Colorful Carrots

 

Carrots aren’t just orange anymore. In fact, purple, red and yellow carrots are commonly eaten around the world. We have been a little slow in America to take advantage of these inviting rainbow-colored carrots. It’s not too late to join the fun and cash in on all the different phytonutrients that these various colors offer. Let these beautiful vegetables adorn your Thanksgiving table, making a tasty and nutritious splash.

All colors of carrots are packed with disease-fighting phytonutrients. Orange carrots are loaded (204% of the daily value recommended per day/1 medium) with their namesake, beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. The vitamin A in orange carrots is especially important for eye health and was recently identified as promoting brain health as well as other benefits. Red and purple carrots are best known for their rich anthocyanin content, touting powerful anti-inflammatory properties to counter chronic disease. Yellow carrots offer an excellent source of the antioxidant lutein, shown to lower the risks of certain cancers. All these carrot varieties provide outstanding antioxidant benefits to fight illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

Carrots also offer rich amounts of vitamins and minerals such as biotin, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C as well as good amounts of manganese, B vitamins, phosphorus, copper and vitamin E.  They are also an amazing fiber-dense vegetable, containing 4 grams of fiber for every 50 calories. Plus, the fiber offers a greater feeling of fullness.

The bottom line is that carrots, no matter the color, are a delicious, attractive, and familiar way of taking in important nutrients we need to improve our health. They are readily available, easy to eat raw, and especially good steamed or roasted. Take November’s Healthy Challenge and enjoy carrots in all their varieties.