Carrots! Colorful and Healthy!

Carrots Were White?

Did you know five hundred years ago most carrots were white? That’s what I said; white! It was said that carrots were first cultivated in Afghanistan in the 7th century, and they started with yellow flesh and a purple exterior. Purple, red, black, yellow and white; these were the colors that carrots started out with; not orange

About 300 years ago, it was the Dutch growers who first created the orange version of the carrot by taking red and yellow carrot seeds from North Africa to develop the orange variety into a stable and reliable plant for domestication to create the orange root; quadrupling the vegetable’s beta carotene, which the human body converts to vitamin A.

The first carrots weren't even cultivated as a food crop; they were grown as medicine because they were considered very good for both the hair as well as the eyes and contains vitamin A. That’s why I can’t help but sing the praises of colorful carrots. Yes, colorful carrots! Continue to read on and discover the health benefits of eating colorful carrots.

Carrots are such a popular vegetable that you probably have some chilling in your refrigerator right now. There are strong links between the color of carrots and their nutritional content. Adding carrots to your diet can reduce the risk of other weight related illnesses that include stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

So what is so special about the different colorful carrots?

Purple carrots (usually yellowish/orange inside) get their pigment from an entirely different class, the anthocyanins. These pigments act as very powerful antioxidants, grabbing and holding onto harmful free radicals in the body. Anthocyanins also help prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting.

Red carrots contain lycopene (another form of carotene), a pigment also found in tomatoes and watermelon; lycopene helps in the fight against heart disease and some cancers, including prostate cancer.