5 Fun Facts About Carrots

Carrots are low in calories, high in nutrition, and delicious in our Carrot Quinoa Grain Medley.

Medically Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on May 08, 2014
From the WebMD Archives

1. First Use

People first grew carrots as medicine, not food, for a variety of ailments.

2. They're How Old?

Carrots can be traced back about 5,000 years through historical documents and paintings. No one knows exactly when the first carrots appeared, because many people mistook them for parsnips, a close relative of the carrot.

3. Nutrition Facts

A medium-size carrot has 25 calories, 6 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. The veggie is an excellent source of vitamin A, providing more than 200% of your daily requirement in just one carrot. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a natural chemical that the body changes into vitamin A. The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene you’re getting.

4. Carrot Colors

We think of carrots as orange, but they can also be white, yellow, red, and purple.

5. A Surprising Hater of Carrots

Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon character Bugs Bunny, reportedly did not like carrots.

The deeper orange the carrot, the more beta-carotene you’re getting.

Recipe: Carrot Quinoa Grain Medley

Makes 8 servings


1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed and drained

1½ cups carrots, diced (about 3 medium)

1 large onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

2½ cups unsalted, nonfat chicken stock

pinch salt and pepper

2 ounces dry-roasted, salted pistachio kernels, chopped


1. Heat medium saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and quinoa, and stir 3 to 4 minutes to toast quinoa.

2. Add carrots, onion, red pepper, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Stir 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock, and bring medley to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.

4. Remove saucepan from heat. Let sit 5 minutes; then fluff with fork.

5. Garnish with pistachios and parsley.

Per serving: 266 calories,10 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 9 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 171 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 28%

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World Carrot Museum: "History of Carrots."

NutritionData: "Carrots, raw."

Mayo Clinic: "Betacarotene."

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