What do you know about black carrots?

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Cultivated carrots originated in the Afghanistan region and were at that time, yellow and purple.

From this center of domestication carrots they were grown as a root crop to the East and the West with the incorporation of several characteristics contrasting environmental conditions appertaining to two geographic regions.

The Eastern carrot spread to central and north Asia and then to Japan. Red coloured carrot is typical for India and also was introduced to Japan. In contrast, Western carrot type is characterized initially by yellow and later by orange root colour.

This carrot type spread to the West and now dominates in carrot production around the world.

The Black Carrot 

The Black carrot plays an important role in human nutrition, as it comprises a variety of health promoting components.

In addition to the presence of known antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, black carrots have also attracted attention due to the presence of phenolic compounds, which contribute significantly to the antioxidant capacity Algarra .

Besides anthocyanins as the major phenolic compounds, it has been shown that black carrot also contains significant amounts of phenolic acids, including hydroxycinnamates and caffeic acid.

Black carrots are perishable and difficult to preserve as a raw product. Therefore, black carrots grown in Turkey are often processed into different products such as juice, concentrate and Salgam – i.e., a traditional lactic acid fermented beverage.

Black carrots are also an excellent source of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) along with helping protect the arteries against oxidation. Anthocyanins also help protect us against various forms of cancer.

This variety has high nutraceutical values and is rich in anthocyanins, phenols, flavonoids ß-carotene, calcium, iron, and zinc. Its antioxidant activity is four times higher than red carrot. The fresh black carrots are suitable for salad, juice, pickles and kanji which are good appetizer.

The “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” published a study in April 2011 that investigated the anthocyanin content in four varieties of black carrots including the Antonina, Beta Sweet, Deep Purple and Purple Haze and found a range of anthocyanin levels, from 1.5 milligrams per 100 grams up to 97.9 milligrams per 100 grams.

Black carrots originate from Turkey, the Middle East, and the Far East.

Carrot are rich in pro-healthy antioxidants both lipophylic (carotenoids) and hydrophilic (phenolic compounds) characters. Although carotenoid content varies considerably among carrot genotypes, usually orange carrots contain high amounts of α- and β- carotene; yellow carrots contain lutein, the red colour of carrots is due to lycopene, while polyphenol substances, mostly anthocyanins are typical for purple roots.

Geneticists have shown with genetical data that the cultivated carrot germplasm is subdivided between Eastern and Western carrots. The black/purple carrots are clustered in the Eastern group, even if three individuals from the Middle East show admixture between the two geographical groups.

This suggests the black type has an oriental origin, and that gene flows between this type and European carrots may have arisen in Turkey/Syria. Carrots of Asian origin belonging to Eastern gene pool are more often purple or red and richer in phenolics and have higher antiradical activity than those from the Western gene pool with mainly orange roots.

The carrot has long been known as an orange vegetable. Generations of people in the West have grown up believing that carrots have always been orange. But long before the Orange carrot became established in the 16th century,  the black carrot (Daucus carota ssp. sativus var. atrorubens) existed across in Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. 

Black carrots are still grown and consumed in Eastern countries such as Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the Far East.

Evidence from new research suggests that eating black carrots on a regular basis could have positive benefits in reducing the risk of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Evidence from new research suggests that eating black carrots on a regular basis could have positive benefits in reducing the risk of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. A number of components in black carrots including its anti-inflammatory properties and anthocyanin can play an important role in treating these conditions. The research is not yet conclusive but it’s a big step towards understanding Alzheimer’s as well as its potential natural treatments.

Black carrots are a popular vegetable in India and China. 

This vegetable is loaded with nutrients that offer numerous health benefits. Rich in nutrients, black carrots get their colour from anthocyanins. These carrots help in providing relief from inflammatory disease, treating digestive issues like constipation, boost cognition, bloating, cough, weakness in joints and cramps.

Black carrots are extremely high in dietary fibre which  can help to stimulate peristaltic motion, improves nutrient absorption in the gut and helps smoothen the bowel movements. Its helps as fibre can help in quick weight loss and lower cholesterol levels. Dietary fibre also regulates the release of insulin and glucose in the body, which makes it an excellent choice for diabetics.

Carotenoid Properties of Carrot Colours

Extract from Carotenoid Profiles and Consumer Sensory Evaluation of Speciality Carrots, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,

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