Did Bugs Bunny have better Eyes?

Do carrots really help your eye sight?  I ate so many carrots when I was a teenager, my mom was worried I was going to turn orange! You may have heard of people “turning orange” from drinking carrot juice.  It is not the carrot juice that is showing through the skin but an overflow of materials which have been clogging the liver and are being eliminated with the consumption of carrot juice.  Carrots are not only good for the body they are naturally gluten free and relatively inexpensive.   A 1-pound bag of organic carrots is about $1.49 and a 1-pound bag of organic baby carrots is $2.29.

Carrots are one of the most healing foods that provide the finest and highest quality in nutrients, especially from their juice.   The most nutrients are concentrated just under the skin so try not to peel off the skin.  To clean them, simply use a hard brush to brush the skin.  They are an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, D, E, K, B1 and B6.  They also provide a rich source of biotin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, organic sodium and some trace minerals.  The known phytonutrients in carrots are lutein, lycopene, anti-oxidants alpha, beta and gamma carotenes, zeaxanthin and xanthophyll.  You don’t need to remember these fancy names, but just remember that phytonutrients are nature’s marvelous provision for healing of various diseases.  Carotenes, the famous ingredient in carrots, is an antioxidant that has powerful healing virtues for many diseases.

As I have been trying to focus on the nutritional and medicinal benefits of whole foods in my articles this year, take a look at all the ways that carrots can help heal and strengthen your body.  The vital organic alkaline elements in carrots help balance the blood acidity and blood sugar.  Carrots also provide blood building properties as well.  The highly cleansing power of carrots eliminates build-up of arterial deposits, reducing the risks of heart disease and stroke.  The antioxidants in carrots protect the respiratory system from infections and free-radical attacks.  Studies show that one carrot per day in our diet significantly reduces cancer risks.  In addition, the pectin in carrots lowers the serum cholesterol levels.

The infamous remedies of carrots for the eyes have to do with the beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, some of the finest nourishment in carrots that help keep the optic system in tip-top condition, with special protection against astigmatism, macular degeneration and cataracts.

Did you know that one of the reasons for infertility is lack of nutrients and enzymes in your diet?  Well, a glass of carrot juice taken regularly is able to nourish your body back to fertility.  It seems like an easy thing for folks who are trying to get pregnant to try.  Not only that, but drinking carrot juice regularly during pregnancy, especially during the last few months, will reduce the chances of jaundice in the baby.  And carrot juice helps enhance the quality and quantity of a mother’s breast milk.  Carrot juice is a diuretic and helps to eliminate excess fluids from the body, reducing water retention, especially for women during their monthly menstruation cycle and in pregnant women.  Its anti-inflammatory effect greatly helps reduce arthritis, rheumatism, gout and other inflammations, which as I have stated many times before, is one of the keys to disease in our body.

When shopping at the market, note that fresh carrots are available all year. While buying, look for young, tender, bright colored roots with firm consistency. Avoid soft, flabby roots, with cuts or mold. Also avoid very large sized roots as they indicate over maturity; resulting in their poor eating quality.  Carrots that aren’t labeled organic are rinsed in a weak chlorine solution during processing, while organic carrots are treated with a citrus solution.  Carrots that are no longer than 6 inches tend to be sweeter.  So choose the shorter variety if you like them sweet or the longer ones if you prefer them less sweet.  Cut them lengthwise to preserve the nutrients as when cut in small rounds, they easily lose their nutrients in water when you wash or cook them.

Do you ever wonder how baby carrots are made?  Well, baby carrots come from a field of dirt, same as all other carrots.  But they also sprang from the mind of a clever California farmer who was tired of wasting imperfect carrots and whittled them into something he could sell.  You didn’t think a baby carrot was actually a baby, did you? It’s just a carrot, cut in short lengths and run through a grinder.   Carrot companies pick the carrots they plant based on a lot of attributes. But in a single field, they’re all the same kind of carrot. Some become bagged carrots, some get ground into babies, some go into frozen or canned food.  Companies can shape the carrots by how they’re planted.  Carrots planted closer together stay skinny and become baby carrots.  Carrots planted farther apart get fatter, to go in plastic bags.  Here is a carrot bread recipe that can also be made into muffins; great for a quick breakfast or snack.

Carrot Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups of sifted  GF Flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. baking soda

2 cups shredded carrots

2 eggs

2/3 cup vanilla rice milk

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

½ cup cranberries

1/8 tsp ginger

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1-4 T vanilla rice milk

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease bottom of one 8x4x2 loaf pan.

Stir dry ingredients in large bowl.

In small bowl, combined eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and carrots.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until just moistened.

Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 60 minutes.

If making muffins, pour into mini-muffin tin pan.

Bake for 22 minutes.  Makes 36 mini muffins.

If it browns too quickly, cover with foil.

Cool in pan 10 minutes, remove from pan and finish cooling.

Make glaze using powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Drizzle over cooled bread.

Wrap bread in foil and store overnight before slicing.

Slice and eat.  Freeze leftovers.

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