Carrots are a very popular vegetable across the globe. It is a root vegetable. It is as good in taste as it is beautiful. This orange vegetable is especially popular in Bangladesh because of its widespread use in salads. Apart from being used in salads, carrots have their recipes as well. Carrots have lots of health benefits as well. It helps us with our eyes, helps us protect ourselves against cancer, help us lose weight, and so on. So, shouldn’t we observe a day dedicated exclusively to such a versatile vegetable? Yes, we should. And there is a day in place already. It is called “International Carrot Day,” observed on April 4 every year.
Originally a wild vegetable, the carrot was first grown domestically in the Central Asian region. And guess what, orange isn’t the only type of carrot there is or has been. There are other varieties available, like purple carrots, yellow carrots, and red carrots. There is a myth that orange carrots came into being as a signature of the Dutch royal family in the 17th century. This claim, however, is not proven. But orange carrots were indeed developed in Central Europe and gained popularity, and it’s the only kind of carrot we now know of. At present, however, China is the biggest producer of carrots.
So let’s learn in detail about the health benefits of the vegetable that has its dedicated day. There is a myth that carrots help us see in the dark. The truth is, carrots are full of vitamin A, and vitamin A helps us with our eyes. Lack of this vitamin can result in night blindness. How this myth came into being is an interesting story. During the Second World War, the Royal Air Force spread propaganda that their pilots had improved night vision by eating carrots and it helped them in night battles. But it was a cover story. This was done to hide the advancements in radar technology.
Apart from vitamin A, carrots contain vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 as well. Carrots also help lower the risk of cancer. They help reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood pressure in check. Carrots also help us maintain a balanced weight. They even help us with diabetes as the fibre in carrots can keep the blood sugar level in check. The vitamin K and calcium present in carrots strengthen the bones. Carrots help reduce hair fall. Carotenoids present in carrots are good for our skin as they help brighten the skin tone.
In Bangladesh, carrots are very popular because of their use in various recipes. It is mostly used in salad dishes. However, it has recipes such as carrot halwa (gajor halwa), carrot cake, carrot juice, and so much more. Sometimes cooked with other vegetables. People use it in noodles to enhance the overall taste and nutritional value of the noodles. And yes, you can eat it raw!
So what do you think? Shouldn’t carrots, the all-rounder vegetable, have their day? I think the answer’s going to be unanimous: YES. International Carrot Day was founded in the year 2003. The main goal was to spread knowledge and information about carrots. Today, it is celebrated in many countries through various carrot-related activities.
So how can you celebrate International Carrot Day? Well, you can arrange a carrot-themed party, dress up in orange or a carrot suit, decorate everything in orange and try out carrot recipes. Or maybe…just share a post on social media!