By Naini Setalvad
You could eat carrots because you want great skin, shiny eyes and great hair or just because they are so delicious and juicy.
According to ancient Vedic physicians who classified food according to the seasons it is to be ideally eaten in, the carrot is winter food. Luckily for us, come December and lovely juicy red carrots known as Delhi ka gajar hit the Indian market. They are so sweet that one can even snack on them. Contrary to popular perception, carrots do more for your health than perk up your eyes. The high beta carotene and Vitamin-A content in carrots make them an excellent tonic for hair and skin.
The Asiatic variety that is harvested in winter is larger and has a darker colour and sweeter taste than its other cousin, the European carrot, which is thinner and available round the year. Both, however, are equally nutritious. Carrots have amazing curative properties. They are rich in alkaline elements that purify and rejuvenate the blood. Children love carrot juice due to its natural sweetness. Carrots strengthen the eyes and helps maintain the acid-alkaline balance of the body. They keep the mucous membrane of the body in good condition and soften and moisten dry and rough skin. Here are some more reasons why you should eat carrots.
• Carrots are excellent for constipation. The fibre and roughage they provide helps keep our stomach clean and our digestive juices flowing. They increase saliva and quicken digestion. They prevent the formation of gastric ulcer and are an effective remedy for colitis and appendicitis.
• Carrot juice with gingerand lemon is an effective cure for asthma and bronchitis, while also preventing flu and cough.
• Carrots are powerful antioxidants. They prevent, reverse and retard several diseases. They pre vent clogging of arteries, various cancers, lower cholesterol and prevent and increase overall immunity.
• Studies show that a high dose of beta carotene helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 45 per cent.
• Studies also indicate that while a high dose of beta carotene in pill form does nothing to prevent night blindness, eating a carrot a day does the trick.
• Carrots make excellent baby food. Give it to your babies to chew when they are teething or turn into pulp. Carrots make an ideal high-fibre, low-calorie snack. It is very interesting to know that the nutritional value of carrots increases when cooked. The thing to remember is that for the body to absorb beta carotene one should also consume some fat. Sprinkle some extra virgin olive oils on your carrots or saute them.
• Raw carrots are good for fertility. Carrots are known to cure patients of sterility.
• Chewing carrots kills harmful germs in the mouth, prevents bleeding of the gums and halts tooth decay.
There are so many wonderful things you can do with carrots – chop it in your salad, add it to your vegetable, puree it in your soup or toss it in your stir fry. You may also consider making some carrot-methi sabzi, yummy gajar ka halwa, carrot soup or a piping hot paratha.
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Carrot – 250 gms
Red bell pepper -1
Onion – 1
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and cut all the above ingredients. Add water and put it on a slow flame. Grind it to a pulp. Add salt and pepper. Serve hot.