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Carrots – Better Cooked Whole "Al Dente" or Raw?

By Senior Editor
Food Pyramid -

Carrots falls under the vegetable food group and they carry many nutritional benefits. To get most out of your carrots researchers now urge us to stop chopping the carrots before they are cooked or you will lose 25% of the anti-cancer compound Falcarinol.

Anti-cancer compound Falcarinol

The importance of Falcarinol was discovered in February 2005, by researchers at the Newcastle University in Great Britain together with colleagues from the University of Odense in Denmark. They discovered that a high intake of Falcarinol from carrots seem to reduce the risk of tumors.

A study made a few years ago by researchers at the Newcastle University in Britain now reveals that if you don’t cook your carrots whole they will lose around 25% of the anti-cancer compound Falcarinol during the cooking process. The reason for this is that the important Falcarinol leaks out into the cooking water if the carrots are chopped before they are cooked.

Whole cooked carrots taste better

Another reason to cook your carrots whole is that they taste a lot better, according to the researchers at the Newcastle University in Britain. Of 100 subjects, 80 of them enjoyed more of the whole cooked carrots compared to the carrots that had been chopped or sliced. The sweet flavor and the important vitamin C are better retained if you cook your carrots whole.

More Beta-Carotene with cooked carrots

Furthermore, according to previous findings, cooked carrots are healthier than raw, in the sense that your body can easier absorb the important beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which plays an important role in vision, reproduction, bone growth and regulating the immune system

Carrots “Al Dente”

But don’t overcook your carrots! Your carrots should be cooked “al dente” – still offering resistance to the bite. Carrots contain calcium, the antioxidant Flavonids, and water soluble vitamins like vitamin C and the B Vitamins, most of which get destroyed if you boil your carrots too long.

Get the best from your Carrots

So if you want the best from your carrots, you should boil your carrots whole but not for too long. This way you will increase the amount of the anti-cancer compound Falcarinol by 25%. You will also get more out of the nutrients from your carrots and your carrots will taste perfect!

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