How many times have you heard doctors and pharmacists mention beta carotene? If you didn’t know what this compound is, then now it’s the time to discover its benefits. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that converts into vitamin A and has a significant effect on our health. Also, it’s the reason why some fruits are orange, yellow, or red.
Back in 1831, beta carotene was discovered by the scientist called H. Wackenroder, and since then, it never stopped intriguing the public. Also, if you consume enough beta carotene, you won’t have to get lasik surgery because it has a beneficial effect on our eyesight.
Now, let’s discover why beta carotene is essential for our health.
Promotes great skin
If you intake enough beta carotene, you will minimize sun sensitivity. This is especially important for people who suffer from photosensitive diseases and erythropoietic protoporphyria. Moreover, beta carotene could reduce the effects of phototoxic drugs, while other research indicates that this antioxidant minimizes the sun damage and may improve your skin’s look.
Boosts lung function
Based on one study, high doses of beta carotene can boost the likelihood of lung cancer for smokers. On the other hand, more recent research found the opposite effect. It included more than 2,600 people who suggested that eating food rich in beta carotene had protective effects against lung cancer.
AMD or macular degeneration is a condition that affects vision. Based on scientists, consuming high doses of beta carotene, copper, zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin C can minimize AMG’s risk by 25%.
However, smokers should be careful with beta carotene because it is linked to lung cancer, as we explained in the previous example. On the other hand, people who don’t smoke have no issues with this antioxidant. To avoid side-effects, in either case, food sources are still the safest option.
Enhances cognitive function
One study, which included more than 4,000 men over 18 years old, showed that those who took beta carotene for a longer time reduced the risk of cognitive decline. But, when it comes to the short-term period, no significant improvement has been found. Therefore, we might conclude it only works if its consumed for a longer period of time.
Foods packed with beta carotene
Usually, you can find beta carotene in yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables. However, don’t avoid dark leafy greens or other green veggies because they as well contain a substantial amount of beta carotene.
However, some research has shown that you can find higher amounts of this antioxidant in cooked forms of fruits and vegetables than in raw ones.
Food that contains the highest percentage of beta carotene:
- Red and yellow pepper
- Romaine lettuce
- Kale and spinach
- Sweet potatoes
You can also find beta carotene in many spices, such as coriander, sage, parsley, marjoram, paprika, and others. Once you pair these spices, herbs, and foods with healthy oils such as nuts, avocado, and olive oil, you improve their absorption.