We’ve bid adieu to 2020 and welcomed the New Year with zeal. If there’s one thing the year that passed taught us, it’s to not take our health for granted, come what may. And given the dip in temperature, hair and skin woes, among others, are aplenty this time of the year.
During winters, the lack of moisture in the air tends to dry out our hair and skin, leading to a number of issues such as dandruff, acne, chapping of lips, to name a few. However, there is a one-stop solution to all of these problems, and more – carrots. Filled with goodness of nutrients and essential vitamins, this root vegetable is the answer to a host of issues that crop up, especially in this season.
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“Carrots are great if you suffer from dry skin, because they are packed with potassium. Drink carrot juice regularly to keep your body and skin hydrated. Carrot juice may help in reducing the appearance of blemishes and scars. Furthermore, they provide your hair with vital vitamins, making your locks stronger, thicker and shinier,” says Dr Deepti Dhillon, a dermatologist.
For clear, nourished skin, go in for this DIY face mask. You will need 2tsp grated carrot and 1tsp milk cream (for oily skin, replace this with 1tsp aloe vera gel). Grind the carrots to a smooth paste and add the other ingredients to it. Mix well and apply evenly onto your skin after you’ve cleansed it with a mild cleanser. Leave it on for 15 minutes, rinse with cold water and pat dry.
And that’s not all. “Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Beta carotene is a natural pigment which is essential for our body, as it helps the body to make vitamin A, which helps in improving eyesight. Beta carotene also helps in protecting the eyes from the sun and reduces the risk of other eye problems. Also, vitamins and minerals present in carrots help in building antibodies to defend our immune system and also prevent infections,” says nutritionist Manisha Chopra, who recommends consuming two to three carrots every day.
What’s more, carrots also help in keeping blood pressure in check. “Red carrots are high in vitamins A, C and K. This vegetable, high in fibre, helps in lowering blood pressure. It is also helpful in relieving constipation,” shares chef Guntas Sethi Bhasin, who recommends whipping up a healthy Gajar ka Halwa to start the New Year on a sweet note.
The healthy halwa (Recipe by chef Guntas Sethi Bhasin)
Peel 1kg red, juicy carrots and grate only the red part. In a heavy-bottom kadhai, add 1-2tbsp ghee followed by the grated carrots. Sauté it for 4-5 minutes until colour changes slightly. Add 750g low fat milk and mix it together. Cook this mixture on low-medium flame. After a few minutes, the milk will begin to froth first and then start reducing slowly. Keep stirring the halwa mixture, often scraping the sides, and cook until the milk is almost reduced. Add 1tsp elaichi powder and 5-8tbsp jaggery powder (depending on sweetness of the carrots). Simmer till the halwa mixture starts to thicken and reduces more. Stir at intervals. Once the halwa is completely dry, garnish with some dry fruits and serve hot.
Gajar ka Halwa is a favourite in winters, filled with the goodness of juicy red carrots, ghee and milk.