My first foray into the heritage variety is purple carrots. The decision is based purely on colour. The regal purple is one of my favourite colours. Purple carrot is believed to have originated from Persia, and is one of many varieties of fruits and vegetables that are almost lost in the era of monoculture, suburbia explosion and supermarket monopolisation.
There is no difference to planting process of purple carrots, however, I was not prepared for the taste. To describe it as amazing is an understatement. It has such an intense flavour to it with a subtle nutty taste. Each crunchy bite is bursting with flavour and goodness.
A research carried out by the University of Southern Queensland revealed that this ancient carrot is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains up to 28 times more anthocyanins – antioxidants that are responsible for the purple-red pigment in raspberries and blueberries – than there are in orange carrots.
Lindsay Brown, professor of Biomedical Sciences at the university conducted rat studies using purple carrots. To mirror unhealthy Western diet, for 16 weeks the rats were given high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. The result was damaging. The rats developed health issues including high blood pressure, obesity and glucose-intolerant – or prediabetic – and suffered heart and liver damage.
Subsequently, purple carrot juice was introduced into the diet and things went back to normal. According to Professor Brown 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.
- Purple carrots the next superfood (theage.com.au)