Did you know that feathery fresh carrot tops were worn to adorn hair in Shakespeare's day?
Today, it's carrots' vibrant orange pigment, known as carotene, that's getting attention. Beta carotene turns into vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant vitamin. New research suggests that carrots' carotenoids may also reduce cancer risk, slow aging and reduce some diabetes-related symptoms. In farmers markets, heirloom carrots — scarlet, maroon, golden yellow, purple — are showing up, contributing other antioxidants such as anthocyanins in purple carrots.
Raw carrots are not recommended for children 4 years old or younger due to the possibility of choking. Instead, serve cooked or smashed carrots.