Many people may not actually have seen or eaten a black carrot, but this carrot variety is indeed quite common in other parts of the world such as Asian countries and is a healthy addition to any diet.
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What is a Black Carrot?
A black carrot is also scientifically known as Daucus carota subsp. sativus, and is also most commonly found in China and India. Carrots can traditionally be orange in America and other parts of the world as well, but these can also come in several colors, including red, purple, white, yellow, and black. The variation in color is primarily on account of the concentration of compounds found in several types. The dark color of the purple and black varieties do signal a high concentration of anthocyanins, whereas orange as well as yellow carrots which tend to be higher in beta-carotene and other active ingredients.
Black carrots do indeed have a unique taste, which is different than white or orange carrots. Black carrots also have an unexpected sweetness to them, as well as a subtle spicy aftertaste. Although these carrots are rather black on the outside, many of them will be paler in color in the center. Black carrots are in fact most commonly available in the East, where they are rather grown. Black carrot extract is also widely used for its health properties.
Health Benefits of Black Carrot
Black carrots, being nutrient-rich, get their color from anthocyanins and have some important health benefits that include their ability to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, boost cognition, reduce inflammation, optimize digestion, and also prevents certain cancers among others.
1. Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are active ingredients in black carrots which are anti-inflammatory in nature, and also consist of antioxidant abilities, which can also help to slow down chronic diseases as well as oxidative stress, such as what causes rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Treats Cancer
With an incredibly high level of anthocyanins, black carrots do represent an excellent boost for one’s body against cancerous cells. Antioxidants can also help eliminate free radicals and also neutralize cancerous activity in one’s body.
3. Aids in Digestion
Carrots are extremely high in dietary fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Fiber can also help to stimulate peristaltic motion and also improve nutrient uptake in the gut. Furthermore, fiber can also help lower cholesterol levels and also regulate the release of insulin as well as glucose in the body, which is good for diabetics.
4. Alzheimer’s Disease
The antioxidants in black carrots do reduce the beta-amyloid plaque that gets deposited in one’s brain, which can lead to neural congestion as well as neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
5. Improves Vision
Carrots are famous for their beta-carotene supply, which protects one’s vision health. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene does lower one’s risk of macular degeneration and also promotes the slow development of cataracts thus helping a better vision.
What is Black Carrot used for?
Black carrots can indeed be made use of in several ways as a normal carrot. It is particularly good in crudites and also for dipping, on account of its sweet flavor. It can be steamed, or even added to stews and soups, as well as curries and salads. These carrots are also very useful for pickling as they are sweet.
Black carrot extract also does have a number of uses, that does include a natural food coloring. Many people like to avoid synthetic food colorings, so in this respect, black carrot extract is very useful.
Black carrots owe their color to special natural pigments referred to as anthocyanins, which are flavonoid compounds. Anthocyanins can indeed be found in practically every dark-colored foods, notably blueberries, blackberries, plums, purple mirabelles or purple or black carrots. Anthocyanins have no doubt potent antioxidant effects and because of their amazing capacity to trap free radicals, they offer protection against a variety of chronic, life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.