Carrots - some trivia and health information

Sunday, 17 January 2010, 12:43 | Category : Curiosities, Slices
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I had this idea ages back that maybe if I learnt more about vegetables, it would somehow drive me to incorporate more of them into my diet. So I thought I’d write some blog posts about vegetables, but I only ever started drafting one about carrots. So with the purpose of cleaning out my drafts, here it is… The information here is a summary of what I found on-line in various places.

Nutrition and Health Information
Carrots are one of the best sources of vitamin A in nature. They’re also rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and potassium. For a full nutrient analysis see here.
Eating carrots is healthy for the eyes, hair and skin. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The large quantities of antioxidants found in carrots help protect against cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
In raw form they possess antiseptic, cooling and detoxifying properties and are good for treating inflammation of various parts of the body.
They’re recommended eating for smokers and people who spend a lot of time in cigarette smoke because they help with inflammation of the lungs and protect against cancer.


  • Carrots are supposed to have originated in what is now Afghanistan and apparently to this day Afghanistan is a centre of wild carrot diversity *grin*
  • Carrots were not orange until the 17th century. Before that they came in a lot of different colours - red, yellow, purple, white, green, black. The orange variety was developed in the 17th century in the Netherlands as a tribute to William I, Prince of Orange. It had a better taste and was healthier owing to its high beta-carotene content, so Europe stopped planting all other carrot varieties. Some of those varieties are still cultivated in Central Asia, however.
  • The world’s largest carrot cultivator is China, followed by Russia and the USA. Other significant carrot-cultivating countries are Japan, the UK and my own country - Poland *grin*
  • There is a giant carrot statue in Ohakune, New Zealand.
  • According to an old urban legend, eating a lot of carrots will make you see in the dark. The legend’s origin is really interesting and I recommend you check out this page and another one here for the full story. But, in short, it was perpetuated by the RAF during WW2. They wanted to hide their new radar technology from the Germans, so they explained to the public that they were able to shoot down more German aeroplanes in the dark because they were feeding their pilots lots of carrots.
  • According to wikipedia, one of the historical names recorded for carrots is Devil’s-plague.

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