FACT: Cooking vegetables makes them soft, digestible and palatable by our system without expending huge amount of energy. There are downsides of cooking as well and many believe that raw vegetables are healthier to consume than cooked ones because cooking reduces their nutritional value. This cannot be disputed completely since certain nutrients like vitamin C get degraded when subjected to high temperatures. But, there are more and plenty of exceptions to this and certain vegetables behave contrary to this principle. Carrot tops that list.
Carrots are rich source of beta carotene, a carotenoid with antioxidant potential. Beta carotene is cell wall-bound in its original state. Cooking the carrot (boiling, thermal processing, etc.) causes carotene to disengage with the wall matrix, making in more bioavailable and absorbable. Also, it prevents deterioration of traits like flavour and colour by thermally inhibiting enzymatic activity and to a great extent, enhances the shelf life of carrots.
It is not just important to consume vegetables, but also to ensure that their nutrients reach you available and intact. Therefore, opt for cooked carrots instead of raw ones and exploit their nutritional benefits to the maximum.