Carrot is one of the most loved vegetables, but the thing that could make you confused is whether it is a root or a stem. Because it certainly looks like both, and there is no way to tell just by looking at it.
But carrot, in fact, is a root vegetable, and the part of the carrot that we consume basically is the root of a plant. It is also called taproot because of its vertical growth, and the interesting thing is that carrot roots are edible.
So, want to know more about it? Keep reading:
Does Carrot Belong to Stem Class?
Many people assume that carrots belong to the stem class, just like asparagus or Kohlrabi, but it does not belong to the stem class. The carrot stem is also edible, but most people don’t like to eat that part, and it is not very common.
Though some parts of the stem are very strong and sturdy, and you cannot really cook them, the carrot stem overall is edible. However, carrot does not belong to the stem class at all as it is a root vegetable, and there is a huge difference between the two.
Usually, stem vegetables have most of their parts in the air, and they are considered great for fueling your body with nutrients. And while we would love the carrot to be a stem class, it sadly is not, and the part that we eat basically is the root of the carrot plant.
If we look at the carrot plant, we will see lush green foliage and green stem on the above side while the actual carrot that we eat is submerged in the soil as the carrot is responsible for the growth of the whole plant.
Does Carrot Belong to Root Class?
Yes, carrots belong to the root class as it is a root vegetable. The orange carrots that we eat are the roots of the carrot plant that are very fibrous and rich. These roots also have antioxidant properties and are very healthy and nutritious if we add them to our diet.
Carrots are root vegetables mainly because all their nutrition majorly comes from the soil with the help of roots. Because of being root vegetables, carrots are considered some of the most nutrient-rich veggies and even doctors advise you to eat this vegetable because of all the vitamins you can get from it.
The carrot root keeps the carrot plant intact and absorbs water, so the plant’s growth remains unaffected. If you have looked at the carrot closely, you would see that its central part has an off white or yellowish color.
The part surrounding that white part is orange coloured that is sweeter and that we usually eat. The white part is responsible for transporting water from soil to the plant, while the orange part transports all the necessary nutrients that your plant might need. That is the very reason why the orange part itself is full of nutrients.
What Type of Root Does Carrot Have?
The carrot plant has a woody and slightly harder root, and you would either need a knife or teeth to cut these roots. Carrot has taproots which means its roots are elongated and vertical. The taproot of the carrot plant is highly edible, and you can even pull it out of the ground.
It also leaves a hole when we pull it out, which is an indication that it is a taproot by true means. The taproot of a carrot plant also has a pretty unique shape, and not very root is shaped in such a way.
These roots have a shape that narrows down to the bottom, and even though the roots are thick at the top, they are pretty thin all the way to the bottom. People also compare the shape of a carrot to a cone. These roots are pretty sturdy, too, compared to other plants’ roots.
This sturdiness is very important because they obviously have to withstand all types of environments, so they have to provide proper and strong support to the carrot plant. As the carrot plant’s stem and foliage are not as sturdy, most of the support is provided by the roots.
Benefits of Carrot Roots
Carrot roots have been consumed as a healthy vegetable since forever, and they are even added to salads and wraps to make them more nutritious. Carrots have so many different benefits that are really hard to count and list, but we list the top benefits you can get if you eat carrots consistently.
1. Lowers the Blood Cholesterol
High cholesterol levels are every person’s nightmare, and you would never want to go through the hassle of constantly going to doctors because your cholesterol is out of control. In this situation, consuming carrots regularly can help a lot.
Carrots are proven to help lower the blood cholesterol level but only when you consume them regularly, and it reduces your chances of having dangerous heart diseases. Just make sure that you are getting medication and eating carrots because fruits alone cannot do all the work for you.
2. Improves Eyesight
People who usually have issues with their eyes or have low eyesight are known to have a deficiency of vitamin A, a component that is found in the carrot abundantly. So, carrots have all the good things your eyes need always to stay healthy and fine.
The deficiency of vitamin A can even cause blindness in some cases, so it is considered so dangerous. But carrots can efficiently solve this problem of yours. Not only this, but there is another deficiency of carotenoids.
In this deficiency, your age-related eye muscles can degenerate, and you will start losing your eyesight, but carrot is rich in carotenoids. So, carrot roots basically are your one-stop shop for eye-related problems as it has all the nutrients that can improve the overall health of your eyes.
3. Improves Digestion
Consuming carrot regularly also improves your digestive health and makes digestion easier. Carrot has a lot of fibers, and it is well-known that fibrous foods reduce the chances of colorectal cancer.
Carrot also improves gut health which results in better digestion. We should consume at least 1 cup of chopped carrots every day so that our digestive system gets enough fibers to keep working at its fullest without any hassle.
It is also found that carrots can prevent constipation, and doctors advise people suffering from constipation to drink carrot juice which is high in fibre and aids in constipation, within a day or two.
Moreover, carrot is a very famous detoxifying agent, and if you drink it early in the morning, your metabolism will start working like never before. It basically cleans your gastrointestinal tract and reduces the chances of so many diseases.
4. Helps with Weight Loss
Carrots do not have a lot of calories, and if you eat a couple of carrots, you will naturally feel full, which is why it is one of the most famous weight loss snacks out there. Consuming carrots can decrease your calorie intake quite a lot and help you stay on a calorie deficit diet.
The addition of carrots in your weight loss journey also helps make sure that your body is not lacking any nutrients and vitamins. As carrots are full of nutrition, you do not feel tired or malnourished all the time that most people on a weight loss journey usually do.
Nutritionists also advise patients to take carrot juice daily because it is proven to be a very effective way to reduce belly fat that is considered very stubborn. You can also make different low-calorie desserts with carrots, making it a great choice for weight loss.
5. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
According to research by the National Cancer Institute, carrot roots are also known to reduce the risk of cancer. As we already know, carrots have carotenoids and antioxidants, reducing the risk of cancer.
Also, there is a lot of research done on the link between prostate cancer and carotenoids, and it was proved that if you include carotenoids in your diet, they will reduce your risk of getting cancer. These carotenoids are present in the carrots in different forms like Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
It was also found in 2011 that drinking carrot juice regularly can reduce the damage to the lungs, and hence it reduces the chances of having lung cancer. So, carrots do have a very prominent role in reducing cancer which is proved by research as well.
So, carrot most certainly is not a stem vegetable, and it is a root that is also commonly called a taproot. Because of being the root of a plant, carrot has all the nutrients you would wish to have in your diet, and that is why it is advised by the doctors to include carrot in your diet.
Carrot is known to be very fibrous and has so many benefits that it could make you immune to multiple diseases. All in all, carrots belong to the root class, and they are not stem plants at all.