In the world there is a great variety of different types of carrots, grouped by size and colors.
We know the usual orange ones, but they are also very striking and really nutritious the purple carrots.
This color makes it full of polyphenols and antioxidant substances highly beneficial for our body, so playing with orange and purple varieties is positive for our diet
In this article we want to tell you what are the specific benefits of purple carrots and its distinction with those of orange color.
The history of the purple carrot
The most common is to find the orange carrot, with mini or fresh varieties, both for consumption in salads and for cooking.
However, what about purple carrots?
Well, interestingly, the origin of the carrot it was purple or even white.
We speak of the tenth century AD.C. where there is evidence of its cultivation by the Persian Empire, noting its purple and whitish color.
The orange, as we know it today, is the result of genetic evolution and crosses, but it is considered a modern carrot.
It is simply a matter of aesthetics and adaptation to the profile of consumption. You can classify orange carrots for Western marketing and the purple carrots more for the Asian market.
Nutritional value of purple carrots
Is there a difference between purple carrots and orange carrots?
To begin with, most of them, regardless of their place of origin or their color, usually contain the same nutritional balance.
We talk about nutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
However, the big difference of purple carrots is their content in polyphenols and antioxidant substances. Specifically, purple carrots contain a type of antioxidant known as anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are part of a group of polyphenols with antioxidant effect and that we can find in varieties of vegetables and fruits of bluish or purple color such as grapes, cabbage, purple carrots, purple potatoes, etc.
These antioxidants are very important in our diet, since they reduce the oxidative stress.
Industrial foods, fumes or burnt products (yes, burnt toast), are full of free radicals which are the origin of many problems and diseases in the medium and long term.
In fact, this oxidative stress it is related to serious diseases such as strokes, premature aging or different types of cancer. [Additional Information]
The value of the purple carrot is in its antioxidant content
The anthocyanins contained in this vegetable act as a potent polyphenolic antioxidant.
Diets that usually contain this type of antioxidants reduce health problems, especially related to inflammatory processes.
These polyphenols act as anti-inflammatory protectors by reducing free radicals and the presence of pro-inflammatory cytokines. [See study]
However, in the purple carrot we do not only find anthocyanins. The presence of other polyphenols such as caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid.
These also offer antioxidant activity and are found in large concentrations in this vegetable.
Activity on the cardiovascular system
Some studies have concluded that a diet high in anthocyanins improves circulation blood, so it offers cardiovascular advantages. [See study]
Other mass studies (more than 30,000 women) also concluded that a daily dose of 0.2 mg anthocyanins significantly reduces the risk of suffering from different types of heart disease. [See study]
Activity against type 2 diabetes
On the other hand, the intake of foods rich in anthocyanins also acts against diabetes type 2.
Although current studies have only been done in vitro, today there is a lot of interest about polyphenols and their possible activity to offer greater resistance to glucose spikes. [See study]
Reduction of mental deterioration
The anthocyanins in purple carrots not only serve to ward off heart disease. They are also related, according to scientific studies, such as the delayed mental impairment.
These polyphenols are linked to improved learning and memory retention in children, adults, and the elderly. [See study]
Possible preventive effects against cancer
The word cancer generates a lot of fear.
However, we have been aware of the implications of a healthy diet in the prevention of this type of serious diseases for many years.
And when we talk about food, we mention reducing the intake of processed foods, increasing the diet of fiber from fruits and vegetables, more vitamins and antioxidant substances.
The studies carried out in terms of prevention with respect to different antioxidants contained in purple carrots, are positive against the appearance of these diseases.
However, there is still a long way to go.
Some small animal studies have linked diets supplemented with purple carrots to lower cancer cell development. [See study]
These anthocyanins are able to inhibit the growth of these cells in different parts of the body, such as blood, liver, breast or colon.
Other studies conducted in people with cancer have concluded that a diet high in purple vegetables and fruits (presence of anthocyanins) considerably reduced the evolution of colorectal cancer. [See study]
Purple carrots help us lose weight
Any diet rich in vegetables is effective for weight loss, as long as it is accompanied by sports activity.
Its low or no fat content added to a high fiber intake it makes them especially nutritious but without providing “free” calories.
Purple carrots and oranges are an excellent snack to snack on between meals, since their flavor is sweet, appetizing and crunchy.
In fact, every time we find fresh products of carrots directly for chopping. In fact, it is the special companion of hummus, made with chickpea.
The high content in soluble fiber of carrots make us satiate soon, since it activates the production of hormones that produce the feeling of satiety (peptide YY).
Reduction of metabolic syndrome
The metabolic syndrome is a disease that produces an increase in cholesterol, hypertension, increased glucose and concentration of fat in the abdomen.
This problem increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, a diet rich in vegetables like purple carrots, where anthocyanins improve cardiac markings and offer glucose resistance, it is exceptional.
May reduce intestinal problems
The intestinal inflammation it is increasingly common in the Western population, and is a chronic inflammation of part of the digestive tract.
Faced with this problem, the increase in the intake of fruits and vegetables and, in particular, carotenoid antioxidants improved the body’s response to colitis and intestinal inflammation.
The studies have initially been carried out in specimen and in animals, so there is still work to be done. [See study]
The purple carrot is very easy to introduce into our diet
Something we look for from anyone functional food it is the ease of being able to introduce it into our day to day.
Well, with purple carrots we have it really easy, since you either love them or hate them deeply.
They can be used cooked (boiled, roasted, fried, etc.) or even fresh consumption, as a snack or accompaniment to sauces.
The fact that it is purple compared to the orange does not give it many differences in flavor or texture, so if we want to incorporate carotenoid-type antioxidants, we can play with different kinds of carrots.