Carrots get their bright orange color from β-carotene, which turns into vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant in the human body. Vitamin A help preserve vision, fight infections, maintain healthy skin and bones, and regulate cell growth and division. (1) Without enough vitamin A, you may be at a higher risk for night blindness or experience skin disorders or infections. It is also a key structural component in the development and maintenance of the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs (1).
Carrots are also an excellent source of fiber, several B-vitamins, vitamin K and potassium (2).
Shopping and Storage Tips:
- Purchase carrots with a smooth and firm surface; avoid those that have cracks or rootlets. The more orange the carrots, the more β-carotene they contain.
- Remove the green tops before storing carrots. Put them in plastic bags and refrigerate them for up to three months.
- Carrots should be stored away from apples, peaches, pears and other fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas, since it will cause carrots to become bitter (3).
1. The Roles of Vitamin A. wwweatrightorg. 2017. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/vitamin-a. Accessed October 15, 2017.
2. Tanumihardjo S. Vitamin A: biomarkers of nutrition for development. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;94(2):658S-665S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.005777.
3. Refrigerator humidity effects on produce quality. MSU Extension. 2017. Available at: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/refrigerator_humidity_effects_on_produce_quality. Accessed October 15, 2017.