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Cooking Carrots Whole Gives Extra Cancer Protection

Posted Jun 17 2009 6:45pm

New research has proven that we can up our cancer fighting skills merely by popping our vibrant carrots into the pot whole to cook, rather than chopping them up first. Could it really be that easy? Yes – and in fact there is even a suggestion they taste nicer this way too!

So OK, you may need to hunt out your mega pans, but the action of cooking a carrot whole before chopping it up to eat could increase its cancer fighting properties by 25 per cent! Or so say the researchers at the University of Newcastle, who discovered that “boiled-before-cut” carrots had as much as quarter more quantities of the anti-cancer compound falcarinol compared to those that were chopped up first.

The reason it tastes better this way, is because all the sugars in the carrots that make them taste so sweet are conserved in higher concentrations.

The wonderful effects of the carrot or more specifically of falcarinol, was fist identified four years earlier by Kisten Brandt who headed the study, discovering that rats feeding on Buggs Bunny’s favourite food had a third less likely chance of getting tumours, compared to rats on a different diet.

“Chopping up your carrots increases the surface area so more of the nutrients leach out into the water while they are being cooked,”said Dr Brandt.“By cooking them whole and chopping them up afterwards you are locking in both taste and nutrients. We all want to try to improve our health and diet by getting the right nutrients and eating our five-a-day.

“The great thing about this is it’s a simple way for people to increase their uptake of a compound we know is good for you.”

The successful team took their results to a conference in Lille, France yesterday. In addition, just to hammer their point home, they used 100 people to try a blind taste test in order to compare the “boiled-before-cut” versus “cut-before-boiled” carrots. And the results? Well almost unanimous – with over 80 per cent preferring the former.

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