A rainbow of nutrition in every bite, carrots are rich in potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Different varieties of carrots have been enjoyed around the world for thousands of years and have been used in spiritual practices to increase fertility and dispel illusions. Learn more about these colorful root vegetables, their rich history, and nutritional benefits below.
A Rainbow of Nutrition and Taste
With colorful flesh and versatile use, a variety of carrots have been around the world for thousands of years. Food historians estimate that orange carrots gained popularity in the 1500s. While orange carrots have long been the favorite at most American tables, you will find colorful varieties in different regions around the globe. All varieties of carrots are extremely nutrient dense and a great addition to a healthy diet – they’re high in fiber and rich in potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. However, each individual color contains a specific set of phytonutrients (antioxidants) which offer slightly different nutritional benefits.
Orange carrots contain the highest concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene. Alpha- and beta-carotene promote and support your body’s production of vitamin A, which is a necessary vitamin for healthy eyes.
Red carrots are rich in lycopene (as are tomatoes – it’s the phytonutrient that gives red fruits and veggies color) and beta-carotene. Lycopene has been shown in some studies to reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer, including prostate and cervical cancer.
Yellow carrots contain the phytonutrient lutein, which is linked to the reduced risk of certain age-related eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts.
Purple carrots are high in anthocyanins, as well as alpha- and beta-carotene. Anthocyanins have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, help protect against heart-related diseases, and support a healthy immune system.
Prepared with Love
Rainbow carrots make a great raw snack served with dips (Peanut Butter Dip & Kefir Ranch) or shredded onto your favorite salad. We love the colors in our Carrot Salad with Kefir Coriander Dressing. Some other ways to prepare rainbow carrots are:
• Roasted in the oven with olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and rosemary. Finish with an herb-infused kefir drizzle. (Mix the kefir with fresh herbs of choice.)
• Chopped and added to a broth-based soup with onion, celery, and potatoes. Include your protein of choice and swirl in Lifeway Whole Milk Plain Kefir before serving.
• Baked in a hearty pot-pie with peas, meat, and your favorite cream-based sauce. (A dollop of Farmer Cheese takes this comforting fall classic to the next level.)
• Blended into a smoothie with your favorite kefir, spices, and herbs. (Carrots go great with ginger, cinnamon, spinach, or basil.)