kanji before your meal or tucking into a warm bowl of kaali gajar ka halwa are one of the simplest joys of winter. While these purple or black carrots have similar nutritional value as the orange ones, the desi kaali gajar is known to give your health an extra boost because of the presence of certain antioxidants. The dark purple hue of these carrots comes from the presence of anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants. These are also present in blueberries, grapes and blackberries.
It is believed that before the 17th century almost all of the carrot produce was deep purple. Over the years, Dutch farmers started cross breeding different varieties that led to the modern day orange carrot. It is also believed that black or purple carrots originated in Middle Eastern countries and then travelled to other countries such as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Fresh produce of kaali gajar is mostly available and relished during the winter season.
(Also read: Why You Must Drink Kanji During Winters)
While purple or black carrots have similar nutritional value as the orange ones. Photo Credit: Istock
Here are five health benefits of eating kaali gajar regularly.
1. Provide anti-inflammatory benefits
Anti-inflammatory foods such as kaali gajar can help combat inflammation in the body and thus, prevent the risk of several diseases and illnesses. Some studies have shown that purple foods such as kaali gajar may help in preventing urinary tract infections.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidant anthocyanins work to protect the cells by damage caused by oxidants. They help the body by neutralising and removing these oxidants from your bloodstream. This provides other benefits like slowing down the signs of ageing, making your skin look youthful and lowering the risk of heart disease. A diet rich in antioxidants is also known to keep your brain active and your gut healthy.
3. Full of nutrients
They are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. They are also good sources of carotenoids that boost eye and skin health. It is important to load up on Vitamin C rich foods during the winter season as it helps in boosting your immunity and protects you against bouts of cold and flu.
4. Good for your eyes
Anthocyanin-rich foods such as kaali gajar may help improve your eye health. Anthocyanins can benefit your vision in many ways - they enhance your vision, improve circulation and also help in fighting macular degeneration.
Anthocyanin-rich foods such as kaaligajar may help improve your eye health. Photo Credit: Istock
5. Aids digestion
The fermented Kaanji drink that is made using kaali gajar and mustard seeds is known to boost your digestion during the winter season which tends to become a bit sluggish. Kaali gajar is also full of fiber which helps in regulating digestion. Most of the fiber found in kaali gajar is soluble which absorbs water in the digestive tract and turns into a gel-like substance. This keep you full for longer and can also help lower blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Purple carrots are slightly sweet but they lose a lot of their colour and flavour when boiled. Therefore, they are best eaten raw.
Sipping an earthy kaali gajar ki