Purple Carrots – An Old Superfood Gets New Life

purple carrots superfoodPurple carrots may sound totally new to you but did you know that carrots were originally purple? This variety was almost lost to us but thanks to farmers who are dedicated to preserving heirloom veggies they are beginning to appear in farmer’s markets and some supermarkets in North America. I was so thrilled to find bags of heirloom carrots in my local Freshco supermarket today that I bought 2 bags! 😀 So today I will be adding some purple carrots recipes.

Purple carrots – Why you should grab them whenever you can find them.

So what is the big deal about purple carrots and what is the difference besides color from our traditional orange variety? Well, the purple carrot is now being considered a new “super food”. It is loaded with 28 times more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties than the run of the mill orange carrot. Just like blueberries and blackberries, the deep purple-red color comes from anthocyanins.

Recent research in Britain has shown that this veggie has more value to it than just being a topic of conversation over the dinner table. When scientists tested it on rats they first fed the animals a high fat, high carb diet that is typical of most American families for 8 weeks prior to introducing the purple carrot to their diet. As expected, the 8 weeks of unhealthy diet caused an appearance of heart disease, pre-diabetic symptoms, damaged liver function and high blood pressure in the rats.

In the second 8 weeks of the study the juice of purple carrots was introduced to the diet. The blood pressure went down, the collagen in the heart was back to normal, the liver histology was back to normal, the liver enzymes, the glucose tolerance, the fat pads were all back to normal even though the rats continued consuming the unhealthy typical American diet.

I don’t know about you, but that is reason enough for me to introduce this wonderful veggie into my Paleo diet. You can prepare these the same way you prepare the orange varieties but keep in mind that the deep purple of the purple carrot is similar to beets in that the color is water soluble which means that it “bleeds” and will change the color of any food you are cooking it with.

I am excited about discovering purple carrots and can’t wait to add my new recipes so you can enjoy them too! Think of how pretty your carrot salad can be!

 

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