7 Facts About Antioxidant Beta Carotene
Beta carotene is a red-orange pigment found in certain plants and fruits which are strongly colored. It is an organic compound found in vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes and most fruits and vegetables which are red and orange in color. Our bodies convert beta carotene into vitamin A which is an essential nutrient which is useful for healthy skin, good eye health and a great immune system. Listed here are 7 facts about the antioxidant beta carotene:
1. The primary function of antioxidants is to get rid of free radicals from our body as they can cause diseases. Beta carotene fights and destroys these free radicals which are produced when our skin is exposed to sunlight. The sunlight helps our skin by providing vitamin D, but at the same time the ultraviolet rays from the sun also raises the level of free radicals in our bodies. When we eat foods with beta carotene, the beta carotene essentially protects our skin from damage that these free radicals could cause.
2. Studies have shown that those who include more foods with beta carotene in their diets are less likely to attract heart diseases than those who have comparatively less beta carotene foods. Beta carotene prevents disease of the coronary artery and therefore is beneficial for our overall cardiovascular health as well.
3. Beta carotene has also been found to have been an important factor in reducing the risks of certain types of cancer (like skin cancer). However, one must ensure that beta carotene is derived from whole food sources and not supplements.
4. Beta carotene is found in a variety of foods – carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and all other fruits and vegetables which are red, orange and yellow in color. It is also found in whole foods like cantaloupe and squash. Surprisingly, beta carotene is also found in some dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach.