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Carrots 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Carrots Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: Healthline
The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food.

It is crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious. Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants (1Trusted Source).

They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.

What’s more, their carotene antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.

Carrots are found in many colors, including yellow, white, orange, red, and purple.

Orange carrots get their bright color from beta carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A.

This article tells you everything you need to know about carrots.

Nutrition facts

Carrots’ water content ranges from 86–95%, and the edible portion consists of around 10% carbs (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

Carrots contain very little fat and protein (3Trusted Source).

The nutrition facts for two small-to-medium raw carrots (100 grams) are:

  • Calories: 41
  • Water: 88%
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 9.6 grams
  • Sugar: 4.7 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams

Carbs

Carrots are mainly composed of water and carbs.

The carbs consist of starch and sugars, such as sucrose and glucose (1Trusted Source).

They are also a relatively good source of fiber, with one medium-sized carrot (61 grams) providing 2 grams.

Carrots often rank low on the glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar after a meal.

Their GI ranges from 16–60 — lowest for raw carrots, a little higher for cooked ones, and highest for puréed (45Trusted Source).

Eating low-glycemic foods is linked to numerous health benefits and considered particularly beneficial for people with diabetes (6Trusted Source7Trusted Source).

Fiber

Pectin is the main form of soluble fiber in carrots (8).

Soluble fibers can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down your digestion of sugar and starch.

They can also feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, which may lead to improved health and decreased risk of disease (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

What’s more, certain soluble fibers can impair the absorption of cholesterol from your digestive tract, lowering blood cholesterol (12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

The main insoluble fibers in carrots are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Insoluble fibers may reduce your risk of constipation and promote regular bowel movements (1Trusted Source14).

SUMMARY

Carrots are about 10% carbs, consisting of starch, fiber, and simple sugars. They are extremely low in fat and protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Carrots are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially biotin, potassium, and vitamins A (from beta carotene), K1 (phylloquinone), and B6.

  • Vitamin A: Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. This nutrient promotes good vision and is important for growth, development, and immune function (15Trusted Source).
  • Biotin: A B vitamin formerly known as vitamin H, biotin plays an important role in fat and protein metabolism (16Trusted Source).
  • Vitamin K1: Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is important for blood coagulation and can promote bone health (17Trusted Source18).
  • Potassium: An essential mineral, potassium is important for blood pressure control.
  • Vitamin B6: A group of related vitamins, B6 is involved in the conversion of food into energy.

SUMMARY

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. They are also a good source of several B vitamins, as well as vitamin K and potassium.

Other plant compounds

Carrots offer many plant compounds, including carotenoids.

These are substances with powerful antioxidant activity that have been linked to improved immune function and reduced risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, various degenerative ailments, and certain types of cancer (1Trusted Source).

Beta carotene, the main carotene in carrots, can be converted into vitamin A in your body.

However, this conversion process may vary by individual. Eating fat with carrots can help you absorb more of the beta carotene (19Trusted Source).

The main plant compounds in carrots are:

  • Beta carotene: Orange carrots are very high in beta carotene. The absorption is better (up to 6.5-fold) if the carrots are cooked (20Trusted Source21Trusted Source22Trusted Source).
  • Alpha-carotene: An antioxidant that, like beta carotene, is partly converted into vitamin A in your body.
  • Lutein: One of the most common antioxidants in carrots, lutein is predominantly found in yellow and orange carrots and is important for eye health (23Trusted Source).
  • Lycopene: A bright red antioxidant found in many red fruits and vegetables, including red and purple carrots, lycopene may decrease your risk of cancer and heart disease (24Trusted Source).
  • Polyacetylenes: Recent research has identified bioactive compounds in carrots that may help protect against leukemia and other cancers (1Trusted Source25Trusted Source26Trusted Source).
  • Anthocyanins: These are powerful antioxidants found in dark-colored carrots.

SUMMARY

Carrots are a great source of many plant compounds, especially carotenoids, such as beta carotene and lutein.

What medicinal benefits do you enjoy about carrots? Why? How is this relevant to your health and diet?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Cooking with Carrots – Honey Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Versatile, healthy, and always delicious, carrots are one strong ally of mine, especially on busy weeknights. A few additional items like garlic, butter, and honey help to break the crunchy orange veggie out of its role as a vessel for Ranch Dip. Which is the only role carrots play when in the hands of my kids…

HOW TO MAKE THIS ROASTED CARROTS RECIPE

  • Cut up the carrots and set aside.
  • Melt butter over medium-heat; add garlic and cook, stirring very frequentlyDO NOT burn the garlic. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in the honey.
  • Toss the carrots with the prepared sauce, season, and bake in a 425F oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

CAN YOU COOK GLAZED CARROTS A DAY AHEAD?

  • Absolutely! Cooking carrots a day ahead is a time-saver and they are simple to reheat and serve.
  • While the microwave is OKAY to use for reheating, I suggest to pop them on the stove. Add just a bit of butter to the pan and reheat over medium-low heat until the carrots are heated through and just beginning to brown.

HOW TO STORE ROASTED CARROTS

  • Allow carrots to cool completely. Transfer the cooled carrots to an airtight container and cover with a lid.
  • The carrots will store well for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

ENJOY!

What are your favorite vegetables? Why? How do you cook them?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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How to start a home garden

Source: CNN

May is not too late to start a garden. Here’s how to begin a vegetable garden for beginners, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a print and online periodical providing planting charts for gardeners, sky schedules, weather forecasts and recipes since 1792. Pick the right spot.Choosing a suitable location is important because it affects the quality of the vegetables, the guide says. Most vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight daily, so pick a sunny location.If you’re not buying soil, you should have the soil in your yard tested for lead. Lead contamination is common in urban areas due to years of industrial development and pollution from man made toxins, according to Garden Collage Magazine. If your vegetables are contaminated from the soil, that could mean lead poisoning for you or any pets roaming around. You can have your soil assessed by sending several samples to a testing site for a low cost. Plant the vegetables in damp, not totally saturated, soil. If you have soil that doesn’t drain well, plant vegetables in a pot that’s raised from the ground. You should also garden in a place where your plants can remain stable — exposure to strong winds, floods or constant foot traffic could damage your plants.

Choose a plot size. Beginners should start small, considering what they can handle and what they’ll actually eat, the guide suggests. The size it recommends is 11 rows wide, each 10 feet long. But this guideline is to feed a family of four through an entire summer, so feel free to downsize if it’s just you. Make sure there’s enough space between each row to be able to easily walk through to weed and harvest your plants. The rows shouldn’t be more than 4 feet wide, as you probably won’t be able to reach over a bigger width to care for the vegetables. Select your vegetables (or any other produce). There are several vegetables that are common and easy to grow: tomatoes, radishes, chard, zucchini squash, peppers, cabbage, lettuce and carrots. Also consider what you like to eat, and again, how much you’re likely to consume. Here’s a guide to figuring out which vegetables grow best in your state. You could buy individual starter plants or opt to start from scratch with seeds. But the seeds should be high quality, the guide says, so your money isn’t wasted if the seeds don’t germinate. The almanac recommends buying seeds from a plant nursery; you can order them online, too. Decide where and when to plant. Planting one or two vegetables doesn’t require much strategic planning. But if you’re growing a whole garden, you’ll have to think about where each vegetable will go and when it needs to be planted.

Some vegetables, such as lettuce and root vegetables, grow in the spring. Others, including tomatoes and peppers, should be planted in the warmer months. Plant taller vegetables on the north side of your garden so they don’t shade shorter plants. Check to see whether the information along with your plant says it needs a permanent bed. Lastly, stagger your plantings. Don’t plant all your seeds at one time, or you’ll have a vegetable bounty that needs to be harvested and consumed in a tight time window. If you stagger your plantings, you’ll have a steady supply of food coming in.

How has this article helped you? How will you apply what you have learned? What will you grow in your garden?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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The Best Indoor Garden Ideas for Bringing the Great Outdoors Inside

Chopped Garden Fresh Parsley

by MELISSA EPIFANO updated JUN 9, 2020
Source: Apartment Therapy

Vegetable gardens, patio planters, and flower beds undoubtedly add appeal to any home and make for some really fun hobbies. But sometimes you just don’t have the space, or you might prefer to spend your time inside where the elements (and bugs!) can’t really get to you. In these instances, you can never go wrong with curating your own indoor garden.

Lucky for you, the options for indoor gardens are never ending. You can cultivate your own indoor lemon tree, start a delicious herb garden, grow a living wall—or, if you’d rather start simple, try nurturing a small collection of succulents. What makes the indoor version of a garden so fun is how easy it is to mix and match the most random and diverse group of plants and the ability for you to keep your garden blooming and sprouting year-round.

To bring some greenery into your home and experience all the benefits different plants and flowers have to offer, see the ideas below to get started on your own indoor garden.

1. Similarly Sized Collection

Use a small cluster of mid-sized plants, like the ones in this Oakland home, to help take up awkward blank space. Their medium size makes a bigger impact than a small succulent display, but these plants aren’t as high maintenance—or difficult to move around—as large indoor trees.

2. Outdoor-Indoor Hybrid Garden

A half-and-half garden helps blend the inside and out, making your home feel even bigger. This colorful home in Mexico is the perfect example of how to make both an indoor and outdoor garden work with your style.

3. Eclectic Indoor Garden

Mixing and matching plants and pots, like the residents of this vintage Australian home did, makes for a visually interesting display for anywhere in your home. Old canisters, handmade pots, and antique finds all work well together.

4. Hanging Herb Garden

Your dinners will seem even tastier with a fresh herb garden at your fingertips. A hanging setup like this means you don’t even have to sacrifice any counter space to grow a small collection of herbs.

5. Indoor Garden Closet

Commandeer a set of shelves or closet for your indoor garden, as seen in this plant-laden Brooklyn apartment. If you already have enough storage space for clothes, what better way to deck out an empty nook than with plants?

6. Small Terrarium Garden

An indoor garden doesn’t need to be over-the-top or take up ample space, as proven by this terrarium in a comfy Austin home. A few glass display cases and a handful of your favorite air plants or succulents is all it takes to form a mini plant world.

7. Colorful Hanging Garden

One bonus to indoor planting? The ease of mounting planters from the ceiling to create a hanging garden. This maximalist Chicago home shows how colorful plant hammocks and a variety of leafy friends can make a fun statement in any room.

8. Mini Succulent Garden

If you have a tiny empty corner, you have room for an indoor garden. The owners of this Scandinavian-inspired Airstream trailer created a mini succulent collection that still adds a boost of greenery but takes up little room in their small home.

9. Floating Shelf Garden

Floating shelves let you display plants from floor to ceiling, as seen in this Brooklyn apartment. You can place plants based on their light preferences, or even rotate them as needed to keep them healthy.

10. Unique Indoor Garden

For a splash of personality and color, arrange your plants around and inside your non-working or faux fireplace like the tenants of this San Francisco apartment did. You can do this with working fireplaces, too, as long as they’re not getting use—so it’s a great display for warm spring and summer months, when the fireplace won’t be lit.

11. Indoor Greenhouse

As seen in this Nashville home, adding a few fronds and leaves to a mudroom or laundry room space instantly gives it greenhouse vibes. The plants help enliven these utilitarian spaces, adding interest to a room that doesn’t always get a lot of love.

12. Kitchen Garden

While herbs are popular for kitchen gardens, they’re by no means the only plants that can thrive in your cook space. The residents from the same San Fransisco home from above also allowed plants to take up room in their kitchen for a lively, fresh display.

13. Bathroom Indoor Garden

Convinced you have, like, zero room for an indoor garden? This Philadelphia row home will make you think twice. Your bathroom can be a glorious location for plants, whether you stack a few on a shelf, hang one from the ceiling, or drape one from the shower head (or all the above).

14. Indoor Cactus Garden

Terracotta pots and cacti are a simple but striking display when wall-mounted in cutout shelves, like in this poppy RV home. You could DIY your own version with wood boards and a jig saw.

15. Wall of Plant Cuttings

If you’re in full plant parent mode and have started to amass cuttings of your favorite plants, take a cue from this Charleston home and hang them in a chic wall display until they’re ready to be repotted.

Re-edited from a post originally published 5.17.16

Which indoor garden style is best for you? Why? Which plants will you be bringing in doors this fall and winter?

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9 Best Vegetables to Grow Indoors

harvested tomatoes shidonna raven garden and cook

Source: All Recipes
Make it easy on yourself by choosing plants that do best indoors. These vegetables have proven successful indoors:

1. Carrots

Carrots require don’t much space around them (or wingspan you could say) but they do tend to require deeper soil than other vegetables. They’re cool-tolerant vegetables that thrive at about 60 degrees F. Make sure they get plenty of light, at least 12 hours a day.

2. Green Onions/Scallions

Green onions do well indoors because they’re easy to care for and don’t require as much sunlight as some other veggies. You can either use seeds or you can simply replant the root end of the green onions after using the top.

Related: How to Store Green Onions to Keep Them Fresh

3. Herbs

Herbs (a subset of vegetables) love the sunshine, so you’re going to have to make sure they get a lot of it: 12-16 hours a day. They tend to do best around 70 degrees F. Some of the best varieties for indoor growing include: chives, parsley, cilantro, oregano, mint, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

4. Hot Peppers

Pepper plants are tropical perennials, meaning they thrive in warm weather and full sun. But because they’re self-pollinating, they can do quite well indoors. They need high levels of light between 14-20 hours a day, and thrive at about 70 degrees F. Pot them in a container that’s at least eight inches tall, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

5. Leafy Salad Greens

Maybe the most reliable of the bunch are cool-tolerant leafy salad greens like spinachkale, and arugula. They’ll grow in as quickly as four weeks in compact spaces. They need about 12 hours of sunlight per day, and they do well at around 60 degrees F.

6. Microgreens

Don’t let their size fool you, microgreens are packed with 40 times more vitamins and nutrients than fully grown plants. You’ll grow them the same way you would leafy salad greens, but you’ll harvest them when they’re just about 2-3 weeks old. Try adding them to sandwiches for a nutritious crunch.

7. Potatoes

This one may surprise you, but you can grow potatoes (both sweet and regular) in soil from scraps. Start with a sprouted potato and cut it up into chunks, laying them out sprout-side-up on at least four inches of soil. Top them off with another four inches of soil and in about two months you’ll have potatoes! Make sure you have a large enough pot, because these can get quite large and you may have to continue adding soil as they grow to ensure that the potatoes are always covered with soil.

8. Radishes

Radishes are quick growers, with only 30 to 40 days from germination to harvest. They won’t need as much light as many other veggies, but make sure they’re not too crowded so their bulbs can grow.

9. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a warm-weather loving plant, but that doesn’t mean they’re hopeless indoors. They’ll need a lot of light, about 14 to 20 hours a day. Like peppers, they’re self-pollinating, but you can also shake them to help the pollen fall from flower to flower. Smaller varieties tend to do better in containers, and you’ll find the seeds germinate fairly quickly.

We still have a few plants out doors, but soon the winter weather will be here. Which vegetables will you be growing inside? Why?

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Parsley and Marigold Plants

Parsley and Marigold Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

In addition to the garden, we kept a few plants in their pots for transportation to other homes. While we were planning to keep dill around, dill went to another home and we kept the parsley plant. Initially the parsley plant scarcely produced enough leaves for one meal. Since we have been harvesting parsley on a regular basis (about every 3 weeks) she has yielded a large enough harvest that we can clip enough leaves for a full meal and leave about a third of the leaves behind for continued photosynthesis / growth. We have been harvesting and eating from our parsley plant since the summer.

She is a prime example of how one can have a small kitchen garden right from their porch or from inside their home. Many people live in ares where they have a yard or no yard at all and thus are urban gardeners. So, we want you to know that it is possible. Not only is it possible, it is a nice fresh treat produced by your own hands. It is food and you know the source. You know that your foods were grown responsibly. We grew her without pesticides or any other chemicals. Her seeds may not have been organic. Nonetheless, she was grown organically and has continued to grow and thrive.

Speaking of growing organically, marigold is right next to her. She has not yet blossomed. We started the marigold plant late in the season to ward off ants. Marigold is a perfect Organic Remedy for pests such as ants who can carry your plants right off before you get to eat them. We like having marigold around because she discourages ants from coming around the house and around the plants. The pumpkin is a little treat we picked up from the local grocers as a Halloween decoration.

If you have never had a garden before or only had the occasional house plant or two, grow kits are a great way to get your feet wet and to learn the wonderful world of growing something. The good news is that if you have had the occasional house plant, you probably know more than you think you do. Herbs are a great way to get started too. They are easy to grow as small or as big as you want. They often have less resource demands. They typically need less water than say a tomato plant that will need a lot of space and more water.

What type of area do you live in, rural or urban? We have seen people grow pineapples right in their homes. What do you think you can grow in your space? What would you like to grow in your space?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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The Natural Effect

The Natural Effect
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

What is the difference between Natural & Organic? What does natural really mean? How do you feel about Natural vs. Organic products? How does this change the way you shop and what you consume? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Shopping Natural & Organic

Shopping Natural and Organic
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

What have your purchased that is Organic? What questions did you have as you shopped? What would be helpful to you as a consumer when shopping Organic? Write down the answers to these questions and post them in the comments. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Why grow your own food?

Why grow your own food
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Can you think of any reasons why people should grow their own food? When will you start growing your own food. We recommend starting small, like in your kitchen or on your patio. We also recommend starting with one plant and going from there. What plant will you choose to start with? As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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How to Harvest Parsley

How to Harvest Parsley
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

One of the herbs we have in our Garden is Parsley. She has been doing very well, so we thought we should harvest her soon and let her grow back some more leaves. Do you grow herbs in your kitchen or outdoors? Which herbs do you grow? Which herbs would you like to grow? Above is a video showing how to harvest Parsley. This manner of harvesting is typically true for similar shaped herbs. As always you are the best part of what we do. What did you learn about harvesting? Was it helpful? Keep growing. Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.