Whole carrots cancer boost17th June 2009
New research has revealed that the anti-cancer properties of carrots are better if they are cooked whole.
A Newcastle University study found carrots that were boiled before they were cut up contained 25% more of the anti-cancer compound falcarinol than those chopped up first.
The research, to be presented at NutrEvent – a conference on nutrition and health in France – will also show that rats fed falcarinol developed fewer tumours.
Dr Kirsten Brandt from Newcastle University's School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development said: "Chopping up your carrots increases the surface area so more of the nutrients leach out into the water while they are cooked.
"By keeping them whole and chopping them up afterwards you are locking in nutrients and the taste, so the carrot is better for you all round."
The scientists, working with the University of Denmark, have been working on the health benefits of falcarinol for the past four years.
The latest findings show that when carrots are heated, the heat kills the cells, so they lose the ability to hold on to the water inside them, increasing the concentration of falcarinol as the carrots lose water.
The natural sugars which are responsible for giving carrots a sweeter flavour, occur in higher concentrations when the vegetable is cooked whole.
However, the charity Cancer Research UK is not convinced that keeping carrots whole has any impact on cancer risk and that a balanced diet containing food and vegetables plays “an important part in reducing the risk of many types of cancer.”
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Title: Whole carrots cancer boost
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 11791
Date Added: 17th Jun 2009