Carrots are a long thin root vegetable that are most commonly orange in color. They have a wide variety of uses in the kitchen and commonly used for salads, soups and stews. They can be eaten raw or cooked by streaming, boiling or frying. They are native to Europe and some of Western Asia, although today they are grown throughout much of the world. Come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors; including yellow, red, purple and white. However, the orange carrot is the most well recognized and most widely available variety.
Why are carrots orange?
Carrots are orange because they contain a substance called beta-carotene. This is an organic compound that is important for the photosynthesis (the conversion of light to energy) of the plant. Beta-carotene is an inactive form of vitamin A, which the body can use to create vitamin A. This means the carrots should play a very important part of a balanced diet. Interestingly, eating very large amounts of carrots can cause a condition called carotenosis. This condition is harmless, but it does cause the skin to turn orange. It is easily treated by cutting back on the amount of foods that contain carotene.
Due to the fact that a lack of vitamin A causes poor night vision, it is widely believed that eating carrots can improve your ability to see in the dark. This idea was widely popularized during World War II when British pilots and gunners were able to shoot down German planes in the pitch black of night.