The veggie of the day today is carrots! Carrots are great served up steamed, juiced, roasted, stir-fried, grated in salads, blended into veggie smoothies, or included in any number of dishes. They are by far the best source of alpha carotene in our diets (pumpkin and winter squash are also good sources) and in several population studies carrots sharply reduced lung cancer risk in people. In fact, just one serving weekly of carrots reduced lung cancer risk by 49% in one study out of China. And eating five servings of carrots weekly reduced lung cancer risk by a stunning 87% for women in a Polish study. Alpha carotene also markedly suppressed skin cancer and liver cancer in the same study.
Did you know that dosage matters? This makes getting enough carrots in your diet very important. Five servings weekly (of 80 grams each) will provide marked reductions in breast cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer risk, according to studies on people. For those wanting to stay super sharp, carrots are the perfect low-calorie brain food – they have been shown to powerfully boost cognitive performance in mice, and are associated with better cognitive functioning in older adults.
Looking for a super healthy and amazingly yummy way to get your daily dose of carrots? Try this Creamy Carrot Coconut Soup! The flavours blend together oh-so-nicely, making this what I would call some of the best comfort food for sure.
Creamy Carrot Coconut Soup:
- 1 tbsp. oil (optional)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 8 cups carrots, sliced
- 2 tsp. tamari or substitute (you can use soy sauce here if you like)
- 1 (14-oz.) can coconut milk
- 1 to 2 tsp. sea salt, to taste
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 4 cups water
- In a soup pot, sauté onion in oil or in two to three tablespoons of water. After two minutes, add garlic and stir
- When the onionsare getting soft, add carrots and stir in tamari. Simmer on low for three minutes, stirring often
- Add remaining seasonings and four cups of water. Bring to a near boil, cover and simmer on low until carrots are soft. Add coconut milk and stir
- Let cool, then remove and blend half of the carrots and broth in a blender, using additional water if desired. Use caution when blending anything hot; it expands in the blender and can push the top off. (Use less water for a thicker, creamier soup)