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Purple Carrots: The Next Superfood??

Purple Carrots: The Next Superfood??
Clever Training

If you haven’t seen these vibrantly colored carrots at your local market yet, chances are you will soon! But it’s not so much their growing popularity as their bountiful health benefits that make them a rising contender as the next champion superfood.

Purple: The Original Carrot

No, purple carrots are not a new genetically modified food fad. Believe it or not, long before carrots were ever orange, they were purple! In fact, violet-hued carrots were the norm before American colonists created the orange variety of carrots we all know today.

7687375152_318fc53f84Other than color preference, does it matter?

Yes and no. All carrots have a wide variety of benefits – the most important one perhaps being an ample source of vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin and immune systems, as well as good vision, among other health perks.  So we certainly aren’t disqualifying the orange carrot as you know it.

However, you may be surprised to learn that purple-pigmented carrots are more nutritious than their orange, yellow and white counterparts! (or should we say counterroots??) Thanks to the anthocyanins that give them their vibrant plum-colored pigment – the same flavonoids that give fruits like blueberries and acai berries their rich color – purple carrots are rich in antioxidants, helping you to ward off high cholesterol, certain cancers, oxidative stress, high blood pressure, and even obesity! (Be sure to see our section below for more information on these recent findings).

Purple carrots are also a great anti-inflammatory food, making them a powerful nutritional warrior against diseases like arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. They’re also antiviral and antibacterial, so it may just be that, like apples, a few purple carrots each day CAN keep the doctor away.

Purple Carrots in the News:

~ Studies performed at Queensland University have revealed that purple carrot juice stabilizes blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, and prevents liver and heart disease.

~ Early research shows promise in anthocyanins' (the antioxidant that gives purple carrots their pigment) ability to fight obesity. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported a 2008 study showing that mice who were fed a high-fat diet, rich in anthocyanins gained less weight than mice that were fed a high-fat diet without anthocyanins.

5253948559_89fabac03dWays to Eat Them

Shred them and include them in your salads and coleslaw.

Add them to smoothies or raw juices.

Roast them in the oven with a little sea salt or some herbs.

Remember carrot sticks? We’ve all become a little spoiled from ready-to-eat baby carrots. Although we haven’t yet seen baby carrots of the purple variety, there’s no shame in peeling and slicing  your purple carrots in a more snack-friendly form (or go ahead and eat them whole!)

Use them in baked goods like bread or muffins. (Purple carrot cake, anyone?)

Purple Carrot Recipes

IMG_0646Enjoy these purple carrot dishes & baked goods, and don't forget to share your own in the comments section below!

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Purple Carrot Ginger Soup – Click here.

Roasted Purple Carrots - Find here.

Purple Carrot Cupcakes - Get started here.

Other Purple Fruits & Veggies Containing Anthocyanins:

Blueberries

Blackberries

Grapes

Plums

Red Cabbage

Eggplant (when the skin is consumed)

Purple Cauliflower

Purple Peppers

Photo Credits: Featured Photo - Jez. Atkinson (Flickr); Second Photo - Ruth Hartnup (Flickr); Third Photo - Ken Hawkins (Flickr); Fourth Photo - Jesska's Kitchen (Feastie.com)

*Photographers are in no way affiliated with or have endorsed Clever Training.

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