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.
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.
Discover More Superfoods
Rich in nutritional value, superfoods are the easiest way to boost the health quotient of your daily meals. To discover more superfood ingredients, check out the rest of our superfood series:
Amla: This superfood can fix every part of your body! Don’t believe us? Read on to find out the health benefits of amla.
Ashwagandha: Can’t get sleep? Check out the sleep-inducing and other health-promoting properties of the Ayurveda-approved Ashwagandha.
Basil or Tulsi: Apart from simply adding flavor to meals, basil brings with it several medicinal properties. Check out the number of health conditions for which basil can come to your rescue.
Brahmi: Are you afraid of the increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease? Include this superfood in your diet to boost your brain health. Read about the other health benefits of Brahmi.
Camu Camu: One of the richest sources of Vitamin C, this superfood comes all the way from the Amazon rainforest! Read about its health benefits.
Chia Seeds: This Mexican native is now being used in many Indian kitchens. Check out the various health benefits of chia seeds.
Chilli: Do you love to eat spicy food? Well, good news! Check out how those spicy chilies boost your health.
Dandelion: Not only do they brighten up your garden, but dandelions also boost your health. Confused about how you can include this flower in your diet? We have answers for you right here.
Hog Plum: Looking for a remedy to cure ulcers? Tired of getting diarrhea every time you eat out? Hog plum can come to your rescue! Check out the amazing health benefits of this not so popular superfood.
Jamun: Apart from tinting your tongue purple, jamun has several medicinal properties. Here’s why you must include jamun in your diet.
Kale: Coming across a lot of kale in salads, pizza toppings, and even chips? Check out why kale has suddenly topped the charts for being a healthy option.
Karela: Reading this will prevent you from screwing up your face every time someone mentions karela.
Kokum: Along with being a refreshing summer drink, kokum also helps you shed extra kilos. Find out more about the sour and fruity kokum.
Makhana or Lotus Seeds: It is rapidly becoming the choice of snack for weight watchers. Check out the nutrient profile of this incredible superfood.
Moringa or Drumstick: Looking to boost your iron and calcium levels? Don’t restrict yourself to just meat and milk. Know more about moringa and how this superfood can be made a part of your diet.
Mushrooms: These fungi are loaded with nutrients. Click here to know why you should be consuming them more often.
Muskmelon: The juicy and aromatic muskmelon has several health-boosting properties. Find out more about this nutritious fruit.
Ragi: This grain has made its way into the plates of many. From ragi dosa and idli to ragi porridge, it is being promoted in the diets of old and young. Find out why health experts are recommending this superfood.
Sabja: Slurped a tall glass of falooda? If it had sabja seeds, you have no reason to feel guilty. Click here to know why!
Sacha Inchi: These nut-like seeds are rich in omega-3. Check out the other health benefits they have in store for you!
Sweet Potato: A rich source of Vitamin A and fiber, sweet potato is a great alternative to the white potato. Take a look at all the reasons why you need to include it in your diet.
Tofu: Often known as the vegan cousin of paneer, tofu is derived from soybean and comes loaded with protein and minerals. Read more about the health benefits of tofu.
Turmeric: Think twice before you say no to “haldi wala doodh”. Find out why your grandma trusts turmeric for every infection.
Zucchini: Did you know that you can use your favorite zucchini not only in pasta and pizza but also in a cake? Wondering how it’s possible? Click here to know more.