Chock-full of Vitamin A, organic carrots are warriors when it comes to fighting free radicals. This personal story describes how one author used carrot juice to combat a cancer diagnosis, although he hated the taste as a child.
I hated carrots as a child! Yet learning about the power of carrots literally saved me from cancer.
My parents, who immigrated from Austria (now Yugoslavia), were avid vegetable eaters. After all, I was born in l923, when refrigeration was very archaic. We actually used iceboxes to store our perishables. There was an iceman who came to our home every other day. Produce had to be purchased almost on a daily basis, especially in the summer.
Every time my mother cooked carrots, I used to gag. But I ate them for her, as most children do. I preferred the candies, cakes and sweet stuff, especially the desserts my beautiful mother used to make on special occasions. Even after I left home at the age of l8, I never watched what I ate. When I became a football star at the University of Southern California, my coach encouraged me to eat more and more red meats and cheeses. By the tender age of 26, I came down with cancer, which changed my life forever.
I had heard about a controversial medical doctor who had helped cure Albert Schweitzer’s serious health problems, and his name was Dr Max Gerson. A medical doctor from Germany practising in New York, Dr Gerson was being touted as a genius in curing cancers among Americans.
The first day I went to New York to meet Dr Gerson, he told me something I would never forget: Carrot juice is molecularly almost identical to human blood! This is when I realized that carrots were going to become my new best friend, and that if I wanted to heal myself, I needed to start liking them NOW!
I enveloped myself in this new regime of cancer healing. I drank almost 13 glasses of carrot-apple juice every day for two years almost exclusively. Fifty-two years later, I am alive, well and here to share with you these healing properties available to any person wishing to change their lives for the better.
Why Should We Consume Carrots?
Carrots are very high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, also known as pro-vitamin A. Studies have shown that as we consume more of these antioxidants, they help to eliminate free radicals, which damage our cells and ultimately affect our health. Beta-carotene is converted in the body into the most usable form of vitamin A. It’s easier to digest than vitamin A in tablet form and is known to improve eyesight and promote beautiful skin. It helps to support the immune system and build strong bones, tissues and teeth, as well as assist in RNA synthesis and stimulate thyroid and adrenal function. Carrots also have melanin in them, which helps to protect the skin from sun damage and cancers such as melanoma.
Try to buy carrots that are certified organically grown. Look for straight and firm carrots with a bright orange colour. Purchasing carrots with the greens attached is all right so long as you do not cook the greens. They are nice to keep attached in the fridge, as the carrots will stay fresh longer. Just make sure to cut them off and use them in your mulch rather than cook them. (They are very bitter.) Do not purchase carrots if there’s whitish hair growing from them. No split or cracked carrots. No green shoulders or green cores, which are caused by too much sun during the growth phase.
My wife and I live in San Diego, and we buy carrots by the 25-pound bag. We juice approximately 50 pounds per week for a family of four. Believe it or not, we don’t pay that much. Why? Because these carrots may not be perfect-looking, but they are perfect in every other way. Because we are juicing them, they do not need to look visually perfect. The only thing to remember is, if you buy them in a 25-pound bag, be sure that they have not sweated in the bag, which can cause them to become limp, wet and mouldy. These carrots should never be consumed either in juice or cooked form. My suggestion is that you ask your grocer to go into the back and bring you 25 pounds of packaged carrots. Usually, carrots are shipped in this form anyway before the grocer opens them up and sells them loose by the pound.
You can store carrots in the fridge for up to 10 days, although it’s not recommended. One week is a better bet. Keep your carrots inside your crisper (preferably wrapped in paper towels and inside a zip-lock bag), washed and ready for either juicing, salads or cooking.
Easy Carrot Recipes
My favourite anti-cancer remedy in juice form is made from carrots and apples, which makes a very sweet and delicious drink that even non-carrot lovers in your family will enjoy. Eight small carrots and one golden delicious apple make about two glasses (500 ml) of juice.
My favourite carrot salad is:
3 carrots, julienned
1/2 cup (125 g) raisins
1 cup (250 g) shredded Napa or thinly sliced green cabbage
l/4 cup (60 g) pepitas (These are actually pumpkin seeds that have been soaked in soy sauce and roasted. They’re found in grocery stores already prepared as pepitas.)
l cup (250 g) zucchini, julienned
2 cups (500 g) organic green lettuce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
l/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 ml) soy sauce, tamari or Bragg liquid amino acids
Toss the salad with the crushed garlic. Add the olive oil and soy sauce, tamari or Bragg amino acids. Then toss them all the ingredients together.
This salad goes really well with my carrot-apple juice recipe above. When my wife and I are really hungry, we warm up corn tortillas until they are just hot and then use them as soft tacos with, of course, the salad as filling.
Bugs Bunny knew about the power of carrots. Now so do you. Incorporate them into your lives every day. Suffice to say, there are innumerable health-giving reasons to root for this amazing root!
Symptoms of Beta-Carotene or Vitamin A Deficiencies
- appetite loss
- dry hair
- impaired growth
- itching, burning eyes
- loss of smell
- night blindness
- rough, dry skin
- sinus trouble
- steroid synthesis reduction
Quirky Carrot Facts
- Carrots were first cultivated in Afghanistan in the seventh century.
- Carrots originally had purple exteriors and yellow flesh.
- In the Middle Ages, the Dutch developed the bright orange carrot we know now as the bearer of carotene.
- Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A once it reaches the intestine.