Winter is upon us and it’s time to indulge in some crunchy and sweet carrots. A popular winter vegetable, carrots are used to prepare several delicious dishes during this season. From a simple gajar-matar sabzi to the tooth Gajar ka Halwa, each recipe defines satisfaction. Besides its popularity in all cuisines around the world, what adds to its fame is its rich nutritional profile. Carrot is loaded with beta-carotene, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and several essential vitamins and minerals that help boost weight loss, digestion, eye health, skin health et al. But did you know that including this orange-colored delight in your daily diet can also be good for your heart? How, you ask?
As mentioned earlier, carrots are rich in beta-carotene. In addition to giving the carrot its orange color, the beta-carotene in your diet is converted into vitamin A in the body. And this conversion, according to researchers at the University of Illinois, reduces bad cholesterol levels in the blood. It can also help prevent the development of atherosclerosis – a major heart-related threat in the world. For the uninformed, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is basically a buildup of fat and cholesterol in our arteries. However, “to get the full health benefits of this superfood, you need an active enzyme to make this vitamin,” report on the University’s website reads.
Researchers conducted two studies (one in humans and one in mice) to find out the effects of beta-carotene on heart health.
In the first study, researchers looked at blood and DNA samples from 767 healthy young adults, aged 18 to 25. They discovered that an enzyme called beta-carotene oxygenase 1 (BCO1) is responsible for converting beta-carotene. vitamin A and has a link with cholesterol levels. People with a less active enzyme produced less vitamin A and had higher cholesterol levels.
“People who had a genetic variant associated with activating the BCO1 enzyme had lower cholesterol levels in their blood. This was our first observation,” said Jaume Amengual, assistant professor of personalized nutrition in the Department of Science. of Food and Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois. The results of the first study were published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Read also: This beta-carotene-rich soup is ideal for your diet
The second study (in mice) followed the first study. It was conducted to understand the long-term effect of the sighting.
“The main findings from the mouse study replicate what we found in humans. We have seen that when we give beta carotene to mice, they have lower cholesterol levels. These mice develop smaller atherosclerotic lesions, or plaques, in their arteries. This means that mice fed beta-carotene are more protected against atherosclerosis than those fed a diet without this bioactive compound, ”says Amengual. The results were published in the Journal of Lipid Research.
Considering the above factors, we’ve come up with some healthy recipes that can help you include carrot in your diet in the most delicious way possible. Read on.
5 carrot-based recipes for you:
Orange and Carrot Detox Drink
This carrot drink can possibly be one of the healthiest foods to start your day. It’s light, nutritious, and fills you with energy to go on all day. Click here for the recipe.
Carrot soup with ginger
This hearty bowl of soup is filled with all that is healthy and nutritious. Besides including a good amount of nutrients in your diet, this carrot-ginger soup can keep you warm during winters. Click here for the recipe.
Roasted Carrot Hummus
If you like to store hummus in your fridge for use anytime, this recipe is for you. It has a rich taste and a strong flavor, and provides you with a good amount of nutrients. This makes Roasted Carrot Hummus ideal for dieters and non-dieters alike. Click here for the recipe.
We are all aware of these strange food cravings. Here is an amazing carrot cracker recipe that can be a healthy option to choose from. Take it as is or pair it with your chai / coffee, this snack is simply delicious. Click here for the recipe.
Gajar Ka Achaar
We have also found a pickle recipe made from carrots to accompany your daily meal. It is packed with health-promoting nutrients and tastes better when paired with roti-sabzi Where paratha. Click here for the recipe.
(Note: Food suggestions are not part of the study.)