When it comes to carrots, most of us are used to seeing the orange variety, but have you ever heard of the black carrot? Despite its unique purple-black color, it is not as well-known in the United States as its orange counterpart. However, black carrots are a staple in many parts of the world, particularly in Asian countries.
This little-known vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrition and is packed with anthocyanins, a pigment that gives it its deep purple-black color. With numerous health benefits, including the ability to fight cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and oxidative stress, black carrots are a great addition to any diet.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the many health benefits of this nutrient-rich vegetable and why you should consider adding it to your diet.
What Is A Black Carrot?
A black carrot is a cultivar of the vegetable Daucus carota subsp. sativus, which is scientifically known as a carrot. It is most commonly found in China and India, and it is one of the many color variations of the carrot, including red, purple, white, yellow, and black. There are also reports that state black carrots originate from Afghanistan, Turkey, and surrounding countries.
The color variation is primarily due to the concentration of compounds present in the different types. The dark color of the purple and black varieties is due to the high concentration of anthocyanins, while orange and yellow carrots tend to be higher in beta-carotene and other active ingredients.
Black carrots have a unique taste that is different from the traditional white or orange carrots. They have an unexpected sweetness with a subtle spicy aftertaste. They have a black exterior, but the interior may be paler in color. Black carrots are most commonly found in the East where they are grown, but they can still be found in specialty and import stores. Black carrot extract is also commonly used for its health properties.
What Does Black Carrot Taste Like?
Black Carrots have a unique appearance and a delicious taste. They may not be entirely black on the inside, with some being purple or orange at the core. They have a sweet taste with a subtle peppery flavor that can be enjoyed raw, in salads, as an hors d’oeuvre with a dip, or even in pickles.
What Are The Health Benefits of Black Carrots?
Black carrots, also known as Daucus carota subsp. sativus, are a unique type of carrot that are commonly found in China and India. They get their dark color from the presence of anthocyanins, which have been linked to several health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Black carrots contain active ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant abilities, which can help slow down chronic diseases and oxidative stress, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Aid in Digestion: Black carrots are extremely high in dietary fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Fiber can help to stimulate peristaltic motion and improve nutrient uptake in the gut. Furthermore, fiber can help to lower cholesterol levels and regulate the release of insulin and glucose in the body, which is good news for diabetics.
Anti-Cancer Potential: Extracts from black carrot tissue culture have been found to be potent anticancer agent, which may help reduce the risk of cancer. However, further research is required to fully evaluate its chemopreventive properties.
Colon Cancer Prevention: Black carrots contain the same polyphenols as blueberries and red wine, which have been known to have antioxidant content and cancer-fighting capabilities. These polyphenols are released during the chewing process, and when combined with fiber, can travel through the digestive system and deliver useful polyphenols directly to the colon, possibly helping to prevent the development of colon cancer.
Neuroprotective Properties: The antioxidants present in black carrots are known to reduce the beta-amyloid plaque deposition in the brain, which can lead to neural congestion and neurodegenerative diseases.
Improve Vision: Black carrots have a high concentration of beta-carotene, which is known to directly protect vision health. Beta-carotene functions as an antioxidant, which can lower the risk of macular degeneration and slow the development of cataracts.
Benefits Of Black Carrot Juice
Are you tired of sipping on the same old boring carrot juice? Well, it’s time to upgrade to the superhero of the juice world: Black Carrot Juice! Not only does it pack a punch in the antioxidant department (12 times more than regular carrots), but it’s also a secret ingredient in strawberry marmalade to keep that pretty pink color.
But wait, there’s more! Not only is it good for your insides, but it’s also great for your waistline. One hundred grams of black carrot juice packs in a mere 20 calories so it can be a part of a healthy diet and aid in weight loss. Talk about a guilt-free juice! Plus, it’s said to be an excellent blood cleanser, helping to purify your blood.
But that’s not all! It’s also packed with vitamin B, which acts as a tranquilizer and is great for liver and stomach problems. And for all you runners out there, black carrot juice is a great alternative to milk because it contains calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth.
And let’s not forget about the heart! Black carrot juice is said to benefit this vital organ. Overall, it’s a very wholesome product, packed with vitamins A, B, and C, making it a great addition to any diet. So, forget the regular carrot juice and upgrade to the superior black carrot juice. Your taste buds and your body will thank you.
Black Carrot Side Effects
While black carrots offer a number of health benefits, it is important to note that consuming them in excess may lead to potential side effects. These include skin discoloration, allergic reactions, flatulence, and blood pressure issues.
These side effects are typically associated with excessive consumption of high-fiber, high-potassium, and high-beta-carotene vegetables. Also, many people may have a natural allergy to carrots and so should avoid all varieties to prevent adverse reactions such as swelling, rashes and stomach issues.
Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant.
He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves.
Rahul has a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.