International Carrot Day falls on 4 April this year. Here are a few fun, food facts about this popular vegetable.

ICD was founded in 2003 to spread knowledge about carrots and its good features.

The carrot originated from the wild carrot called ‘Daucus carota’, which was native to Europe and south western Asia.

The carrot is a root vegetable and although usually orange, purple, black, red, white and yellow varieties exist.

The orange colour comes from carotenes, mainly the beta carotene, which is a strongly coloured red-orange pigment.

The human body turns beta carotene into vitamin A, which is key for our vision, bones, teeth and skin.

The plant of a carrot (the greens) can grow up to one metre (3.2 feet) tall and flowers around June to August.

Cultivated carrots are made up of 88% water, 7% sugar, 1% protein, 1% fibre, 1% ash and 0.2% fat.

The natural sugars and sweetness of carrots allow them to be used in carrot cakes of western countries, while in India they are used as desserts and Portugal use the vegetable in jam.