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Purple Carrots: Health Benefits, Uses And Recipe

If you have been to a grocery store, you must have seen carrots in a variety of colours such as orange, white, purple, red and yellow. Whatever their colours are, all types of carrots are rich in nutrients, especially purple carrots which are packed full of antioxidants.

Cultivated carrots can be distinguished into two main groups: Eastern-type carrots (purple and yellow carrot) and the Western-type carrots (orange, red, yellow and white carrots) [1]. Today, the Eastern-type carrots have been replaced by the Western-type carrots [2].

Interestingly, carrots were originally white or purple in colour. And the modern day orange-coloured carrots that we commonly see in grocery stores are likely to have been developed due to genetic mutation from a new breed of yellow carrots.

Purple carrots are a good source of vitamins and minerals and contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that have positive effects on your health [3].

In this article, we'll explore the health benefits of purple carrots and ways to consume them.

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Nutritional Information Of Purple Carrots

All types of carrots are rich in various nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, fibre, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, iron and calcium.

However, purple carrots contain a high concentration of anthocyanins which gives fruits and vegetables their purple colour. Purple potatoes, purple cabbage, black grapes, plums, eggplant and blackberries are some of the purple-coloured fruits and vegetables that have high anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are coloured water-soluble pigments belonging to the phenolic group of antioxidants which benefit your health in many ways [4] [5].

Nutritional Health Benefits Of Purple Potatoes

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Health Benefits Of Purple Carrots

1. May aid in weight loss

Consuming purple carrots can keep you feeling full for a long time and reduce your appetite, thanks to its fibre content [6]. A 2016 study showed that people who consume more anthocyanin-rich foods may help in weight management and prevent obesity [7].

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2. May lower metabolic syndrome risk

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A study published in The British Journal of Nutrition found that high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet fed rats developed high blood pressure, liver fibrosis, cardiac fibrosis, impaired glucose tolerance and abdominal fat were given purple carrot juice, which resulted in an improvement in glucose tolerance, cardiovascular and liver structure and function due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of anthocyanins [8].

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3. Reduce cholesterol levels

The presence of anthocyanins in purple carrots can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by keeping your cholesterol levels in check. Anthocyanins may help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol [9] [10].

Health Benefits Of Eating Purple Coloured Fruits & Vegetables

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4. Lower inflammatory intestinal conditions

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe conditions that cause chronic inflammation in the digestive tract.

Animal and test-tube studies have shown that purple carrots may improve certain inflammatory bowel conditions (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis. A 2018 study published in the Preventive Nutrition and Food Science reported that mice with colitis were fed purple carrot powder, resulting in a significant reduction in inflammation [11].

Another study published in the journal Food and Function showed the effects of anthocyanin-rich purple carrots on lowering inflammation associated with IBD [12].

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5. May decrease diabetes risk

Obesity or being overweight increases the risk of diabetes. And studies have shown that increasing the intake of foods rich in anthocyanins can help in managing and preventing the risk of diabetes [13] [14].

Red Fruits & Vegetables Are Packed With Amazing Health Benefits

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6. May manage cancer risk

Purple carrots are high in anthocyanins which exhibit anti-cancer properties. A 2018 study showed rats that were exposed to a cancer-promoting compound were fed a diet supplemented with purple carrot extract, which resulted in lowering the development of cancer [15].

Another study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology pointed out that consuming plenty of purple fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of colon cancer [16].

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7. Lower Alzheimer’s disease risk

Studies have shown that anthocyanins are effective in protecting against neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease and can help improve cognitive function [17].

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Ways To Add Purple Carrots In Your Diet

  • Grate or chop purple carrots and add to your salads.
  • Sauté purple carrots with olive oil, pepper and salt.
  • Add them in your juices and smoothies.
  • Grate them and add to your sweet dishes.
  • Cook purple carrots and add to hummus.
  • Add purple carrots to soups, stews, broths, stir-fries and other dishes.

Image ref:TimesofIndia

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Purple Carrots Recipe

Roasted purple carrots with black sesame dukkah [18]

Ingredients:

  • 900 gm purple carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a foil or parchment paper on the baking pan.
  • Place the carrots, garlic and thyme on the pan. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt. Toss the mixture well and roast it for 25 to 30 minutes until the carrots have turned tender. Then discard the thyme.
  • Meanwhile prepare the dukkah by adding pistachios, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin powder and salt to a pan and cook it for 2-4 minutes until warm and fragrant.
  • On a plate, place the carrots and garlic. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle the dukkah on it.

Image ref:Eatingwell