These purple carrots occasionally turn up in our Able and Cole organic veg box, they come all dressed in their green finery and not a bit goes to waste.
Purple carrots are every bit as healthy as our standard orange varieties but come with the additional benefits contained in their purple hue, the same ones that make blueberries, for instance, a superfood.
Purple carrots originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago, before the orange ones from Turkey.
They contain the usual Vitamin A and Betacarotene of their orange cousins but up to 28 times the anthocyanins – the phytochemicals that give them their purple colour. These phytochemicals are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and along with the usual carotenoids, they are believed to help promote good vision.
Blue- and purple-coloured fruit and vegetables are also believed to help improve memory, protect against heart attacks, help control weight and blood cholesterol as well as improve glucose tolerance.
Here’s where it’s really interesting though: researchers at the University of Queensland discovered that purple carrot juice may help in reversing the negative effects of a high fat/high carbohydrate diet.* The juice was low in carotenoids compared with whole raw carrots and they deduced that it was likely the anthocyanins that made the difference in increasing glucose tolerance, as well as cardiovascular and liver function. They noted also that the soluble fibre in purple carrots helps lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose.
Carrot greens are generally discarded, but you could benefit from adding some to a juice or snipping them into a salad, soup or stew. (NB I use organic carrot greens, which I know have not been sprayed, there are no known official warnings about sprayed greens, but please wash all vegetables and leaves thoroughly).
They contain protein and are rich in calcium and potassium, magnesium (in which many people are deficient) and vitamin K which is necessary for good bone health.
Carrot greens also contain up to 6 times more vitamin C than the roots.
(We find they need using within 2 or 3 as they soon wilt and start going yellow).
Watch out for a juice recipe using purple carrots and carrot greens, coming soon. For now, here’s my Purple Morning Glory using purple instead of orange carrots – it’s such a vibrant colour! (I love ginger and am used to a lot, but use your discretion and begin with a thin slice! It is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and along with the vitamin A and C in the fruit, this is an excellent juice if drunk regularly to help prevent and ease the symptoms of colds or other chronic ailments).
If you are at all concerned about using any information in this post, please consult your doctor.
Copyright: Chris McGowan