Beta carotene is an antioxidant important for better eye vision and protection against aging. The yellow pigment found in fruits and vegetables is a result of beta carotene. Beta carotene has another compound called carotenoid that provides the body with almost 50% of the vitamin A we need. Eating foods rich in beta carotene is found to also lower the risk of some cancers and heart disease. Note that lack of enough carotenoids can cause throat infections, acne, night blindness, dry skin, dry and itchy eyes, and infertility. The good news is that beta carotene can be found in a variety of readily available foods. These are:
Sweet potatoes contain 11,509µg of beta carotene per 100 grams of serving. This is a tuber vegetable and readily available in the market. The basic way to prepare sweet potatoes is by boiling them or you can go ahead and bake them.
Moreover, sweet potatoes provide the body with minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, and flavonoid antioxidants. Studies indicate that sweet potatoes can be used to prevent cancer, vision impairedness, and cure stomach related problems.
Asparagus is commonly found during the spring season. It can be eaten raw, in salads, or cooked with other dishes. To ensure all the antioxidant power and nutritional benefits of this vegetable remain intact, you need to cook it just slightly and without adding water. It can be roasted, grilled, or stir-fried. Additionally, be sure not to add salt, butter, or sauces to asparagus for maximum diuretic properties. The reason being that salt causes water retention. Regular consumption of asparagus prevents heart diseases and diabetes. This vegetable is also used to protect against cancer, aids in digestion, and helps to improve one’s vision.
Carrots are root vegetables and a great source of vitamin A, beta carotene, minerals, and antioxidants. Carrots improve your dental health, especially when eaten raw as well as promoting cardiac health in a person. Furthermore, they can be used to fight against osteoarthritis, aging, as well as nourishing the skin, and improving eyesight. Carrots are highly versatile and can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes, including salads.
Green Leafy Vegetables
There are different varieties of green leafy veggies, including spinach, kales, lettuce, and broccoli. These leafy vegetables are rich in numerous essential nutrients and contain plenty of vitamins. For example, 100 grams of fresh lettuce produces 4443 µg of beta carotene. These vegetables also contain fiber, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. For this reason, they play an important role when dealing with osteoarthritis in patients. Tip: Avoid overcooking leafy vegetables as they can lose important properties, including beta carotene. Mostly spinach should be steamed or eaten raw.
Oranges are among the fruits with high levels of beta carotene. For more nutrients, go for the brightly colored, (orangish) ones since they pack even higher amounts. What’s more, oranges contain vitamin C, which is used to strengthen our immunity and protect the body against infections. Consuming oranges regularly reduces your chances of contracting throat infection, vision problems, and osteoarthritis. Avoid processed orange juices since they mostly contain chemicals that are harmful to your health. Opt for fresh homemade orange juice instead for a chemical-free and additive-free drink.
Spices like cayenne and chili can be fiercely hot and pungent to taste, but it’s used in most dishes around the world. Raw red chilies and raw cayenne are used in preparing dishes like sauces, curries, chutneys, pickles among others. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. They also have high amounts of vitamin C important for healthy bones. These are among the spices with high beta carotene levels where 100 grams carries 26,162 µg of beta carotene.
Coriander is classified as a Mediterranean herb and it’s extremely flavorful. This herb is used in multiple savory dishes. The fresh coriander leaves have many medicinal properties, that’s why they are mostly used as herbs. In some parts of the world, coriander is used to help with digestion, including eliminating stomach gas. In addition, coriander has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to the herb having a good amount of beta carotene, it could be used to fight vision problems and osteoarthritis. This flavorful herb also contains vitamin K, which is important for bone mass building.
Pumpkin is one of the best sources of beta carotene. The beta carotene in pumpkin is converted into vitamin A in the body, which is used to guard the body against heart issues, asthma, and several types of cancer. Additionally, pumpkin helps to lower blood pressure and improve immunity. Plus, it’s good for eyesight, particularly when taken regularly. Vitamin A formed is important for pregnant and lactating women.
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