Purple Carrots

Reporter: Lucy Polkinghorne

"The results in the lab have been outstanding, never before seen in foods" Albert Lee says "I needed the antioxidants and with my problem, prostate cancer, " Albert Lee swears By it, the 72 year old adelaide grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago and then was struck with pneumonia. That's when he discovered this purple wonderfood. "I'm sure it helped with my phenomena, because when I went back to the hospital they said, you look fantastic" And it's benefits didn't end there. "I think it has helped to keep my prostate cancer at bay, keep it in order" Albert works out everyday putting his good health down to this coloured crystal concoction. "I don't get any colds or any thing like that, daily living is quite good, keeps me fit doing what I want to do"

Biochemist Greg Jardine has made a career from his passion for foods containing disease fighting anti-oxidents in fact he's created a brand called "Dr Red" "A purple carrot has the same antioxidant level as 28 orange carrots" His latest discovery comes from one of the world's oldest vegetables, "The purple carrot originated from Afghanistan, 5000 years ago"

Sensing it's potential he approached food scientist Professor Lindsay Brown of queensland uni suggesting he test it's effects on our most common health hazard, poor nutrition. "The trial involved Working with rats that we fed a high carbohydrate high fat diet" mimicking what happens to humans on a similar diet. "These rats become hypertensive, heart function decreases, the liver function goes down, and the abdominal fat doubles"

The diet was maintained but when one group was also fed purple carrots, the effect was remarkable. Professor Brown says "The blood pressure came back to normal, the heart function, the liver function and the fat pads all came back to normal" It's now believed the healing power of the purple carrot is vastly greater than any other alternative vegetable. "The anthocyannines are very effective as anti inflammatory agents, they are very effective as antioxidents, and the effects we are seeing on these animals are certainly as good or better than we have seen with anything else"

Greg says "When we tested the purple carrot juice, it was similar to Ibuprofen in respect to arthritis studies, when we fortified it with the olive leaf, it became a lot stronger than Ibuprofen and asprin" A new trial being conducted on humans is aimed at confirming its reverse effects on the ageing process. "We're hoping to see results in areas where we age, we tend to get more problems such as arthritis, high blood pressure, lipids, fatty liver even abdominal fat pads"

The secret is in their colour, 'Anthocyanins are more prevalent in the purple carrots which gives it the purple colour" Dietcian Evangeline Mantizoris agrees they have nutritional benefits but then so have many other foods. "All fruits and vegetables are equally as nutritious as they all give us different nutrients that a vital to be able to grow and live as healthily as we can" And there is more good news. You only have to ask six year old Jayden Aay. His family has been growing them on their organic vegetable and herb farm in murray bridge for 12 months.

"Locally we sell them at the farmers market, we supply coles, we do a mix purple orange carrot pack and we are sending interstate to agents in the market in Melbourne and Sydney" Producer and mum Jo-Anne Aay says demand for the vegie has tripled. "We can't really keep up we have people coming interstate looking for purple carrots, so we are not really keeping up, it's going very quick" "It's becoming more popular the heritage vegetables all over As supplies come in, and customers are asking for them" Organic cafes and restaurants in adelaide have also cottoned on to the goodness."They have a benefit of flavour, they handle the same as the normal carrot, it just adds some interest with the colours" Their striking coat jazzing up any ordinary dish.

Further Details

Dr Red Supplier (07) 5496 4499

www.drred.com.au/olevinepurplecarrot

Available from these Chemists:

TERRY WHITE CHEMISTS

AMCAL

GUARDIAN

CHEMMART