Nutritional Analysis of Carrots

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Full Nutritional Analysis of the average carrot - 71/2 inches long

(Note: All Carrots are different, particularly the different colours)

Data source: USDA Nutrient Values Web Site
For 1 Raw Carrot (7-1/2 inches long)
Mean value per 72.00 grams edible part; 11.0% refuse
Portions: 1/2 CUP SHREDDED = 55.00 gm,
1 CARROT, 7-1/2 IN = 72.00 gm
4.0% Cals from fat,
9.7% Cals from protein,
86.3% Cals from carbs.

Name   Unit Amount Male
Food energy KCal 30.960 1.1% 1.4%
Protein   Gms 0.742 1.2% 1.5%
Total lipid (fat)   Gms 0.137 0.1% 0.2%
Carbohydrate, by diff. Gms 7.301 1.6% 2.2%
Total saturated fat Gms 0.022 0.1% 0.1%
Total monounsaturated fat Gms 0.006                 
Total polyunsaturated fat Gms 0.055                      
Cholesterol Mg 0.000 0.0% 0.0%
Sodium     Mg 25.200 5.0% 5.0%
Total dietary fiber   Gms 2.160 8.6% 8.6%
Vitamin A Re 2025.360 202.5% 253.2%
Vitamin A IU 20252.880                    
Ascorbic acid  Mg 6.696 11.2% 11.2%
Thiamin Mg 0.070 4.7% 6.3%
Riboflavin Mg 0.042 2.5% 3.3%
Niacin Mg 0.668 3.5% 4.5%
Vitamin B6 Mg 0.106 5.3% 6.6%
Vitamin B12 Mcg 0.000 0.0% 0.0%
Folacin Mcg 10.080 5.0% 5.6%
Potassium Mg 232.560 11.6% 11.6%
Calcium Mg 19.440 2.4% 2.4%
Phosphorus Mg 31.680 4.0% 4.0%
Magnesium Mg 10.800 3.1% 3.9%
Iron Mg 0.360 3.6% 2.4%
Zinc    Mg 0.144 1.0% 1.2%
Pantothenic acid Mg 0.142 2.8% 2.8%
Copper Mg 0.034 1.7% 1.7%
Manganese      Mg 0.102 2.9% 2.9%
Ash  Gms 0.626                
Water   Gms 63.209                  
Food energy KJ 130.320                
Lauric acid   (12:0) Gms 0.001                   
Myristic acid (14:0) Gms 0.001                  
Palmitic acid (16:0) Gms 0.017                    
Stearic acid  (18:0) Gms 0.001                     
Palmitoleic acid(16:1) Gms 0.001                  
Oleic acid      (18:1) Gms 0.004                
Linoleic acid (18:2/n6) Gms 0.048 0.8% 1.0%
Linolenic acid(18:3/n3) Gms 0.007 0.4% 0.6%
Phytosterols Mg 8.640           
Histidine Gms 0.012 1.2% 1.5%
Isoleucine Gms 0.030 3.7% 4.7%
Leucine Gms 0.031 2.8% 3.5%
Lysine Gms 0.029 3.0% 3.8%
Methionine Gms 0.005                 
Cystine Gms 0.006                   
Methionine+Cystine Gms 0.011 1.0% 1.3%
Phenylalanine    Gms 0.023                   
Tyrosine  Gms 0.014                 
Phenylalanine+Tyrosine Gms 0.037 3.4% 4.3%
Threonine Gms 0.027 5.0% 3.1%
Tryptophan Gms 0.008 2.8% 3.6%
Valine     Gms 0.032 4.0% 5.0%
Arginine Gms 0.031              
Alanine Gms 0.042                   
Aspartic acid Gms 0.099                   
Glutamic acid Gms 0.145                
Glycine  Gms 0.022                    
Serine  Gms 0.025                   

Not all of the chemical constituents of carrots are for our health; some appear to be there for the health of the carrot itself. One reason that the carrot can be stored for long periods of time, such as over winter in a root cellar, is that the carrot has a mechanism to guard against microbial decomposition (rot).

There are three enemies of carrot storage: wilt, re-growth and rot. The first of these is no problem if the carrot is stored where the humidity is high. The second is of little consequence if the carrot is stored at 0 to 5°C.

The carrot itself contributes much toward conquering the last enemy, rot. At the present time, scientists are busy determining how the disease response mechanism of the carrot operates. There appear to be three lines of resistance which the carrot uses, based on the chemicals contained within the carrot and its skin.  Read more about the Carrot Disease Response Mechanism and the contributory elements.

Important Note - The chemical constituents of carrot are not there by chance, but perform a function. Many constituents of the orange carrot we now cultivate are also in the white root of the wild carrot, Queen Anne's lace, from which our carrot was developed. This is true of falcarinol, falcarindiol, and myristicin. Carotene (present in small amounts in Queen Anne's lace) has been increased by centuries of selection. Volatile oils have been decreased in this process. Plant scientists must continue to monitor all known constituents nutritive and non-nutritive - as new cultivars of the carrot are developed to keep our vegetables nutritious and safe. Plant breeding for the sake of high yields, appearance, and keeping quality will not be sufficient.

Carotenoid pigments provide red, yellow and orange colours and antioxidant protection to a wide variety of plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi. In plants, carotenoids play a protective role in photosynthesis by dissipating excess light energy absorbed by the photosynthetic mechanism. 

What it means is that carotenoids are good antioxidant compounds which effectively prevent damage to DNA or other important parts of cells. This damage can be caused by ‘free radicals’ which are very reactive molecules generated through the normal living processes of a cell (the release or generation of energy).

In plants, the carotenoids protect the plant cells from damage caused by energy from the sun in the same way. Carotenoids are also a starting point for the construction of other useful compounds, so their function is not always protective. There are possibly more important  parts of the plant containing carotenoids (eg the leaves) where they are less obvious because they are masked by the green colour of chlorophyll. In the parts of the plant which don’t photosynthesize, we can see their presence more easily.


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