NUTRITION CORNER: Carrot, rich source of carotene and Viamin A

Sweet and succulent carrot are notably rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber; however, they provide only 41 calories per 100 g, negligible amount of fat and no cholesterol.

They are exceptionally rich source of carotenes and vitamin-A. 100 g fresh carrot contain 8285 mcg of beta-carotene and 16706 IU of vitamin A. Studies have found that flavonoid compounds in carrots help protect from skin, lung and oral cavity cancers.

Carotenes are converted into vitamin A in the liver. Beta carotene is the major carotene that is present in these roots. Beta carotene is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidants that helps protect body from harmful fee radical injury.  In addition, it also has all the functions of vitamin A such as vision, reproduction (sperm production), maintenance of epithelial integrity, growth and development.

Carrots are rich in polyene anti-oxidant falcarinol. Research study conducted by scientists at University of Newcastle on laboratory animals has found that falcarinol in carrots may help fight against cancers by destroying pre-cancerous cells in the tumors.

Fresh roots are also good in vitamin C; provide about 9% of RDA. Vitamin C is water soluble anti-oxidant. It helps body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth and gum. Its anti-oxidant property helps body protect from diseases and cancers by scavenging harmful free radicals.

This root vegetable contains good amounts of many B-complex group of vitamins such as folic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc. that acts as co-factors to enzymes during substrate metabolism in the body.

It also has healthy levels of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.#