12 Interesting Facts About Carrots
Carrots are one of the healthiest vegetables provided to us by nature. They are a type of root vegetable common to temperate zones, but are domesticated throughout the world. They are packed with several essential minerals and vitamins. Some of these include vitamin A, several B vitamins, vitamin K, calcium, and potassium.
Carrots have a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet and earthy flavour. They are used in a range of recipes from soups and salads, to stews and curries. They are also used in several delicious desserts such as carrot cakes and carrot halwa. Let us learn some interesting facts about carrots!
Basic Information About Carrots
- Scientific Name: Daucus carota (scientific name)
- Plant Family: Apiaceae family
- Type of Plant: Root vegetable
- Colour: Orange, white, yellow, purple
- Size: Varying, under 15cm, 15-30cm, and longer than 30 cm
- Shape: Varying, globular to long, blunt to pointed ends
Nutritional Information About Carrots
The nutritional composition per 100g of carrots are as follows:
- Water Quantity: 88%
- Number of Calories: 41
- Protein Content: 0.9g
- Carbohydrate Content: 9.6g
- Fat Content: 0.2g
Types of Carrots
There are different types of carrots available throughout the world. Depending on how they are cultivated, carrots can vary in shape and characteristics. Let us explore 5 different varieties of carrots:
- Imperator Carrots
These are the most common types of carrots grown commercially. They are long and have pointed ends. They have higher sugar content and therefore taste sweeter than most carrots. They remain fresh for longer and can be easily and conveniently stored.
- Chantenay Carrots
Chantenay carrots are broad and stout in shape. They are generally grown in shallow or heavy soils. They have an earthy and sweet taste.
- Miniature Carrots
These are tiny, ball-shaped carrots that grow well in shallow and heavy soils. Because of their unique size and shape, they are used by several high-end restaurants as a characteristic ingredient.
- Nantes Carrots
Nantes carrots were first grown on the French coast over 200 years ago. They are cylindrical, medium-sized, blunt-ended, and have a sweet taste.
- Danvers Carrots
Danvers carrots were grown in Danvers, Massachusetts in the 1800s, from where they derived their name. They are easy to grow and thrive in most soil conditions.
Carrots generally grow in temperate zones because of cooler temperature conditions. They are not compatible with warmer climatic conditions. They prefer loamy, well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients and organic material. Carrots also grow optimally when they are exposed to full sunlight. Carrots are commonly produced for commercial cultivation in China, The United States of America, and Russia.
Carrot Planting, Growing, and Farming
This root vegetable grows well in cool to moderate temperatures. They require loosely packed loamy soil that is rich and deep. The seeds are sown sparsely in bands to allow room for the plants to grow fully. The plant develops as a rosette that shoots above the ground, whereas the edible carrot grows below the ground. The plants are generally harvested in the winter season. If left unharvested, it grows little white and pink flowers following the growing season.
Below are easy steps for growing carrots:
- Prepare the land by ploughing it thoroughly and removing any weeds.
- The seeds are sown between August-September for Indian varieties, and between October-November for European varieties.
- Before sowing, the seeds need to be soaked in water for a day to allow them to germinate properly.
- Spray the land with soil-enhancing and natural fertilisers to aid healthy plant growth.
- Keep checking for weed growth and remove them accordingly.
- Irrigate the soil 3-4 times at an interval of 7-10 days.
- Check for pests or plant diseases.
- Carrots are generally ready for manual harvesting within 90-100 days.
Health Benefits of Carrots
Carrots offer several health benefits, as listed below:
- Help Promote Eye Health
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A or carotenoids which improves eyesight. A deficiency of carotenoids could lead to night blindness and poor vision.
- Helps Maintain Healthy Body Weight
Carrots are rich in nutrients but low in calories. This means that eating carrots can keep you fuller for longer, thereby decreasing the needs for excess calorie intake in your next meal. Controlled calorie intake helps you maintain an overall healthy weight.
- Reduces Blood Cholesterol
Carrots are heart-healthy foods. They have been known to lower blood cholesterol levels, thereby preventing any heart related diseases in the future.
- Reduces the Risk of Cancer
A carotenoid-rich diet can help prevent several types of cancers including colon, stomach, breast, and prostate cancer.
- Strengthen Your Bones
Carrots contain vitamin K and calcium, both of which are great at improving bone strength and health.
- Aids Digestion
Carrots are rich in fibre which ensures smooth digestion, maintains bowel regularity, and prevents constipation.
- Boosts Immunity
Carrots are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They strengthen the nervous system, improve brain power, guard the body against harmful bacteria, and prevent inflammation.
12 Interesting Facts About Carrots
- FACT 1
Carrots were first grown in Afghanistan and Iran more than 5000 years ago. From there, the delicious taste and medicinal properties of carrots piqued the interest of the world and they started being domesticated everywhere.
- FACT 2
Americans initially did not prefer carrots. But during World War 1, the soldiers on the field were in constant contact with the root vegetable. It was only after they returned home from the war that the American public began to accept carrots as a part of their diet.
- FACT 3
Carrot seeds are so tiny that one teaspoon can hold about 2000 carrot seeds.
- FACT 4
Carrot is second only to beat in terms of its sugariness. Because of their sweetness, Celts used to refer to carrots as underground honey.
- FACT 5
A person consumes an average of 10,886 carrots in their lifetime.
- FACT 6
The longest carrot ever grown in the world was measured at nearly 19 feet. The heaviest carrot ever grown weighed 8.61 kilograms.
- FACT 7
Carrot leaves were once a popular style statement. Women of 17th century England used to accessorise their hair with carrot leaves.
- FACT 8
A city in California called Holtwille is called the ‘Carrot Capital of the World’ and has been conducting an annual carrot festival every year for at least the past 60 years.
- FACT 9
Eating too much carrot can give your skin a yellow tint, a condition called cartonemia.
- FACT 10
Carrots are great energy boosters. Eating one carrot gives you enough energy to walk one full mile!
- FACT 11
Carrots were the first foods to be commercially produced into canned foods.
- FACT 12
What we know as baby carrots are not actually a type of carrot. They were a trend started by a Californian farmer called Mike Yurosek who did not want to throw away blemished carrots. So, he began cutting and peeling them to make them look flawless.
Carrot is a versatile vegetable that has several wonderful health benefits. Fresh carrots can last for several weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator. They are the perfect winter food to provide you with a storehouse of nutrients. Munch on this delicious veggie for a kick of energy.If you liked this article, we have plenty more in store for you at Cool Kid Fact. Explore our website today!