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10 Health Benefits from the Carrot

Whether roasted with olive oil, blitzed for a juice, chopped into a soup or eaten crunchily raw, there will always be a special place in my kitchen for a good bunch of carrots. I have loved them since I was just a baby carrot eater, and though I always believed they were healthy I never knew they were THIS healthy! Here are 10 hard-to-believe but easy-to-stomach health benefits given us by the clever carrot. After you read these, you’ll do well, like me, to start thinking about how you can boost your carrot power with a few new healthy eating suggestions too.
10 Beneficial Roles the Carrot Takes
1. It's a vision enhancer
It’s just like you were always told; carrots give you good eyesight. Carrots are rich in aptly named beta-carotene, which your liver makes into vitamin A, which in turn becomes rhodopsin when it comes to your eye’s retina. Rhodopsin is a purple pigment which our eyes need if they are to see at night. With beta-carotene from your carroty diet you will also keep your eyes protected against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. 
2. It's a cancer preventer
Carrot loving mice have done us all a favor by showing the world they have a 1/3 lower cancer risk, simply thanks to their favorite veggie. Since carrots contain the natural pesticide, falcarinol, which helps protects their roots from fungal infections, these vegetables are leaders in their field when it comes to fighting cancer, whether lung, breast or colon. With falcarinol, researchers feel that we have a much improved chance of freeing ourselves from this terrible disease. 
3. It's an age-stopper
Age is a natural process, and by product of our metabolism in action, where our cells become oxidized and damaged. However, thanks to beta-carotene, a natural antioxidant, carrots can help slow down the aging of cells. Raise a glass of carrot juice to yourself and drink to your long life.
4. It's a skin fixer
Some of our skin problems: wrinkling, acne, dryness and flakiness are merely symptoms of a single root cause, a lack of vitamin A. So, fill your larder with lots carrots and open wide, because plenty of carrots means plenty of vitamin A. 
5. It's an antiseptic
Here is one of the great wonders of the miraculous carrot: it actually helps prevent sepsis, or infection. Perhaps you have gotten excited because someone has told you you ought to start eating bucket loads of carrots and you rashly grate your own finger instead of the special vegetable. Well, luckily the cause of the excitement will come to your rescue. Simply apply the grated carrot to your raw wound and seal yourself up with a good Band-Aid. You will be right as rain, and you can get on with your carrot chomping plans.
6. It's a face beautifier
Certainly carrots are rooty vegetables that get to the heart of many problems, but they are also good at giving a superficial shine too. A bit of grated carrot with a dash of honey can be mixed up to make a lovely carrot face mask. This’ll give your precious skin a winning glow like never before.  
7. It's a heart disease preventer
Hey, put down that steak and gobble up this carrot instead! Why? Well it’ll only prevent you from getting heart disease, that’s all. Firstly, the soluble fibers of the carrot bind with bile acids in your belly to reduce cholesterol levels. Secondly, containing both alpha and beta-carotene, carrots are rich in the carotenoids and lutein that have been specifically associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
8. It's a body cleanser
The carrot is not only a giver (of life), but also a taker – of dirt. Yes, thanks to its vitamin A, it’ll help your liver in eradicating toxins from your body, reducing the bile and fat your liver contains, and it’ll also help clean up your colon naturally, thanks to its fibers – helping to hasten bowel movements. 
9. It's an oral hygienist
Let me count the ways the carrot cleans your gums and teeth. One: it contains minerals that prevent tooth damage. Two: Carrots stimulate your gums (as well as your taste buds) to produce the saliva which as an alkaline neutralizes the acidic bacteria which would like to form cavities and plaque. Three: Because of its crunchy yumminess the carrot is a natural toothbrush that scrapes plaque and food particles off of your would-be-white teeth. 
10. It's a stroke preventer
One Harvard University study has looked at people with wildly different carrot diets. It found that those who eat a carrot a month are at a much greater risk of a debilitating stroke than those carrot worshippers (like us) who eat more than 6 a week. 
All of these 10 fantastic reasons go to show why we should be eating carrots every day of the week. Naturally there are tons of great uses, in all kinds of dishes, spaghetti Bolognese, lasagna, carrot cake etc. But what about some handy snacking ideas too. Here are 3 to try for yourself at once.

1: Try this carrot juice 
For a delicious and healthy super juice, try this: peel 4 large carrots and blitz in a juicer with 2 cored apples. Simple.
2: Try some raw carrot with dips
Peeled carrots make great dippers. So why not get yourself a range of tasty dips and find which one the carrot complements best. Suggestions: salsa, cream cheese, tzatziki, hummus.

3: Try This Carrot Soup Recipe (serves 4)
•    2 tbs unsalted butter or extra-virgin coconut oil
•    1 onion, chopped
•    1 tbs red curry paste, or to taste
•    2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped - 1/2-inch chunks
•    1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
•    1 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
•    1 1/2 cup of water, or to cover
•    1 lemon or lime

1. Take a large soup pan, and over a medium to high heat add in butter and onion.
2. Stir well until the onions look well-covered. Sauté until they are translucent. 
3. Stir in the curry paste, then add the carrots. Cook only for a minute before adding the coconut milk, salt and water. Although you may wish to add more water. 
4. Let this simmer around 10-15 minutes until your carrots seem tender. Next puree the mix with a blender or hand blender, giving yourself a lovely smooth soup. 
5. Try and get the soup thinned out as much as you like by adding water. Then season to taste. Optional - add a squeeze of lemon or lime. 
6. Serve your soup with a topping of choice. Pictured are crunchy almonds with lots of lovely greens and cilantro.
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