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Super Foods: Carrots

By: Reader's Digest  |  Photo by: allrecipes
Super Foods: Carrots
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Superfoods such as carrots can work better than vitamin tablets to slash your risk of heart disease. Discover the nutritional benefits of carrots and quick and easy serving suggestions. Healthy eating doesn't have to take extra time out of your busy day--reaching for a carrot is as quick as grabbing a bag of chips.
Healthy, Versatile Carrots
You can use them in sweets or to liven up savoury dishes. Carrots are your best friends if you want to eat healthy!

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Nutrition

Super nutrients: One of nature's top sources of beta-carotene, an artery-protecting antioxidant.
Serving size: 1 medium; 32 calories.
Benefits: Carrots are color therapy for your cardiovascular system. These veggies' brilliant orange hue is a sign of super-high levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that guards against artery-clogging oxidized LDL cholesterol. Only foods like carrots offer this protection--recent studies suggest that antioxidant tablets don't help your heart. Cooked carrots have twice the antioxidant power of raw carrots because heat breaks down tough cell walls so that your body can use what's inside. Carrots also provide blood pressure-lowering potassium and magnesium, plus the homocysteine-lowering combination of folate; vitamin B6; and the antioxidants alpha-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
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Good ideas:

• Set out a bowl of sliced carrots when you're cooking as a healthy snack that won't fill you up with unwanted calories or wreck your appetite
• Add sliced and shredded carrots to soups and salads
• Instead of chips, serve sliced carrots with dip
• Add finely grated carrots to muffins, cakes, breads and salads
• Microwave chopped carrots and stir in a dollop of honey for a sweet side dish
• Roast carrots in the oven with olive oil
Provided by:
Readers Digest

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