It seems like most of the healthy practices and tips take additional time out of our busy lives. But here’s one that actually SAVES time while being beneficial!

Somewhere I read that carrots don’t need to be peeled since actually contain beneficial compounds and bacteria on the surface. So lately I’ve been washing and then chopping the ends off of my carrots without peeling them. This is such a time-saver! Which in turn means I eat more carrots (or rather, I don’t pass over raw carrots because I don’t want to peel them).

The attached photos are from last night’s quick dinner – a before and an after. I washed the carrots and a cucumber with a diluted vinegar spray and some “good ol’ elbow grease” for some friction to remove whatever dirt or contaminants were present on the surface (I did NOT use a sponge to scrub them to a polished orange) under running hot water. I then chopped the ends (which I saved to throw in the compost barrel) and sliced them into single-bite sized lengths. I did the same for a cucumber.

You can also see in the close-up photo little black specks and white lines in the ribbed crevices of the carrot. This is NOT dirt. It is good bacteria which promotes healthy digestion. It is already there. Peeling a carrot removes these bonus nutrients.

It should be noted that these are ORGANIC carrots. I would definitely still peel conventional carrots that have been sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. Removing the outer layer of a carrot that contains the largest amount of pesticides and chemicals is more important than the health benefits of the good nutrients and bacteria. And this also does not apply to baby carrots, which are really normal carrots that have been shaved down to make smaller carrots – which some find more appealing. Baby carrots have already had the healthy bacteria removed.

This may seem like a lot of talk about a carrot. But I hope that:

1) This simple change allows you to add more carrots to meals (especially applicable for packed lunches, appetizers or quick bites on the go).
2) You take an inquisitive look at things you “have always done” or things you were taught (consciously or unconsciously) to do by your family – the food available to us today is vastly different than that our grandparents consumed. Our at-home methods and practices haven’t evolved as quickly as the food industry has changed. This dichotomy all too often is determental to our health.
3) You factor additional parameters (eg. organic vs. conventional; pesticides/ chemicals; local vs. imported) into your mental calculus when it comes to food purchasing, selection, and preparation.
4) Acceptance for the concept of promoting “good bacteria” in your gut.

Matt Anderson
BCI Sports Performance and Fitness
Madison, AL