Suppression

Carrots

Category: Food

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

The carrot  is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh.

It is a domesticated form of the wild carrot Daucus carota, native to Europe and southwestern Asia.  It must be one of the most widely eaten vegetables, children in particular will eat carrots when they shy away from other vegetables, probably because carrots are sweeter than most other vegetables even after storage.  All vegetables are sweet when picked fresh from the garden, even brussel sprouts, but a carrot appears to stay sweeter longer, the sugars turning to starch more slowly.  Free sugars in fresh carrot include sucrose, glucose, xylose and fructose.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that world production of carrots and turnips (these plants are combined by the FAO for reporting purposes) for calendar year 2011 was almost 35.658 million tonnes.

More details on carrots can be found in the section on Root vegetables.

Background

Carrots get their characteristic bright orange colour from β-carotene, and lesser amounts of α-carotene and γ-carotene. α and β-carotenes are partly metabolised into vitamin A in humans.  There are typically between 6000 and 54,000 micrograms of carotenoids per 100 grams of carrot root.

It is possible to overdose on carrots.  There have been cases of people becoming seriously ill from carrot juice consumed in too great a quantity, at this level they are poisoning themselves on Vitamin A.  One side-effect is that they can turn orange in colour. [and here I do not joke].

It may be of interest to also know that that beautiful so called freshly laid egg with its deep orange colour is that way because some intensive poultry rearers feed their chickens on carrot extract.  Egg yolks from a true free range chicken can vary from a lovely golden yellow colour to a deep yellow colour, but it is rarely orange – our neighbours have genuinely free range chickens so I know this to be the case.  

From Wikipedia “An urban legend states that eating large quantities of carrots will allow one to see in the dark. This myth developed from stories about British gunners in World War II, who were able to shoot down German planes at night. The rumour arose during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots' carrot consumption in an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies in engaging enemy planes, as well as the use of red light (which does not destroy night vision) in aircraft instruments. It reinforced existing German beliefs, and helped to encourage Britons who were trying to improve their night vision during the blackout to grow and eat the vegetable, which was not rationed like most other foodstuffs. A "Dr. Carrot" advertising campaign encouraged its consumption

Nutrients

11124, Carrots, raw   Nutrient values and weights are for edible portion  National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 26    Software v.1.3.1

Carrots are also a good source of calcium, potassium and sodium, and Vitamin C

Nutrient

Unit

Value per 100 g

Proximates

Water

g

88.29

Energy

kcal

41

Protein

g

0.93

Total lipid (fat)

g

0.24

Carbohydrate, by difference

g

9.58

Fiber, total dietary

g

2.8

Sugars, total

g

4.74

Minerals

Calcium, Ca

mg

33

Iron, Fe

mg

0.30

Magnesium, Mg

mg

12

Phosphorus, P

mg

35

Potassium, K

mg

320

Sodium, Na

mg

69

Zinc, Zn

mg

0.24

Vitamins

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid

mg

5.9

Thiamin

mg

0.066

Riboflavin

mg

0.058

Niacin

mg

0.983

Vitamin B-6

mg

0.138

Folate, DFE

µg

19

Vitamin B-12

µg

0.00

Vitamin A, RAE

µg

835

Vitamin A, IU

IU

16706

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

mg

0.66

Vitamin D (D2 + D3)

µg

0.0

Vitamin D

IU

0

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

µg

13.2

Lipids

Fatty acids, total saturated

g

0.037

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated

g

0.014

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated

g

0.117

Fatty acids, total trans

g

0.000

Cholesterol

mg

0

Other

Caffeine

mg

0

Related observations