This is the best way to cook carrots if you want to boost your immune system

Raw carrots are a great dipping tool but cooking carrots this way might be better for your immunity

Person washes carrots under a running tap
(Image credit: Getty)

To cook or not to cook? This might not have crossed your mind when it comes to vegetables but it turns out there is a better way to consume carrots if you want to up your vitamin A intake and aid your immune system as a result.

Vitamin A is classed as an anti-inflammatory vitamin because it's useful for boosting immune function by helping to maintain our bodies' natural defenses. You can find vitamin A in some of the best fish oil supplements, but these tablets aren't the only way to get your fill. This is why looking at your diet is a good idea.

Findings from a comparative study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that cooked and pureed was the best way to eat carrots. This is because higher levels of beta-carotene were absorbed from meals including carrots cooked and pureed compared to meals served with raw carrots.

Beta-carotene is a plant pigment found in many fruits and vegetables, including carrots. The body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which helps protect things like vision and eye health, skin, and your immune system. 

Our immunity is something worth protecting now more than ever with a virus like COVID-19 still present in 2022.

Cooked carrots

(Image credit: Getty)

It's often root vegetables or big leafy greens that contain high levels of nutrients for our bodies to enjoy eating and benefit from. And fortunately, there are lots of vegetable-inspired recipes supplied in some of the best vegan cookbooks that share the best ways to prep and cook them.

Carrot puree can either sound like a very sophisticated dish or perhaps remind some people of baby food. However, it isn't that hard to make and is a healthy alternative to potatoes or rice. You can boil and mash carrots and serve with some grilled chicken, or if you are veggie or vegan pureed carrot could form a nice topping for a vegetable or Quorn bake.

A carrot puree can be made tastier by adding some ginger to it. Ginger is another natural ingredient that science has found to help support our immunity as it can act as an antioxidant and have anti-inflammatory effects. 

Don't be scared to experiment with your ingredients and cooking this year. The kitchen is a great place to expand your recipe bank and using a best air fryer might encourage you to try out cooking your favorite foods more healthily.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.