Dr Carrot is back

6 Feb

Dr Carrot and his companion Potato Pete were two of the Ministry of Foods most popular creations, and Pete even had a song about him sung by Betty Driver of Coronation Street fame.

It seems carrots are the ‘it’ vegetable at the moment especially since the British Carrot Growers Association (BGCA) has re-launched the Ministry of Food’s wartime ‘Dr Carrot’ campaign this week.  ‘Functional foods’ or foods with added nutritional benefit such as Vitamin Water or Yakult, are the fastest growing area in food manufacturing and they make my heart sing, but raw fruit and vegetables are the first and only true functional food and make me positively levitate. And the more people who understand the true point and value of healthy food, the better.

According to Horticulture Week, a publication I’m sure you read daily; ‘Dr Carrot was first developed by the Ministry of Food during the Second World War as part of an educational campaign to encourage healthy eating during rationing.  The BCGA, which represents more than 80 per cent of Britain’s carrot producers, is working with television’s Dr Christian Jessen on the project to convey the character’s original words of advice in modern times.’  From what I can gather from the carrot museum (huh??), this slogan was Carrots keep you healthy and help you see in the blackout.

So what’s so great about carrot besides helping you see in a blackout?

Firstly half a medium-sized carrot contains twice the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A.  According to various sources Vitamin A is essential for the immune system. It keeps skin and mucous membrane cells healthy and moist and therefore more resistant to bacteria and viruses.   Nutritionist Jennifer Brett, N.D. on Discovery Health goes as far as to say that Vitamin A fights cancer by inhibiting the production of DNA in cancerous cells. It slows down tumor growth in established cancers and may keep leukemia cells from dividing.

The carrot museum also tells us (I have checked with other sources…) that carrots are rich in antioxidants Beta Carotene, Alpha Carotene, Phytochemicals and Glutathione, Calcium and Potassium, and vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, which are also considered antioxidants, protecting as well as nourishing the skin. They contain a form of calcium easily absorbed by the body. A carrot also:

  • Enhances the quality of breast milk
  • Improves the appearance of the skin, hair and nails.
  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Raw carrot contains beta-carotene, a strong antioxidant that can prevent cancer
  • Helps the adrenal glands (the small endocrine glands situated above the kidneys)
  • Increase menstrual flow.
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Promotes colon health because it is rich in fibre
  • Alkalises the system

And of course, as the slogan says, vitamin A is essential for our vision, particularly in low light.

Dr Jessen is the new Dr Carrot

I know I don’t have enough vitamin A in my diet and on reading how vital it is to nibble half a carrot every day I’m onto it. Despite lovely Dr Jessen’s unfortunate middle parting I am sure he’ll do a great job at convincing the rest of us to grab a carrot a day.

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