Carrots are high-fiber food, roots whose crispness comes
from cell walls stiffened with the insoluble dietary fibers cellulose and
lignin. Carrots also contain soluble pectins, plus appreciable amounts of
sugar (mostly sucrose) and a little starch. They are an extraordinary
source of vitamin A derived from deep yellow carotenoids (including
One raw carrot, about 7 inches long, has 2 g dietary fiber
and 20,250 IU vitamin A (four times the RDA for a man, five times the RDA
for a woman).
The Most Nutritious Way to Serve Carrots
Cooked, so that the cellulose and hemicellulose stiffened
cell walls of the carrot have partially dissolved and the nutrients inside
are more readily available.
Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Carrots
Disaccharide-intolerance diet (for people who are sucrase
and/or invertase deficient)
Low-sodium diet (fresh and canned carrots)
Firm, bright orange yellow carrots with fresh, crisp green tops.
Wilted or shriveled carrots, pale carrots, or carrots with brown spots on
Trim off the
green tops before you store carrots. The leafy tops will wilt and rot long
before the sturdy root.
cool. They will actually gain vitamin A during their first five months in
storage. Protected from heat and light, they can hold to their vitamins at
least another two and a half months.
carrots in perforated plastic bags or containers. Circulating air prevents
the formation of the terpenoids that make the carrots taste bitter. Do not
store carrots near apples or other fruits that manufacture ethylene gas as
they continue to ripen; this gas encourages the development of terpenoids.
carrots in ice water in the refrigerator to keep them crisp for as long as