Carrot - Zanahoria
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Carrots are a taproot, a type of root which grows downwards into the soil and swells. Carrots come in many sizes and shapes: round, cylindrical, fat, very small, long or thin.
Native to Afghanistan, carrots were known to both the Greeks and Romans. In fact, the Greeks called the carrot "Philtron" and used it as a love medicine--making men more ardent and women more yielding. The Roman emperor Caligula, believing these stories, forced the whole Roman Senate to eat carrots so he could see them "in rut like wild beasts."India, China, and Japan had established carrots as a food crop by the 13th century. In Europe, however, they were not well known until well into the Middle Ages. At that time, doctors prescribed them for everything from sexual maladies to snakebite--which some would argue, are biblically connected. In Holland, the original red, purple, black, yellow, and white varietals were hybridized to today's bright orange, with its potent dose of beta carotene.
Carrots can be eaten in a variety of ways. Only 3% of the β-carotene in raw carrots is released during digestion: this can be improved to 39% by pulping, cooking and adding cooking oil.
Alternatively they may be chopped and boiled, fried or steamed, and cooked in soups and stews, as well as baby and pet foods.
A well known dish is carrots julienne. The greens are edible as a leaf vegetable, but are rarely eaten by humans. Together with onion and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in a mirepoix to make various broths.
Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, which is converted in the body to vitamin A.
The deeper the orange colour of a carrot, the higher the beta carotene content. Vitamin A helps with night vision - thatís why children are told to eat carrots so they will be able to see in the dark!
Vitamin A also benefits the skin and is great for the immune system.
With many vegetables, cooking destroys some of their vitamins, but you can absorb more beta carotene from cooked carrots than from raw ones.
However, If you prefer to eat carrots raw, thatís fine because even one carrot has many dayís supply of beta carotene. Older carrots have a higher quantity of sugar than younger carrots and so taste sweeter, but younger carrots have more folate, one of the B vitamins which may help prevent birth defects in babies.
Carrots are also a great source of dietary fibre.
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Zanahoria - Carrot Pictures
Properties of Zanahoria - Carrot Favored by Aztecs
Expels certain types of intestinal parasites, useful for afflictions affecting the respiratory tract such as asthma and bronchitis, fortifies visual capacity, helps keep skin clear of blemishes and impurities.
Aztec Method of Use.
To expel intestinal parasites:
Drink half a glass of Carrot juice on an empty stomach.
For respiratory afflictions:
Boil carrots in milk and sweeten with pure bee honey.
For the rest of the afflictions:
Drink half a glass of carrot juice at meals.
Note: Do not drink carrot juice in large quantities, the carotene will change skin pigment to yellow.
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