Origin: Dating back to the 10th century, Wild Carrots, one of the earliest vegetables originated in Persia (regions of which now belong to Iran and Afghanistan) and it was not the orange rooted carrot like today. They came in different colors such as purple, white, black, and red but, surprisingly, not orange! Genetic studies signal that domestic Carrots originated in Central Asia.
Over the centuries traders traveling through the region picked up carrot seeds and carried them along the routes of Arabia, Africa, and Asia, selling them in regions apprehensive to cultivate new plants. During the Second World War, the British government promoted carrots and it became one of the staple foods in England. The domestic carrots have their origin in central Asia and are traded worldwide.
Esteemed as an aphrodisiac in ancient Rome, Carrots are acknowledged for their benefits on eyesight. The sweet and bitter tasting Carrots are packed with healing energy. As per Ayurveda, they calm Vata and Kapha. Carrots are considered as sattvic food as it gives the necessary energy to the body making it chemically balanced.
Scientifically: Carrots are rich in carotenes that are effective against several types of cancers such as prostate, colon and stomach cancer. The high carotenoid consumption by women can fight against breast cancer as well. It also can lower the bad cholesterol level.
The nutritious Carrot mends skin disorders. For people struggling with age-old skin issues such as rashes or psoriasis, having Carrot juice regularly can make their skin better.
Carrots are pregnant with Vitamin C that helps in collagen production. Collagen is the primary agent responsible for maintaining skins elasticity. It aids in wrinkle prevention making skin look younger and also slowing the aging process.
It is also loaded with Beta-carotene that helps in restoring skin tissues and guarding the skin against the harsh sun’s rays. The antioxidants and carotenoids in Carrots regenerate the skin helping it heal sunburns.
People who are working out for weight loss should make Carrots a part of their meals. The reason being it increases satiety and decrease calorie intake in subsequent meals.
Individuals suffering from lack of vitamins A are more likely to experience night blindness. Carrots rich in carotenoids and vitamin A can improve this condition.
The vitamin A in Carrots also ensures the skin is healthy and acne free. It has high levels of antioxidants that balance the pH factor, guard against radical damage, and makes skin happy.
Carrots are loaded with potassium that eradicates pigmentation lending a flawless complexion. Potassium also ensures that the skin is well hydrated and does not appear dry.
Carotenoids might also cut the risk of age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in Carrots may help regulate blood sugar level. Vitamin C present in Carrots boosts the immune system and prevents several diseases.
Skin diseases such as Dermatitis, Eczema, and Psoriasis that lead to redness and inflammation are addressed with Carrot Seed oil. It revitalizes and soothes the affected area. Carrot seed oil holds anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties thus it is considered a great healer.
Usage: Carrots are eaten raw globally but can be consumed in several other ways. They are cooked in soups and stews. Julienne is a well-known dish made from carrots. Carrots are also used for making various broths. In India, carrots are used in salads, vegetables added to spicy rice or dal dishes. Gajar Ka Halwa, a carrot dessert is very popular in north India. Baby carrots is a popular ready-to-eat snack food available in many supermarkets.
Carrot puree is used as baby food, dehydrated to make chips, flakes, and powder, and thinly sliced and deep-fried, like potato chips. The sweetness of carrots is used for making cakes, puddings, and jams.
Carrots are high in nutrients and carotenoids which makes it perfect for glowing skin. The cosmetic industry worldwide relies on Carrot to treat the skin. It is used in face packs, moisturizers, sunscreen and a large number of anti-aging creams. Women around the world use DIY masks to get healthy and bright skin.
Here are some DIY with a carrot for beautiful skin and hair:
- Boil two Carrots and make a puree of it. Add one tbsp of lemon juice and two tbsp of honey. Apply it on the face. Rinse it off after 15 minutes to get a radiant skin.
- Boil a carrot and make a puree of it along with few pieces of papaya. Apply this mixture on the face and let it dry for 15 minutes. Wash it off later. This pack helps in rejuvenating the skin.
- grate a carrot and extract its juice. To this juice, add a teaspoon of honey and few pinches of cinnamon powder. Mix and apply this on the face for 10 minutes. Rinse, once dry. This pack is excellent for oily/acne-prone skin.
- extract the juice of one carrot and add two tablespoons of rosewater to it. Use this concoction as a facial mist or facial toner. Apply using a cotton pad and rinse after 10 minutes. This toner has a great calming effect on the skin.
- take a tablespoon of grated carrot, add a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of milk cream and a few drops of olive oil. Mix all these ingredients together and apply on the face for 20 minutes. Wash it off to achieve clear, glowing skin.