Naturopathic Kitchen: Carrots

A bundle of carrots

We don’t know about you, but we always have carrots in our kitchen! Not only are they easy to find in any grocery store year-round, but they are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Carrots have a mild, slightly earthy, sweet flavor that’s generally well-liked by even the pickiest eaters. They also come with a host of health benefits!

The Health Benefits of Carrots

Boosts Eye Health

Carrots are high in vitamin A, which supports eye health and can help prevent and reduce night blindness. 1 Carrots are also a good source of carotenoids, the pigments that give them their bright orange color. Research shows that carotenoids may decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration. 2

May Lower the Risk of Cancer

Research shows that diets high in carotenoids may help reduce the risk of developing various cancers, including prostate, stomach, and colon cancers. 3 4 5 While more research needs to be conducted, initial results suggest that a high-carotenoid diet has a positive impact on reducing the risk of cancer. Adding more carrots to your diet increases your carotenoid intake and may help lower your risk of developing certain cancers.

Good Source of Fiber

Carrots are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. The main soluble fiber in carrots is pectin. Insoluble fibers found in carrots include cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose. 6 7 Dietary fiber is integral to a healthy diet because it helps feed beneficial gut bacteria and support digestive health. It can help lower cholesterol and promotes healthy bowel movements. 8 9 10 Adding more carrots to your diet is an effective and simple way to increase your fiber intake.

Choose organically grown carrots to get the most nutrients, like any other vegetable.

Thai Carrot Salad

This salad is bursting with a rainbow of flavors and makes eating your veggies easy. Serve with a piece of seared halibut, salmon, chicken, grass-fed steak or lentils and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of Bastyr University.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup chard, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions (tops and bottoms)
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp Thai basil, roughly chopped
  • 5 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup unrefined sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • ½ tsp roasted hot pepper sesame oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped toasted almonds

Instructions

Combine carrots, chard, peppers, onions, cilantro, and basil in a large preparation bowl and set aside. Whisk together vinegar, oils, tamari, and syrup in a glass measuring cup. Taste and add sea salt as needed to pop and marry flavors. Add dressing to salad and toss to coat. Garnish with almonds, and enjoy.

 

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