Beta Carotene is the most well-known and researched member of the carotenoid family. Beta Carotene benefits include powerful anti-aging properties and protection from damage caused by free radicals. Beta carotene is a water-soluble provitamin-A, meaning that it can be converted by the body into Vitamin A.
This carotenoid works in combination with the other carotenoids and members of the network antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, lipoic acid, and the antioxidant enzymes produced in your body: superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase.
Heart disease. People whose diets are rich in beta carotene have lower risk of heart disease. Beta carotene works with vitamin E to reduce the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol, which lowers the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Respiratory system problems. High intakes of beta carotene and vitamin C were found to increase lung capacity and relieve respiratory problems, as well as protecting you from breathing disorders such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.
Cancer. Studies show that people who eat a diet rich in carotenoids, had a much lower risk of breast, colon cancer and lung cancer. One way that carotenoids fight cancer is through their antioxidant capacity. Another way that they help is to keep your cells in proper communication, an effective preventive measure against the growth of cancer cells.
Immune system. Beta carotene helps activate your thymus gland, one of your most important sources of immune protection. The thymus gland stimulates your immune system to fight off infections and viruses, and destroy cancerous cells before they can spread.
Radiation. Combining beta carotene with vitamin C and vitamin E offers significant protect against ultraviolet radiation from the sun, as well as from chemotherapy. It's interesting to note that vitamin C and vitamin E do not offer this protection on their own. This reinforces the fact that antioxidants work more effectively as a team.
Studies have shown that people with low levels in their bodies are much
more likely to suffer from impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes.
Rheumatoid Arthritis. Studies have shown that low levels of beta carotene and vitamin C have been found to be a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis.
Additional beta carotene benefits include:
The best food sources of beta carotene are:
One of the reasons for using a tablet or capsule form of supplementation is the high dosages you can get of specific carotenoids. If you want to use them to treat some health problem or symptom, you may have to use supplements in addition to your dietary intake to get a high enough dosage.
To put this in perspective, in order for you to get 25,000IU of beta-carotene, an amount large enough to get powerful antioxidant protection from cancer and heart disease, you would have to eat these amounts of any one of the following:
This shows you how much you'd have to eat to get the benefits of adding just one daily supplement to your diet. Remember, though, that the supplement will not have all of the carotenoids that are present in the foods themselves, so don't drop out the veggies altogether!
The really best way to make sure you get the widest variety of these phytonutrients is to include as many different dark green leafy vegetables into your diet as possible. Every type of vegetable has its own carotenoid profile, and there are many carotenoids in these vegetables that we still don't know about.
Do you hate vegetables? If you find it difficult to get enough of the foods listed above into your meals every day, you could use one of the many concentrated green superfood powders made from chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass powders, or some combination of them.
One of the easiest ways to add the benefits of superfood products to your daily routine is by using them as ingredients in a morning smoothie.
Superfoods can turn your ordinary fruit smoothie into a nutrient-dense meal with the antioxidant benefits of 6 servings of fruits and vegetables — your entire minimum daily requirement!
If you're not hip to smoothies yet, they're hands-down the best way to get you going in the morning and keep you going. Anytime you want a quick and amazingly-healthy meal without having to cook, a smoothie fits the bill!
You can discover How to Make Smoothies the Healthy Way
elsewhere on this website.
Also see Why Use Superfood Products?
Refer to my pages elsewhere in this website for more information
on green superfood powders:
You can find over 90 varieties of green superfood products, and even a wider selection of carotene supplements, at iHerb.com.
Another option would be to use a supplement in capsule or tablet form. Go to my page on Beta Carotene Supplements for more information.
For more information on all the carotenoids,
go to my page on The Carotenoids
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