What Makes Black Carrots the Better Carrot?

The deeper the colour, the more nutritious the produce.

Meghna Kriplani

What’s on My Plate?

Black carrots—a rare winter sighting associated with the pungent North Indian drink Kanji. Black carrots are like regular carrots, but with a deep purple hue and surprise, surprise—have much higher nutritional values. In fact, black carrots are considered the 'original' carrots from which other cultivars, red and orange in colour, were bred.     


In the fruit and vegetable kingdom, there is a rule of thumb: the deeper, darker the colour, the more nutritious the produce. This certainly stands true for black carrots, which boast of more carotenoids (a type of anti-oxidant that is converted into vitamin A by the body) than its red and orange counterparts. However, the crowning glory of the black carrot is anthocyanin—the pigment which gives the veggie its unique tone. According to a review published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, anthocyanin can potentially undo liver damage; tame hypertension; improve vision; and suppress inflammation in the body. Moreover, black carrots are also rich in fibre, which along with the goodness of the anti-oxidant anthocyanin keeps the gut healthy, clear, and cancer free—according to a research conducted at the University of Queensland.

Where to Buy

Don’t worry, you won’t have to go far and beyond to reap the health benefits of black carrots. Come late winter, they crop up at every vegetable vendor and grocery store. 

Eat This

If you’re a staunch believer in tradition, then we suggest you utilise black carrots the way our grandmothers used to—by making kanji. Alternatively, you can whip up some delicious black carrot halwa; add them to salads and soups; pickle them with mustard seeds; or juice them for a shot of good health.

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Photograph: Shutterstock.com


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