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Why You Need Carrots!

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Like all orange-coloured plants, a carrot is a good source of Vitamin A.
Nelly Birungi, a nutritionist, says Vitamin A enhances body immunity, promotes eyesight, maintains integrity of cells, appetite and hearing membranes.

Vitamin A enhances the body’s immunity by acting as an antioxidant. Antioxidants remove free radicals from the body that are produced during bio-chemical reactions,Birungi says.

She adds that if the free radicals are not removed from the body, they damage our cells and cause diseases like cancer.
Examples of antioxidants found in carrots include Vitamins C and E; minerals, zinc and selenium.

Carrots also have a high beta carotene content. beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A when it enters the body, Birungi says.

According to Wikipedia.com, beta carotene has a protective effect against the harmful rays of the sun.
It protects vision, especially night vision and against the development of senile cataracts, the leading cause of blindness among the elderly.

Does a carrot lose its nutrients when cooked?
Vitamin A is heat stable, so it cannot easily be lost during cooking. In fact, a carrot releases more of the vitamin when cooked. Because carrots have tough cellular walls, the body only converts less than 25% of the beta carotene into vitamin A, but cooking frees up the nutrients by breaking down the cell membranes.

It is not advisable to peel carrots because the skin also contains nutrients.
wikipedia.com says carrots also contain small amounts of essential oils and carbohydrates.

The site also carries a research Richard Bay Butt conducted at Kansas State University, which shows that Vitamin A protects people from the effects of cigarette smoke.

Butt believes the protective effects of vitamin A may help explain why some smokers stay health.

People who are exposed to smoke are encouraged to eat Vitamin A- rich foods, especially carrots.

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