oxygen-rich blood flowing through our bodies at all times. Keeping arteries free of damage means that the heart, blood and associated components continue functioning in a healthy and dynamic manner. This also lessens the risk of hypertension, a pre-existing condition that increases the risk of a heart attack.
              Carrots are entirely safe to eat in normal amounts. However, excessive consumption of carrots may induce carotoderma, a condition that causes the skin to turn a yellowish-orange hue. In addition, some people, such as those who suffer from diabetes or gastrointestinal illnesses, may experience more severe problems. Cooked carrots may disturb blood sugar levels or affect those who take medications that cause fluctuations in blood sugar. Occasionally, people may suffer allergic reactions to carrots. This is a rare condition, resulting in typical allergic symptoms such as hives, skin rash, swelling and itching.

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