Marinated Carrots with Mint and Garlic

By: Carrie Lam, MD; Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH

A batch of carrots for use in marinated carrotsWhen you think of carrots such as in a marinated carrots recipe, you probably think of bright orange, but there are actually hundreds of different varieties of carrots, including purple, white, and yellow ones. The US is a large grower of carrots, behind only China and Russia in terms of the sheer volume produced. Most American carrots are grown in California, Michigan, and Washington. They don’t really go out of season, but those grown in summer or fall typically have more flavor than those grown in winter and spring. Ethylene gas, released by certain other vegetables and fruits, can turn carrots bitter, so store carrots away from apples, pears, and potatoes.

The history of carrots has been traced back about 5,000 years. They were originally cultivated in Europe and Southwest Asia—not for the roots as food, but for the leaves and seeds as medicine for a variety of illnesses. A number of studies have shown carrots to beneficial in many ways. Carrots are a well-known source of beta-carotene, which can help improve vision. Carrots are also a good source of vitamin A, and some studies show that vitamin A deficiency can cause deterioration in some segments of photoreceptors. People who are not deficient in vitamin A, however, are unlikely to see significant improvements in vision from consuming carrots. The reputation of carrots as eye food began during World War II. The British Royal Air Force had a new radar system they didn’t want the Germans to know about, so they started a huge advertising campaign that claimed their pilot’s accuracy was due to improved eyesight they gained from eating carrots. The rumor continues to circulate today.

Beta-carotene and other antioxidants in carrots may help reduce the risk of some cancers and coronary heart disease.

Some studies have shown that carrot extract may be able to improve cognitive function, enhance memory, lower cholesterol, and protect the liver against environmental toxins. Carrot extract has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties comparable to over the counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Since impaired liver function and inflammation are both symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), you should consider increasing your consumption of carrots if you suffer from AFS.

Carrots contain antioxidant compounds and phytochemicals that may help regulate blood sugar, slow the aging process, and boost the immune system. Natural health practitioners frequently use carrots—either shredded or boiled—on wounds to prevent infection.

Steamed carrots, an alternative to marinated carrotsCarrots can be prepared in many different ways, but steamed carrots retain more flavor than boiled carrots. While many vegetables become less nutritious when cooked, carrots seem to be the opposite. The cells of the carrot are very difficult for the body to break down, making it difficult to access the nutrients. One study showed that only 3% of the carotenoid content of carrots is absorbed by the body from eating raw carrots. Pulping and cooking the carrots increased availability to 27%, while cooking in a bit of oil further increases carotene absorption to 39%.

If you’ve only ever eaten carrots raw, boiled, or steamed, you’re missing out. Carrots can also be pulped, fried, stewed, or baked. They can be juiced for a detoxification regime or pureed or grated before being added to other foods. They can even be fried and made into carrot chips. Their natural sweetness makes them a popular dessert in India and a common jam ingredient in Peru. Marinated carrots are particularly good.

Be cautious of baby carrots, however. Baby carrots are not, as the name might imply, young carrots. They are broken and malformed carrots that consumers would otherwise be reluctant to buy. The carrots are cut down to a smaller size so they look better. This is not a problem in itself, but once the carrots are cut down, they are bathed in chlorine to make them last longer. Baby carrots also typically cost more than their whole counterparts do. Whenever possible, look for organic carrots, as non-organic carrots often contain significant amounts of pesticide. If organic carrots are not an option, be sure to wash the carrots well and peel them before eating. This will help to remove most of the toxins, which are particularly harmful for those with Adrenal Fatigue.

There are many healthy ways to prepare carrots, but if you need an idea, here’s a recipe for marinated carrots to get you started.

Marinated Carrots with Mint and Garlic

Ingredients A:

Glazed carrots sliced, another different alternative to marinated carrots4 cups carrots, sliced

Ingredients B:

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Ingredients C:

1/4 to 1/3 cup mint leaves, finely chopped


  1. Steam the carrots for 5 minutes, or until just tender.
  2. Put carrots in a serving bowl and mix in Ingredients B.
  3. Marinate for at least 30 minutes in fridge.
  4. Mix in mint and serve chilled or at room temperature

Serves 6
Calories: 41 calories
Fats: 0.2 gm
Protein: 1 gm
Carbohydrates: 9 gm

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Glazed carrots sliced, another different alternative to marinated carrots
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I find it very interesting to discover that most of the food stuffs consumed for the past 50 years has been unrecommended. In Africa it's not easy to find the recommended cheaply. I wonder what one needs to do in such circumstances. The information was very enlightening.