A Raw Carrot or Carrot Juice? What is the Best Way of Getting Vitamins During Pregnancy?
Carrot is a root vegetable orange or yellow in color which is cultivated all over the world. Its texture is fresh, the most commonly eaten part is taproot. However, carrots greens and seeds can be used for food too.
This vegetable`s name was formed from Indo-European word “ker” and means “horn”, as we can guess it is explained by the horn-like shape of carrot. It is believed that carrot`s motherland is Middle Asia, but scientists found that orange root vegetables was quite familiar to ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.
As it can be supposed from Egyptian mural paintings people already knew about remedial qualities of fresh carrot and widely used it. Nowadays carrot is the second mostly eaten vegetable after potato in the world. Carrots are often used in different national cuisines; a lot of gourmets highly appreciate tasty and salutary carrot salads. Because of the significant amount of water in carrots, they are very juicy and can be good for preparation of delicious vegetable cocktails.
This popular vegetable is a source of many vitamins and necessary micro- and macro elements so people with various health problems should remember – carrots are worth including in everyday diet.
Carrots: benefits while pregnancy
Are carrots good for pregnancy? Carrots play a very important role in nutrition of pregnant women. The period of childbearing is very serious and as a rule heavy for mother who has to think and care not only about herself but and also about her baby inside.
Definite mode of the day, physiotherapy, regular consultations with specialist, positive emotional state and, of course, rich in vitamins diet – significance of all these factors can`t be called in question. Pregnant woman has special nutritional needs – large amounts of proteins, vitamins, mineral supplement.
That is why fresh vegetables and fruits should be essential part of the menu. And as for carrots, it satisfies all the above-mentioned needs. On the one hand carrots contain a large set of beneficial plant compounds and cellulose, on the other hand these root vegetables are low-calorie which is extremely essential, because during pregnancy woman should not gain overweight. Considering in details what is in carrot`s structure we can find:
- vitamins A, C, B, K, E, PP;
- dietary fiber;
- natural sugars;
- minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and others);
- essential oils;
And what are the health benefits of eating raw carrots during pregnancy? Nutritionists distinguish the following benefits in regular consumption of carrots during pregnancy:
- Vitamin A is transformed in the organism into carotene – substance helping improving sight and hemoglobin level.
- Calcium is good for teeth and bones. It is known that pregnant woman often has problems with their teeth.
- Potassium which is contained in carrots improves heart condition. This is necessary because during pregnancy load on the woman` s heart increases;
- Carrot helps in cleansing liver.
- Mother`s immune system becomes weak during childbearing to support growth of the fetus. Carrot helps in boosting pregnant woman` s immunity.
- Regular intake of carrot keeps at bay problems like bronchitis and lung diseases.
- Carrots help keeping the cell membranes healthy by fighting against infections.
- These help in improving the skin, flesh and muscles of the unborn baby inside you. And carrots are often used as cosmetically remedy, so it can help in solution dermatological problems – such as dark spots and skin rash during pregnancy.
- High blood sugars can be detrimental to the health of your baby in pregnancy. Carrots help to keep down blood sugar levels and reduce risks of diabetes.
- Dietary fiber is needed in cases of constipation.
- Carrots help in toxemia and in swelling.
- If you eat carrots regularly your growing baby will also benefit from the boost of nutrients you offer with daily consumption of this vegetable.
Is carrot always safe?
While orange tasty carrots are salutary and nutritious, excessive consumption of even the healthiest food can lead to bad consequences. That is why pregnant women should eat it in admissible quantity measure and consult with the doctor about using carrots in everyday diet.
And there are some facts about eating carrots too much:
- Carotene in large amounts is said to interfere with fetal growth. Its excess can disrupt kidneys as the load on them is high during pregnancy. But vitamin A turns into carotene only if you eat carrots with something containing fats (sour-cream, butter). Eating one fresh raw carrot a day will cause no harm and quite safe.
- Some people have idiosyncrasy of some products, carrots can be one of these.
Women with under pressure should use carrots carefully – eating it too much can cause headache, weakness, nausea.
- Pregnant women with biliary tract disease should avoid of excessive intake of carrots.
- And one more tip – spicy and fried carrots are not a good choice during childbearing. It` s better to refrain from eating it while you are expecting a baby.
Choosing the best carrots and cook it properly
It`s very important to cook carrots properly for prevention from losing its healthy qualities. Wash carrot roots and gently scrub them with a vegetable brush right before eating. Unless the carrots are old, thick or not grown organically, it is not necessary to peel them. If they are not organically grown, better peel them; most all conventionally grown carrots are grown using chemicals. If the stem end is green, it should be cut away as it will be bitter.
Carrots are tasty eaten raw or cooked. While heating can often damage some of the delicate phytonutrients in vegetables, the beta-carotene as found in carrots has been shown to be surprisingly heat-stable.
Be careful not to overcook your carrots if you want to your carrots to retain their maximum flavor and strong overall nutritional value.
Depending on the recipe you follow your carrots can be grated, boiled, cut in slices.
Here are some simple ways of preparing carrots:
- Carrot juice.
- Clean carrots, scrub, cut your carrots into manageable chunks before breaking them down into a juice.
- Then puree the carrots with your blender. Mix juice with water to make it taste better, and it also give you more juice. After that pour your juice in glasses and serve immediately.
- Carrot salad.
- There are enormous quantity of salad variants, you may unleash your imagination inventing your own recipes. It is good to combine grated carrots with grated or chopped apples and add a bit of lemon juice – you will have both healthy and delicious treat.
What should be taken into account when you choose carrots? Give your preference to organically grown vegetable; they are safe for you and your baby. It`s better not to buy carrots of ideal shape and color, in most cases such appetizing vegetables are grown with pesticides and their nutritious value leaves much to be desired.
In conclusion we emphasize once again on the necessity of including fresh carrots and dishes made from it in your pregnancy nutrition, of course, after consulting with your doctor.
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