Beta-Carotene for antioxidants and disease-prevention

As you can tell beta-carotene produces colors in the yellow and orange range (although it can produce other colors). What is it, you ask? beta-carotene is a carotenoid, part of the phytonutrient family. What does it do?

  • Protect cells from free radicals
  • vitamin A source
  • better immune system
  • reproductive function
  •    It is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. Free radicals lead to a host of diseases (do cancer and heart disease ring a bell?), so getting an adequate supply of something to prevent this sounds like a good idea to me. Some of the diseases that beta carotene may play a role in preventing is:
  • macular degeneration
  •  asthma, cataracts
  • cervical cancer
  • heart disease
  • lung cancer
  • osteoarthritis
  • pneumonia
  • prostate cancer
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • skin cancer

  Important still is it’s promotion of vitamin A, which is essential for eye and reproductive health. How can you get beta-carotene? Eat of course! Beta-carotene is found in

  • carrots
  • kale
  • collard greens
  • spinach
  • thyme
  • broccoli
  • cilantro

  To preserve the content eat raw or slightly steamed. Also beta-carotene is fat-soluble so it requires the dietary fat for absorption (I promote a fat-burning eating style anyways).

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