Worldwide, carrots are the second most popular type of vegetable after potatoes – perhaps it’s because of their affiliation with good eyesight or is it the influence of Bugs Bunny? Whatever the reason, it’s just as well because carrots are very good for you. Western culture’s understanding of carrots being “good for the eyes” is one of the few we got right. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.
The high level of beta-carotene also acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells. Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have recently discovered falcarinol and falcarindiol (in carrots) which they feel cause the anticancer properties. Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage and it also assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body.
Despite its health benefits, so many people are at a loss when it comes to cooking with this crunchy power food. Here’s a great recipe for Carrot Za’atar – a delicious and healthy side dish to any meal
6 carrots, peeled
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. rock salt
1 tsp. zatar spice
½ garlic clove – optional
¼-1/2 cup filtered water
2 heaped tbsp. coyo/Goats yoghurt
- Steam the carrots until soft.
- Place steamed carrots in food processor
- Add the salt, olive oil, zatar, garlic and water
- Pulse until smooth consistency
- Top with yogurt and a sprinkle of zatar spice
- Enjoy with grilled fish/chicken/tempeh