Orange carrots are known to detoxify the liver and improve eye sight, however new studies demonstrate black carrots can play a significant role in protecting against colon cancer.

Carrots are one of the few crops that are available throughout the year. They not only come in bright shades of orange, but also deep purple and even black. According The World Carrot Museum, black carrots are believed to have Middle Eastern origin. During the fall, carrots are considered to be in season and they are the freshest and most flavorful. 

Researchers from the University of Queensland have discovered antioxidants compounds in black carrots combines with fiber and can play an important role in protecting you from colon cancer.

According to Dr. Anneline Padayachee from the University of Queensland, the compounds, polyphenols, which act as antioxidants, are released from the plant during chewing. The fiber remains bound throughout digestion in the stomach and small intestine.

"Black carrots-which are actually deep purple-are packed with polyphenols similar to those which give blueberries and red wine their vivid color. We discovered that fiber not only works as a 'bowel scourer', but is also able to safely traffic polyphenols to the colon, where they are involved in gut health protective mechanisms," Dr. Padayachee said.

Dr. Padayachee's study was the first world study to reveal the effects of fiber, alongside cancer-inhibiting antioxidant polyphenols in fruits and vegetables.

Fiber was observed to "safely and effectively" transport polyphenols to the colon where this particular compound can have a shielding effect on the colon as it is being released in the body. In addition, when juicing fruits and vegetables, Dr. Padayachee warns against discarding the fibrous pulp.

"As long as you consume everything - the raw or cooked whole vegetable or fruit, drink mainly cloudy juices and eat the fibrous pulp - you will not only have a clean gut, but also a healthy gut full of protective polyphenols." 

Dr. Padayachee hopes her study will assist in detecting medicinal use for plant fiber in targeted treatments for dietary conditions.