Purple carrots are now propositioned as the next superfood, based on the recent Australian study.

The findings of the study revealed the anciet carrot to be packed with antioxidants and anti-inflmmatory goodness - up tp 28 times more anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that are responsible for the purple-red pigment in raspberries and blueberries, than there are in orange carrots.

Lindsay Brown, professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Southern Queensland who is also the study author said the purple carrots are the original carrots from the ancient Persia.

Purple carrots are one of the wide variety of fruit and vegetables that are almost lost in the era of single supermarket varieties, just like other ancient tomato varieties.

While claims have previously been made about its health benefits, there were no tests to back up them, not until just recently.

Conducting rat studies using purple carrots grown in Queensland, the rats were given high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet for 16 weeks to mirror the effects of unhealthy Western diet.

The rats soon developed high blood pressure, became fatter and glucose-intolerant - or prediabetic - and suffered heart and liver damage. Subsequently, in the second eight weeks, purple carrot juice were added into the rats' diet.

The results were a surprise to the scientists, and will be published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Prof Brown said miraculously everything went back to normal.

The blood pressure went down, the collagen in the heart was back to normal, the liver histology was back to normal, the liver enzymes, the glucose tolerance, the fat pads were all back to normal, despite continuing this ... terrible diet, she explained.

Purple carrots should be eaten coupled with a moderate diet and exercise, advised Prof Brown.