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Plant multicolored carrots for nutrition and eye appeal

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The seed catalogs are showing up in our mailboxes and soon we’ll be pouring over them and scanning the websites of our favorite seeds suppliers, as we plan the very greatest garden we will ever have! The 2014 garden of course.

Expectations are always high during the planning stage of course but this year, many gardeners are looking for raw nutritional value per veggie as opposed to sheer volume of harvest. This is why this column has previously recommended that gardeners take a look at tomato varieties like Juliet F1 and Red Pear and the orange cultivars like Moonglow and Tangerine to maximize the amount of available lycopene and other valuable nutrients.

The same is true of carrots. Oh, standard orange carrots are very healthful vegetables; carotenoids and other useful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals abound. Yellow carrots are even higher in these, however. And if someone is looking to raise the level of the anthocyanin in their diet, then purple, deep purple and red carrots are the way to go. They are simply loaded with those beneficial compounds.

Anthocyanin is a powerful cancer fighter, and deeply colored carrots are a storehouse thereof. They are as simple to grow as standard carrots and as tasty, and have the added benefit of bringing color to the dinner table.

It is not necessary to toss the familiar orange carrot overboard! Many suppliers offer a mixture of white, yellow, orange, red, purple and indigo carrots in one seed packet.

Why not search out such a supplier and add color and extra health benefits to your next dish of fresh, steamed carrots?

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