Orange Vegetables: Are The Bagged Baby Carrots Good for You?

Are carrots really good for your eyes? Can the pigments in carrots turn you orange? Are prepackaged baby carrots actually baby carrots? 

Carrot questions? Yes, I have heard a few, and I am here to give you the cold hard facts on this orange root vegetable. Rich in Beta-carotene and vitamin A while being low in calories carrots are actually available in a range of colours. So keep an eye out for the white, yellow, orange, red, and purple varieties. Served displayed together they make for an attractive buffet veggie tray.

Yes, carrots are good for your eyes and it is because they are rich in vitamin A. This is an essential vitamin for good health and without sufficient intake the body has a reduced ability to fight infections. Vitamin A deficiency is also the number one cause of night blindness and a lack of this nutrient can lead to severe eye damage and even complete blindness. Beta carotene is now widely recognized as being an extremely important nutrient in good eye health.

Another important bit of information is that chemicals within cigarette smoke can cause a deficiency or reduction of vitamin A. Eating carrots on a daily basis may help to counteract this process but of course quitting smoking would be the ideal solution.

Can I turn orange if I eat a lot of carrots? It turns out that these pigments can indeed turn you orange if you consume an over abundance of them. Carrots are the proven best provider of carotenoids which are one of the many coloured pigments found within the plants that we eat. Beta-carotene is a reddish orange pigment and is largely responsible for the colouring of foods which display this hue.

Carotenoid can also be found in animals or fish that consume sources of it. This pigment is largely responsible for the red, orange, or yellow hues within these creatures. The pink within salmon can be contributed to the salmon's ingestion of Carotenoids. People who eat large numbers of carrots have also been known to turn a little orange. 

I have heard there is a diet that suggests we eat a variety of coloured foods every day but is this a reliable method of insuring we get the right nutritionI can't tell you if the colour diet works but I can tell you that orange foods are good for you. We always knew that vegetables were good for us but now new studies on puts orange and yellow out front in the fight against cardiovascular disease. Even more impressive is the fact that carrots stood out from the yellow/orange group as one of the best vegetable guardians for health heart. 

Do carrots have antioxidants? Carotenoids are rich in antioxidants and those two little ingredients are very important to our overall health. Fortunately beta-carotene is the special little ingredient that make carrots so wonderful nutritious. A daily intake of Carotenoids is now considered to be a significant factor in reducing the risk of lung, bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx, esophagus, or breast cancer. 

Although we generally think of green vegetables as being associated with antioxidants, carrots are loaded with them too. Antioxidants are abundant within carrots and they are an important element when it comes to reducing our cancer risk. Antioxidants help slow down the natural aging processes by combining with the nasty free radicals within our body. By repairing damaged cells antioxidants help to slow down or prevent the onset of age related illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The free radicals once complete again are no longer causing cell death within the body.

Now for the facts on pre-packaged baby carrots vs regular carrots. Baby carrots have been causing quite a controversy lately with folks wondering if they really are just chopped up larger carrots. Another rumour hitting the streets is that these little baby carrots are doused in chemicals to lock in their sweet flavour.
Well I am here to offer up a few facts about the packages of baby carrots you can purchase at your local supermarket grocer. Those tiny carrots did start off as large carrots that were then shaped into smaller chunks to resemble a younger vegetable. Farmers used to throw away broken or cull carrots until one farmer decided to change that by whittling the damaged vegetables into a smaller shape. These two inch carrots were a hit and created a market for the carrots that had previously been discarded or used as animal feed. 

Today most of the bags of baby carrots that we buy are actually a distinct breed of carrot that was created exactly for their current purpose. They are bred to be super sweet and smaller in size than standard carrots. Picked young they are the standard for baby carrots today.

Now for an answer to the chemical question that is becoming a concern of many consumers. Most pre-cut foods are sterilized to prevent contamination and that is also the case with baby carrots. They are dunked into a chlorine bleach bath, rinsed, and packaged in a similar manner to other pre-cut vegetables.If this process is of concern then I recommend that you go back to purchasing the standard supermarket carrots and peel and cut them yourself.

Are carrots bad for you because they are high in sugar? If you are on a diet don't worry about gaining a lot of weight if you munch on a few. Go ahead and slice up a cup for a snack there are only about 52 calories per cup of raw diced or sliced carrots. Yes, carrots have sugar in them but most vegetables do. The good news is that it is a natural sugar and it won't add the pounds onto you like the sugar in a candy bar will. With plenty of fibre and complex carbs you can relax that your weight loss plan won't go into reverse when you grab this vegetable to snack on.

Have you wondered how to cook carrots to maintain their nutrition. Many vegetables lose some of their nutrition into the surrounding water when they are boiled so steaming is generally one of the best ways to cook these vitamin rich foods. Fortunately there are also many other ways to cook vegetables in order to maintain all the great nutrition that they have stored inside them.

Cooking carrots in soups and stews is an excellent way to keep vitamins and minerals from disappearing when you cook them in water. Soups and stews are highly nutritious for a reason. The vitamins seeping from the cooking vegetables stay in the liquid they are cooked in resulting in a vitamin rich broth. These dishes are also delicious to consume. Carrot cake is a great way to lock these nutrients into the food you eat. It is an absolutely yummy way to get your vitamin A and Carotenoids and even the kids won't realize they are being tricked into eating their vegetables. Other beta-carotene rich foods are sweet potato, squash, red sweet peppers, cantaloupe melon, tomato, broccoli, and dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and dandelion greens.