Carrots, also known as Daucus carota (botanical name) are one of the inexpensive, and very easy to grow plants due to its biennial nature. They are also very easy to eat and consume the energy and proteins from it without any particular cooking. It is mainly known as the perfect health food and also often claimed as a root vegetable that has more health benefits that Vitamin A itself. Not only that they are rich in sugar, and a variety of vitamins and carotene is available in it. They are weight loss friendly and best known as long, orange roots but in reality, they come in several colors and shapes. Most varieties of it are resistant to pests and diseases, as they prefer to be grown during the cooler ends of the growing season. They mostly take two to four months to mature depending on the variety of it as they grow from seed.
Health Benefits of Carrots:
Effective Against Several Types of Cancer
They contain high levels of several carotenoids and plant compounds which is very useful in reducing the risk of several types of cancers like colon cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer. Similarly, it can also be very much effective for cardiovascular health.
Filled with Anti-tumor Activity
Carrots are enriched with bioactive phytonutrients also known as polyacetylenes. And the two elements of polyacetylenes which are falcarinol and falcarindiol have are said to have anti-tumor activity. So, they can be pretty successful in tumor-related health problems.
Help in Lowering Blood Cholesterol
Carrots are connected to lowering the blood cholesterol if your intake of carrots is consistent, then the reduction in the blood cholesterol’s in your body can help you prevent the heart disease.
Reduction of your weight
People who are eager to lose weight can also consume carrots as parts of meals. By eating carrots, it increases the satiety and decreases the calorie intake subsequent meals. So, people can add carrots on their weight loss diet as an additional to be effective.
Effective for Eye Health
Carrots are very rich in Vitamin A as they are often named as provitamin A that is found in it. And the people suffering from night blindness due to the lack of Vitamin A can acquire it through the consumption of carrots. Not only that it is claimed that people who suffer from the age-related muscular degeneration can also intake carrots as they are very effective in the reduction of the risk that comes along with the age-related muscular degeneration.
Nutritional Facts OF Carrot
Carrots are very rich in Fiber and low in Fat and Protein. If we look at one raw carrot which is 61 grams, then it contains almost 25 calories having only 4 grams of the digestible carbs.
If we look at the numbers of nutrition that is present in the carrot, then calories found in it will be 41 and water consisting of 88% which can vary in some carrots between 86-95%. Water is the main component of Carrot as we find Water in high percentage while consuming. Simultaneously, we can find 0.9 gram of Protein, 0.2 gram of Fat, 0.04 gram of Saturated and 0.01 gram of Monosaturated, 0.12 Polyunsaturated in a carrot that you consume.
And talking about the Carbs that is found in Carrot, it is very high in comparison to other nutrients. It is almost 9.6 gram which consists of starch and sugars, such as sucrose and glucose. They are also very rich in Fiber having 2 grams in each of the medium size Carrot. The glycemic index, which measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar after a meal, has shown that Carrot ranks low on the index very often which ranges between 16-60 as a whole with varying consistency in raw carrots, cooked carrots, and pureed carrots.
People who are suffering from diabetes can be benefited by the consumption of carrots and also can be very advantageous for the human body in different forms.
Following that is Sugar which is also high consisting of 4.7 gram. Similarly, Fiber is of 2.8 gram that we can find in a Carrot. And the main soluble fiber in carrot is Pectin and as it is claimed that the soluble fiber is of a significant contribution in the lowering the sugar levels through the process of slow and gentle digestion of sugar and starch. Also, some of the specific soluble fibers can weaken the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract which eventually helps in lowering the blood cholesterol. They can also help in the improvement of health and decrease the risk of diseases by feeding the friendly bacteria gut.
However, there are also some of the insoluble fiber that can be found in the carrot which plays a vital role in the reduction of the risk of constipation and help in the regular bowel movements.
And the nutrients named Omega-3 and Omega-6 are 0 gram and 0.12 gram respectively that we can find in carrot and consume as well.
Moreover, Carrots are also very rich in Vitamins and Minerals. It is claimed that carrots are an excellent source of Vitamins and Minerals. Carrots are especially contained with Vitamin A which is generated from the Beta-carotene. As we consume, the Vitamin ‘A ‘through the carrot, it helps our vision and supports our immune system as well as help in the development of our growth.
Secondly, is Biotin which is one of the B vitamins present in the carrot. It helps in our fat and protein metabolism. Thirdly, is Vitamin K1 which helps in our bone health as the Vitamin K1 is very important for the blood coagulation. Next, Potassium which is essential for the blood pressure control is also available in the Carrots. Vitamin B6 is also available in the carrot as it the conversion of food into energy is possible through it.
How to grow Carrot in the garden?
The main element of Carrot growing is the soil which plays an integral part. The soil must be sandy and well-drained loam. And most importantly, heavy soils or any rocky soils must be avoided because it can cause the carrots to mature very slowly and the roots can end up as unattractive and rough leading to poor quality.
Clear the area where you are trying to grow the carrot. All the rocks, trash, and pieces from the surface must be cleared. Then, start with the soil which will be helping your carrots to grow. You can also add some finer pieces of plant material to mix into the soil for its enrichment.
- First of all, start digging the area where you are willing to plant carrots. The soil must be checked as the ground needs to be softened so that the carrots can be easily grown as per its growth in size. You need to fertilize the soil with one cup of 10-20-10 for each of the 10 feet row you plant. Carrots don’t grow well in acidic soil so, soil pH mostly in the range of 6.0-6.8 is good. And the use of nitrogen fertilizer should be limited in the soil as the carrots are grown for their roots. Make sure your garden area where you are trying to plant carrot has raised beds as this will be the ideal situation for growing it.
- Secondly, plant your carrots in a row that are at least 1 to 2 feet apart. The seeds must be planted about a ½ inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart because the carrot seeds are very tiny. As they are direct seeded in the garden so the seeds may take time up to 15 days to germinate. Make sure the soil is moist until the seedlings appear properly. You need to plant per person, 5 to 10 feet of the row so that you can have enough carrots for your family as one-foot row will get you around one pound of carrots.
- Thirdly, you need to keep your carrots free from any kinds of weeds when growing in the garden. So, make sure you check your carrot in the garden and take out the weeds that are leeching in the garden. You also need to do some snipping or pinching the seedlings off at the soil line to avoid the damage on the remaining roots.
- Although the roots of the carrot grow in the underground, the tops of the carrots need full sun exposure so that the carrots can grow pretty quick and develop their sugar with sweetness.
- Water your carrots every week and continue the mulching as it will conserve water and let the soil be cool. In case your soil is not that much fertile then you can add some organic manures about two weeks when the sprout of carrot is visible.
- Next, it doesn’t take that time for the carrot to grow. But you need to make sure that the first crop is planted in the mid-spring when the threat of frost is over. And you can plant new seeds every two weeks for regular harvest through the fall.
- The carrots are said to be harvested when they become a finger size. But you can also let carrots be in the soil until winter if you have covered the garden well with the plastic covers or other shields suitable for your garden.
- Now, when you think the carrots are finger-sized then you can gently lift the carrot from the soil. In case you don’t know how to guess the size of the carrot, you can slowly remove the dirt from the top of the root and check the size of the root.
- The average time to harvest the carrot is 50-75 days from seed by you can use the guide on your seed packet to know about the picking. Remove the leaves, once the carrots are harvested because the leaves can drain the energy, moisture from the roots. That affects the sweetness of carrots to be low.
- When you feel that the size is appropriate and carrot is grown, you can gently take out the carrot from the soil and have the carrot in your table and consume it.
- Make sure your garden is free from any infections and remove it if any signs are seen in the plant. Clean up all the rubbles, wastes from the garden at the end of the season and move your carrots to a different section of the garden next year.