How are carrots good for diabetics?
Carrots are crisp, fresh and tasty and available all year round. In winter they are the most beautiful accessory for the snowman and in summer they refresh the body as a delicious and energy-boosting drink. Carrots have a strong impact on health. They improve eyesight, relieve constipation and help lower blood pressure. Those who regularly incorporate carrots into their diet not only benefit from better health, but also from a delicious taste.
Variety of carrots
When people talk about carrots, most people think of the “traditional” orange long carrot. In fact, there are carrots in a wide variety of colors. From white to yellow to deep red and purple, the carrot thrives in the ground. Depending on the color of the carrots, their nutrient density and effect also vary. But that's not all. It's not just the color that makes the carrot so diverse, just as its names and appearance.
Whether known as carrots, carrots or carrots, carrots are available as wash carrots, bunch carrots and snack carrots. The carrot is marked with a strong orange, is about 18cm long, weighs 80 grams and is often used as an accessory for the snowman in winter. The bunch of carrots, in turn, are adorned with a green herbaceous shrub and often have a conical-pointed shape. The snack carrots are also known to many by the name of baby carrots. This type of carrot is small, lean and has a very sweet taste. While the “Schneemannsmöhre” is available all year round, German bunch carrots can only be bought in supermarkets from May to the end of October. The baby carrots are usually cut into bite-sized pieces and packaged in the refrigerated shelf.
As different as the shapes and sizes of carrots are, the orange-colored carrots have something in common: their outstanding beta-carotene content. The beta-carotene gives the carrot its bright orange, acts as a valuable antioxidant and supports the eyesight. If the carrot is regularly included in the diet, it helps to cleanse the body and regulate the blood sugar level.
The main component of carrots is water. A carrot consists of around 86 to 95% water, contains around 10% carbohydrates and very few fats and proteins.
The carrot's carbohydrates are made up of starch and sugars, like sucrose and glucose. The glycemic index varies depending on how you prepare the carrot. If you eat the carrot raw, the glycemic index is in the low range (around 16). The glycemic index is a little higher for cooked carrots and for pureed carrots the glycemic index can be 60 or more.
If you eat foods with a low glycemic index, you can better regulate the blood sugar level and avoid unwanted blood sugar level fluctuations, which is particularly advantageous for diabetics.
Pectin is the main form of soluble fiber in carrots. Soluble fiber is able to lower blood sugar levels by slowing the digestion of sugars and starches. At the same time, they feed the friendly bacteria in the intestines, which leads to better overall health and protects against disease.
Some of the soluble fiber also helps lower cholesterol. They bind the bile acid in the digestive tract and excrete it. This stimulates the production of bile acid, for which cholesterol is needed.
The main insoluble fiber in carrots is the cellulosic forms. Insoluble fiber stimulates bowel movements, promotes regular bowel movements and thereby reduces constipation.
Carrots vitamins and minerals
One of the most important ingredients in carrots is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is more precisely the precursor of vitamin A and is converted into this vitamin in the body. Vitamin A promotes eyesight and is important for the growth, development and function of the immune system. If one considers the average daily nutritional requirement of an adult for vitamin A, a medium-sized carrot already covers 210% of this requirement.
In addition to the valuable beta-carotene, carrots also provide the B vitamin biotin, which plays an important role in the metabolism of fats and proteins. In addition, there is vitamin K, which in turn is important for blood clotting and supports the health of the bones. The vitamin B6 in carrots helps to convert ingested food into energy and the mineral potassium helps control blood pressure.
Secondary plant substances protect the carrot from dangerous predators and act as a protective shield against a number of diseases in the human body. Phytonutrients act as powerful antioxidants and improve the body's immune function, protect against cardiovascular diseases, various degenerative diseases and certain types of cancer.
One of these phytochemicals is the beta-carotene mentioned above. How our body uses the beta-carotene from carrots depends on how we eat carrots. If we eat carrots in combination with fat, our body can better absorb the beta-carotene. If the carrot is also cooked over low heat, our body can absorb the beta-carotene up to 5 times better.
Orange-colored carrots in particular provide this antioxidant beta-carotene. In red and purple carrots, the content of the antioxidant lycopene predominates and in yellow carrots the lutein.
Carrots lower blood pressure
The next time you're upset about something and your blood pressure rises, eat a carrot. Carrots provide a lot of potassium, which dilates blood vessels and lowers tension in blood vessels and arteries. This increases blood flow, promotes organ functions in the body and reduces the stress on the cardiovascular system. High blood pressure is often associated with arteriosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks. In addition to the potassium in carrots, the coumarin it also contains helps reduce high blood pressure and support heart health.
Carrots strengthen the immune system
Carrots contain a number of antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make them ideal immune boosters. But not only that ... In addition to the ability to protect the body from dangerous intruders, carrots are a valuable source of vitamin C. Vitamin C supports our immune system in different ways and among other things stimulates the activity of white blood cells.
Carrots improve digestion
Like most vegetables, the carrot provides a lot of fiber. Dietary fiber increases the amount of stool, helps to move the pulp smoothly through the digestive tract, stimulates peristaltic movement and the secretion of gastric juice. Regular consumption of high-fiber foods protects against bowel disease, reduces the risk of colon cancer, and promotes heart health by better clearing excess LDL cholesterol from the blood vessel walls.
Treating digestive disorders with natural foods: To the intestinal program
Carrots for the eyes
A lack of vitamin A can lead to difficulty seeing in low light. The high levels of beta-carotene in carrots are converted into vitamin A in the body and can improve eyesight and protect against night blindness.
People whose diet is high in beta-carotene lower the risk of developing macular degeneration. With the extraordinarily high beta-carotene content, the carrot is considered to be one of the best vision enhancers.
Carrots for a healthy mouth
Our mouth needs enough saliva, be it to digest our food or to protect our mouth. If our salivary glands produce too little saliva, our teeth are more prone to tooth decay, bad breath develops more quickly and our gums are more prone to damage. Carrots contain special ingredients that stimulate the formation of saliva and thus better fight bacteria and foreign bodies.
Carrots for diabetes
Thanks to the presence of the carotenoids, carrots help regulate blood sugar naturally. In addition, the carotenoids influence insulin resistance, regulate the amount of insulin and glucose required and metabolized in the body. If carrots are eaten raw, their glycemic index is very low, which avoids sharp fluctuations in blood sugar levels and makes it easier for diabetics to control their blood sugar.
Carrot side effects
It is generally considered safe to eat carrots. Even toddlers can tolerate pureed carrot mash, adults integrate the carrot in a wide variety of dishes and many children get small carrots prepared as a snack for school. If you eat a lot and a lot of carrots, the high carotene content in the carrot can turn the skin color a little yellow to orange. This type of skin discoloration is often noticeable in young children, but it is usually harmless.
Carrots are available in the supermarket all year round. Especially the snack carrots and the washing carrots - i.e. the carrots without leaves - can usually be found packed in bowls or bags in the supermarket or at the weekly market. German bunch carrots are again available from May to the end of October.
When buying carrots, make sure that they are hard, crisp and fresh in color. In addition, to avoid the risk of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, you should prefer organic quality when buying.
Note on snack carrots: Snack carrots, also known as baby carrots, are small / or unripe carrots that have become very popular as a snack in recent years. However, the term baby carrots can be very misleading. Because on the one hand there are carrots that are naturally small, on the other hand there are also carrots that are harvested small, i.e. before they are fully grown and have reached their full nutrient density. Then there is the third variant of the baby carrot, which is mechanically cut from a large carrot into small bite-sized pieces. Since the nutrient density of a “full-size” and a “baby” carrot can be different, one should use the “traditional full-size” organic carrot (in order to get the most nutrient density from the carrot).
So that the carrot stays fresh for a long time after buying it, you should first of all take the carrot out of the bag or remove the foil from the skin. The higher temperatures the carrot is exposed to in the store or on the way home can cause the carrots to sweat, which can encourage rot.
Unpacked, the carrot should be placed directly in the refrigerator in the vegetable drawer. It is even better to wrap the carrots in a damp kitchen towel to increase the shelf life. Carrots can be kept for around 7-10 days in the refrigerated shelf. However, if the carrots are placed next to fruit or vegetables that produce ethylene (such as tomatoes and apples), they can develop a bitter taste.
Incorporate carrots into your diet
Carrots are very versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet. Whether raw, steamed, boiled, fried or as an ingredient in soups or stews. Carrots beautify every dish with their bright color and provide the body with a lot of valuable nutrients. The taste of the carrot varies depending on its size and ripeness. Small carrots usually taste more intense and sweeter than larger ones.
Carrot - nutrition tips
Cut into small pieces as a snack between meals or for dipping in herb dips and hummus. Grated for coleslaw, wraps or as an ingredient in baked goods such as cakes or muffins. Steamed as an accompaniment to dishes. In combination with water, it is very finely ground into a delicious vegetable juice.
Health is delicious
Incorporating healthy foods into your diet is often easier than you think. Combinations of healthy and nutrient-rich foods enliven everyday life and ensure more energy and joy while eating. Because food should not only be healthy, but taste, give strength and make you happy.
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