The World’s Unknown Carrot: Black Carrot

Parsley and Carrot Family

Daucus carota L.

Have you ever seen a black carrot?03301424_56fb63183b589

That is a picture of black carrots grown in the fields in Okinawa, Japan.

Black carrots originate from Afghanistan, Turkey, and surrounding countries. It is difficult to find this particular vegetable in many countries. The black carrot is often used as a natural dye agent but not commonly seen in food products or other consumable goods in the western world. It is called a black carrot, however, it is a blend of a dark purple rather than a completely black color.

In Japan, the black carrot is now being cultivated as it has been realized to have positive effects on human health.

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It contains:

Beta-carotene

Vitamin C

Polyphenols

Anthocyanin

 

 

 

It is linked to having or affecting:

Anti-oxidant Activity: the anti-oxidant activity in black carrots is strong compared to other vegetables and can provide the much needed daily intake of anti-oxidants

Neurological Diseases: anthocyanins within the black carrot are a part of the flavonoid and pigment groups and have shown to protect against various neurological diseases and to promote overall health

Cancer Cell Anti-proliferation: the black carrot’s anthocyanins also have been researched to act against multiplying cancer cells and also as a treatment for brain cancer without harming healthy cells

Oxidative Stress and Tissue Regeneration: one research study found black carrot extract to reduce oxidative stress, tissue regeneration, and genotoxicity (damaged genetic information cause cells to mutate) in organs of rats

Heart Health: flavonoids like anthocyanins are linked to improving heart health and preventing heart disease mortality

Anti-inflammatory: research found the polyacetylenes contribute to black carrot’s anti-inflammatory effects

Promotion of Eye Health: anthocyanins in black carrots improve damaged proteins and improve circulation in eyes

2 times more polyphenols than blueberries

12 times more antioxidants than the common orange carrot

The Okinawan Black Carrot goods were awarded the Japanese Emperor’s Cup

What you need to know about polyphenols, also known as flavonoids, are:

  • studies show they promote endothelial lining of blood vessels by increasing nitric oxide and prevent the lipid oxidation, a cause of atherosclerosis
  • prevent cancer causing free-radicals from forming
  • reduce symptoms of allergic reactions by blocking the release of histamines
  • prevent bone loss of menopausal osteoporosis
  • they can help fight against cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes, etc.
  • do not have any known side effects when used to fight against chronic diseases
  • many countries that often eat a westernized diet do not consume enough fruits and vegetables containing polyphenols to obtain their benefits

We need to realize that the western diet is not helping us, just holding us back. The Japanese know the importance of getting enough minerals and vitamins in their diet. They believe in blending a variety of plants to enhance taste and health benefits. They are promoting and adding it to many health goods which have made their way to many Japanese people’s homes.

The Japanese diet is ever-changing, but by no means slowing them down.

 


 

additional sources:

下地, 清吉. 琉球薬草誌. 1st ed. 沖縄県: 琉球書房, 2015. Print.

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* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this website is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease.