English Name: Carrot
Botanical Name: Daucus carota
DESCRIPTION: An orange nutritious, juicy and sweet tappering root crop.
ORIGIN: Early writings in classical Greek and Roman times refer to edible white roots, but these may have also been parsnips, or both. There are white rooted carrots in existence today. The earliest vegetable definately known to be a carrot dates from the 10th century in Persia and Asia Minor and would have been quite unlike the orange rooted carrot of today.
It is considered that carrots were originally purple or white with a thin root, then a mutant occured which removed the purple pigmentation resulting in a new race of yellow carrots, from which orange carrots were subsequently developed. The carrot is one of the most important root crop cultivated in temperate regions of the world.
The centre of diversity for the carrot is in central Asia, and the first cultivation of carrot is reported to be in the Afghanistan region, approximately 1,100 years ago. Today wild carrots has become widespread, as the seeds were found in Europe dating back nearly 5,000 years ago, far beyond its Mediterranean and Asian centres of origin where this plant displays great diversity carrot cultivation spread to Spain and North Africa.
NATURAL BENEFITS: Carrots are rich in bata-carotene that helps the eyes, prevents cancer, rich in anti-oxidant, prevents heart diseases. Carrots are rich in alpha-carotene and lutein. Studies show it aids better resting habit. It is a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin K, boitin, fiber, potassium and thiamine.
Eaten fresh when scrapped and washed, Can be made into smoothies, juice and can be added to sauces and in cosmetic/skin care products.