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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Carrots are popular throughout Europe

Purple, yellow, white – new varieties make the world of carrots even more colourful. And all types of carrots are rich in vitamins. Here’s a short introduction to carrots.

For example, every German munches their way through a good 7 kilograms of carrots every year. This puts them in second place on the vegetable hit list, just behind tomatoes. Carrots are extremely healthy, they can be served in a wide variety of ways and often cost less than 1 euro a kilo. And for people who feel strongly about sourcing vegetables locally, it’s reassuring to know that most carrots fall into this category. Most carrots are orange, though the other colours are gaining popularity. Researchers suspect that the carrot made its way to our shores from Western Asia via Spain in the twelfth century. At the time, it was often yellow and sometimes purple. From the seventeenth century onwards, orange-coloured varieties became the most popular. Nowadays, the different-coloured carrots are often new breeds, and they’re very much in demand in the organic market.

A wide variety of nutrients

Bunches of fresh, fine carrots are delicious when nibbled raw. Late autumn varieties are more robust. They are cleaned in drum washers before they are sold. These washed carrots are ideal for stews and cakes. Carrots contain a lot of carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which is good for eyesight, plus vitamins B, C, D and E and antioxidants. These include anthrocyanins, the colorants present in purple carrots. They are said – just like the lycopene in red carrots – to protect against cancer.

Tasty and versatile

The aromas present in carrots range from herbaceous and nutty to sweet and flowery. A cocktail of up to 20 substances is responsible for that typical carroty aroma. Carrots fit every culinary style – from classic preparation with butter and sugar, to an Asian style with soy sauce and sesame or a Mediterranean style with garlic and sage. Raw carrots are made more digestible by grating. Whether raw or cooked – always eat carrots with fat or oil – this could be rapeseed oil or a handful of walnuts. The fat helps the body to absorb the beta-carotene.

Source: Stiftung Warentest