Tag Archives: carrots

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.

Carrots are sexy say researchers

30 Jan

Me with a fake tan

Being the very fair skinned child in a family of olive skinned naturally tanned siblings and parents, I have always fantasised about waking up one day with a tan.  I did try fake tan once – but I looked more like an oompa loompa at Madame Tussauds than an actual person. Well – according to this article on St Andrew’s University website – all I need to do is eat a lot more carrots.

St Andrews University ran the study jointly with Bristol University and tell us in the article that, ‘people who eat more portions of fruit and vegetables per day have a more golden skin colour, thanks to substances called carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help soak up damaging compounds produced by the stresses and strains of everyday living, especially when the body is combatting disease. Responsible for the red colouring in fruit and vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes, cartenoids are important for our immune and reproductive systems.’

That’s great of course, but I have to say the real news was deeper in the actual paper.  Here’s the extract that explains that the joy of carrots goes beyond a healthy immune system; as in the case of the rear ends of our monkey friends, reddened skin apparently enhances our sexual attractiveness.

Being attracted to a suntanned (reddened) mate is primitive instinct

‘Stephen et al. (2009) found that the physiologically relevant cues of increased skin blood perfusion and oxygenation color enhance the healthy appearance of faces. This relationship shows similarities to color signals displayed in nonhuman primates, particularly Old World monkeys (Dixson 1998). Increased redness due to increased blood perfusion is associated with aspects of health such as hormonal status (Czaja et al. 1977; Dixson 1983; Rhodes et al. 1997; Setchell and Dixson 2001) and reproductive status (Rhodes et al. 1997; Setchell et al. 2006) in this group. Redness in nonhuman primates is also associated with social factors such as dominance rank (Setchell and Dixson 2001; Setchell and Wickings 2005) and is preferred by the opposite sex (Setchell 2005; Waitt et al. 2003, 2006).’

I love carrots and often juice them and add them to salads but this is an incentive to eat more of them that reaches a whole other level.  However, I can tell you from experience that sunburn isn’t attractive to anyone, including monkeys.

Super Raw Disease Busting Pineapple Juices

21 Apr
Pineapple makes a Super juice

Pineapple makes a Super healthy juice

One of my raw food recipe bibles is the book Super Juice by Michael Van Straten.  And since discovering the overwhelming health benefits of pineapples, which is also one of my all time favourite fruits, I had a look at their juicing ideas.  Here are the two juices I loved the most:

12 grapes (black or white)
4 x unpeeled pears
2 unpeeled apples
2 slices peeled pineapple

The Peak Performer is packed with potassium, pectin, vitamin C, vitamin B, calcium, cancer fighting tannins (from the grapes), and amazing bromelain and it tastes yum.

3 x carrots
2 sticks celery plus leaves
1 x small pineapple
6 fresh leaves sage
2/3 cucumber

It is high in beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid, the amazing bromelain as well as the little heard of thujone, an essential and healing oil found in Sage.

One more thing – according to various sources eating raw and ripe pineapple is also meant to be an excellent natural cure for tonsilitis.