Beta-carotene is the antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables their reddish-orange color. When Heinrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Wackenroder first discovered the structure, he found it crystallized at the root of a carrot. Hence the name “carotene” was born. The body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A.
A fat-soluble nutrient, Vitamin A will remain in the body rather than flushing out via urine. In excess, this nutrient is harmful to the body and toxic. Deficiency of Vitamin A causes poor eye health, premature aging, and a weak immune system. Although supplements are available to prevent any deficiencies; always speak to your doctor before starting a new supplement.
In addition to carrots, there are plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that contain beta-carotene. Nevertheless, carrots are the most well-known vegetable associated with beta-carotene. Specifically, here is a short list of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts rich in Vitamin A.
8. Improved Vision
Eating carrots when you were a child might have seemed like torture, but Mom was right. Eating foods rich in Vitamin A can help with your vision. Beta-carotene doesn’t give you x-ray vision, but it does improve the health of your eyes. A deficiency in Vitamin A can result in vision loss. If you want to see clearly well into old age, make sure to get your Vitamin A. Remember, carrots aren’t the only vegetable packed with Vitamin A.
7. Strong Immune System
The changing seasons are a time of celebration! Don’t miss out on all the seasonal activities because of a cold or the flu. Eating foods rich in Vitamin A can help bolster your immune system. Allergy season sufferers can reduce their symptoms by incorporating Vitamin A into their diet.
6. Control Inflammation
Reduce the pain and discomfort caused by inflammation with Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is packed with natural anti-inflammatory nutrients. Cancer, diabetes, hypertension and joint pain are all health problems associated with inflammation. Feel less pain and stay healthy with Vitamin A in your diet.Related: Turmeric Health Benefits
5. Look Younger
All the creams and serums in the world won’t stop what’s happening underneath the surface. Fortunately, there’s a vitamin for that. Vitamin A fights free radicals that prematurely age skin. The antioxidant-rich properties in beta-carotene keep skin healthy and youthful in appearance. Furthermore, experts also agree that beta-carotene protects against skin cancer.
4. Mom and Baby
During the third trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s body needs Vitamin A the most. As a result, the risk of becoming deficient becomes greater. The antioxidants in beta-carotene keep the body in tip-top shape. The health of Mom in the third trimester is extremely important for a healthy and complication-free birth.
3. Prevent Diabetes
Beta-carotene helps the body with glucose management. Those who suffer from diabetes will see improvement in their glucose levels over time. Alternatively, those who do not have diabetes, but have a family history should implement more beta-carotene.Related: 7 Most Common Symptoms of Diabetes
2. Brain Food
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are well known for being brain food. But did you know beta-carotene is healthy for your brain too? Beta-carotene supports and promotes healthy cognitive function and abilities. It also prevents premature cognitive decline associated with age. In order to keep your brain sharp, be sure to get plenty of Omega fatty acids and beta-carotene.
1. Cardiovascular Health
The cardiovascular system gets a little boost in defense when you eat foods high in beta-carotene. In combination with Vitamin E, beta-carotene significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E and beta-carotene also help prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol.
Beta-carotene is an essential nutrient for optimal health. Although as a child, you may have hated eating your carrots, and maybe you still do. Certainly, now you can at least appreciate the overwhelming health benefits beta-carotene has to offer. Of course, even if you still can’t stand carrots there are plenty of options.
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark leafy greens like kale or mustard greens
- Cantaloupe melons
- Dried fruits
Add these tasty fruits and vegetables to your grocery list to reap these amazing health benefits.Related: 11 Surprising Ways Drugs and Supplements Can Cause Heart Failure