Carrots are versatile veggies that add colorful zest to our dinner plates. Being a well-known source of vitamin A, just a single, full-size carrot more than fulfills an adult’s daily quotient of the essential vitamin.
Purple and yellow carrots were eaten more than 1,000 years ago in Afghanistan and 700 years ago in western Europe. At J R Organics, the red and purple carrots are grown from heirloom seeds . Scientists are learning that these plant pigments perform a range of protective duties in the human body—which is not surprising since many of the pigments serve to shield plant cells during photosynthesis.
The Color Source
Red carrots derive their color mainly from lycopene, a type of carotene believed to guard against heart disease and some cancers. Lycopene from red-pigmented carrots is 40 percent as bioavailable as it is from tomato paste. Purple carrots possess an entirely different class of pigments—anthocyanins—which act as powerful antioxidants.
Researchers have recently shown that highly pigmented carrots are a ready source of some sought-after nutrients such as:
- Lutein – one of the hydroxy carotenoids that make up the macular pigment of human retinas. Consuming foods high in lutein may increase the density of this pigment and decrease the risk for developing macular degeneration, an age-related disease.
- Carotenoids – different strains of carrots contain varying types and amounts
Studies have produced positive results regarding the taste of red and purple carrots. With their compelling health benefits and a thumbs-up from taste testers, colorful carrots are a great addition to your weekly produce.