Focus on: Carrots

Why you should tuck into carrots:

  • Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant responsible for their bright orange colour.
  • Beta-carotene is converted in the liver to its active form, vitamin A, an important nutrient for growth, the immune system, reproduction, and vision.
  • Making it ‘easier to see in the dark’ is not the only benefit! As well as eye health, vitamin A promotes healthy skin, helping to protect from sun damage, inflammation, and dryness and can be beneficial for our hair and nails too.
  • Carrots are a source of vitamin K1 for healthy blood clotting, B vitamins to support energy production, potassium important for cardiovascular health, and fibre to encourage regular bowel habits. 
  • Vitamins A and K are fat soluble – to help your body absorb them most efficiently, combine with a source of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds or coconut oil.
  • Vitamin A plays a role in immunity, helping the body fight infections and diseases and can also support liver detoxification.

10 tasty ways to incorporate carrots

  1. Try raw and grated as a homemade slaw mixed with red cabbage, yogurt, red onion and lemon juice.
  2. Chop into crudités and use for dipping – they’re a much more nutrient dense choice than breadsticks for dunking, accompany with homemade guacamole or houmous.
  3. Juice along with ginger for an anti-inflammatory zing and combine with apple or orange for a brightly coloured, antioxidant packed tipple.
  4. Roasted in coconut oil, they make a delicious, healthy alternative to chips, sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper or mixed green herbs, or try honey glazed for a sweet treat.
  5. Mix up your mash – carrots are lower on the glycaemic index than regular white potatoes, meaning they release energy more slowly. Combine with sweet potato for extra beta-carotene, then mash and season with olive oil or butter for a comforting side dish.
  6. Carrot and coriander soup is always simple and wonderful and especially good during winter months, if you’re trying to time save, ready-made is fine, just steer clear of added sugars and bump up the nutrients with other in season veg like kale.
  7. Or for more anti-inflammatory power, combine with ginger and turmeric in this warming soup.
  8. Spice them up with Moroccan flavours – gently fry garlic, dried paprika, cumin and coriander in a pan before adding water and your carrots, then simmer until tender and serve with a squeeze of lemon and fresh parsley.
  9. Simply steam and serve with butter and a sprinkle of parsley – so tasty with grilled fish!
  10. Carrots make a great sweet treat, who doesn’t love a slice of carrot cake? Try making your own with a healthy twist!

 

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