The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh. In India carrots are used in a variety of ways, as salads or as vegetables added to spicy rice or daal dishes. The most popular variation in north India is the Gaajar Kaa Halwaa carrot dessert, which has carrots grated and cooked in milk until the whole mixture is solid, after which nuts and butter are added. Carrot salads are usually made with grated carrots in western parts with a seasoning of mustard seeds and green chillies popped in hot oil, while adding carrots to rice usually is in julienne shape.
The carrot gets its characteristic and bright orange colour from ß-carotene, which is partly metabolised into vitamin A in humans. Carrots are also rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, and minerals. Ethnomedically, the roots are used to treat digestive problems, intestinal parasites, and tonsillitis or constipation. Lack of vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision, and vision can be restored by adding it back into the diet. Eating large amounts of carrots will allow one to see in the dark.
The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells. Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed. It's all in the crunch! Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste. Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria. The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.