Any way you color them, carrots are packed with an arsenal of antioxidant defense

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Perhaps Bugs Bunny should have been a nutritionist. After all, his food of choice is a smart pick. Carrots, a member of the parsley family, contain a wealth of beta-carotene, which provides protection against age-related cataracts. The root veggies are also rich in vitamins C and K, potassium, and fiber. Deliciously sweet rainbow carrots, born from heirloom yellow, purple, and red seeds, contain several different disease-thwarting antioxidants (including lycopene and lutein), making them worth seeking out at farmers’ markets.

Choose It & Use It

Look for firm carrots that are free of cracks. If you buy them with greens attached, trim the greens to 1 inch—they rob the carrots of water, causing limpness. Shred carrots into baked goods, purée into soups, and roast with herbs. But try to save the chopping for the last step; U.K. scientists discovered that cutting carrots after cooking reduces their loss of the anticancer compound falcarinol by 25 percent.