With every passing day, we get aware of more and more nutrients essential to maintaining good health. One such nutrient is Beta-Carotene that is especially found in red-orange pigmented fruits and veggies. What is that one name that springs to our mind the moment we think of a red-orange food? The unanimous answer would be carrots. These bright colored veggies that are a bunny food staple is the origin for the name beta-carotene.
What is beta-carotene? We’ll find out more in the following article. Also, we’ll list down a number of food items that are rich in beta-carotene.
Beta Carotene: Some nutritional facts!
Including Beta carotenes in your diet is important to support healthy nutrition.
- Beta Carotene is a precursor of Vitamin A. It gets converted to Vitamin A after consumption that is a very essential vitamin for the development of the immune system, good vision, strong bones and teeth, tissues and protects cells from free radical damage.
- Beta Carotene is an antioxidant that prevents the development of chronic illnesses. It lowers the risk of cancer and heart diseases.
- Beta-carotene averts cognitive decline.
- Beta Carotene improves skin health by diminishing sun-exposed damage to the skin.
- Beta Carotene in addition to vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper might lower risk of advanced macular degeneration and strengthens eyesight.
Foods rich in Beta Carotene:
The following common foods will give you plenty of beta-carotene.
The sweet and crunchy carrots have one of the highest sources of beta-carotene and are a staple vegetable in Indian cooking. Carrots have an abundance of carotenoids in them, especially beta-carotene, hence it is called a beta-carotene wonder. Carrots are low in calories and besides beta carotenes, they are also rich in alpha and gamma carotenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
2. Sweet Potato
A very common vegetable in Indian diet, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotenes that are beneficial to heart health. This vegetable is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants all of which is needed for optimal health.
Pumpkin is another bright orangish-yellow color vegetable with ample beta-carotenes in them. It is said that pumpkins are also a substantial source of alpha-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin that makes them a very good source of anti-oxidants and hence healthy.
4. Winter Spinach
Spinach, in spite of its dark green color, is rich in beta-carotene. The rich chlorophyll content in them masks the yellow-orange pigment in spinach. Cooked spinach is said to contain an even higher content of beta-carotene than raw spinach. Beta-carotene is one such vitamin that releases better after getting vegetables cooked. An old study published in a nutrition-based journal proved that women who ate cooked spinach absorbed beta-carotene better than those who had raw spinach.
5. Red bell pepper
Red bell peppers are a better nutritional choice than green bell peppers because they have 1.5 times more vitamin C, 8 times more vitamin A, and 11 times more beta carotene. It is also rich in antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and maintains a good skin and vision.
Eat Colorfully! Be Healthy!