Nutrition Tips:
Curious about Carrots

College students may find that  keeping up on their health as they also keep up on their school work is challenging,. However, eating foods that are not only quick and easy, but also healthy is important.

Maintaining a diet of vibrant colors is a great way to get a well-rounded variety of nutrients and establish a healthy diet. Carrots are one of the many glorious vegetables full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Carrots come in many different colors such as orange, yellow, red, white, purple and black. A variety of colors equals a variety of benefits. Things that affect the color of carrots are temperatures drastically above or below 65 degrees and excessive water in the soil. Seasons such as spring and summer produce brighter colors than fall and winter.

Carrots are jam packed with beta-carotene which gets converted into vitamin A by the liver. In a small survey conducted at UCC, 10 out of 10 students have heard that carrots improve vision. The saying is somewhat untrue, because Vitamin A does not improve one’s vision, but it does maintain eye health. This vitamin helps eyes to distinguish sharp colors distinctly, as well as see in darker lit areas. It can also help prevent some eye diseases.

Carrots also contain several vitamins such as vitamin C, a key component in immune system health, vitamin K which plays a role in preventing blood loss through blood clotting and multiple B vitamins which have several responsibilities such as producing serotonin in the brain and breaking down carbohydrates into energy for the body.

The world’s longest carrot measures 19 feet 1.96 inches

Carrots come in different colors: red, orange, yellow, purple and white

Carrots are approximately 85 percent water

The world’s heaviest carrot weighs in at 18.985 pounds

Carrots were first grown as medicine, not food

Low in calories and saturated fat, carrots are a sensible addition to any meal and based on findings by the USDA can help lower cholesterol.

These vitamins act as antioxidants. Antioxidants help to clear out free radicals from our bodies which can increase overall health. They are like a bouncer at a night club. Antioxidants surround free radicals and escort them from the body so they do no harm. Antioxidants can help to improve heart health and reduce the risk of some cancers. Several minerals found in carrots such as copper, magnesium, calcium and potassium, are required to maintain a healthy balanced body.

The root of this vegetable is edible, as well as the leafy top. Carrots are biennial plants, which means if not harvested they still produce seeds for the following year. This makes carrots a great vegetable to grow in a garden.

There are a variety of ways to prepare carrots. They can be canned, frozen, juiced, eaten raw, or used in baking. Raw carrots can be cooked, boiled, fried or steamed. Carrot juice can contain as much as 800 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A in an eight ounce serving. Carrot juice is versatile as it can be mixed with other juices for a more appealing taste and a better feeling body.

Autumn Recipes

Carrot Roll-ups


2 whole grain tortillas (8 inches)
3 tbsp. Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
2 large carrots, shredded
(sliced deli meat, optional)


Take tortillas and spread with cream cheese spread. Top with shredded carrots (and optional deli meat). Roll up tortillas tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove roll-ups from refrigerator and cut into bite size pieces.

Carrot Chips


2 large carrots, peeled
1 ½ tsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. salt
Black pepper (or seasoning of choice)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the carrots into thin strips (thinner the better). Put the strips in a bowl and mix in the olive oil, salt and seasoning. Place the coated strips on a baking sheet. Try not to overlap the strips. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. Rotate carrots around and bake for another 6-10 minutes, checking periodically (baking time will vary depending on thickness of chips). Once the edges start browning a little, remove from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes. Store for up to 5 days in an air tight container.

photos by: Sabrina Bidwell

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.