It’s a common knowledge that foods rich of color is also rich of nutrition. That’s why colorful vegetables or fruits salad is not only delicious but also super healthy. One of the nutrients that contribute as super source of healthy lifestyle is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the carotenoids but among other carotenoids, beta-carotene is the most famous one. Beta-carotene is the yellow/orange/red pigments found in vegetables and fruits with rich color.
Some of foods like fruits and vegetables that are rich of beta-carotenes are:
|Fruits (Beta-Carotene/100 g)||Vegetables (Beta-Carotene/100 g)|
|Cantaloupes||2,020 µg||Kale||9,226 µg|
|Apricots||1,094 µg||Sweet Potatoes||8, 509 µg|
|Mango||445 µg||Carrots||8,285 µg|
|Guava||374 µg||Spinach||5.626 µg|
|Watermelon||303 µg||Letuce||5,226 µg|
|Papaya||276 µg||Squash||4,226 µg|
|Orange||71 µg||Pumpkin||3,100 µg|
Interesting Facts about Beta-Carotene
- The name of Beta-Carotene is derived from the Latin name of carrot, since the first time this compound found from the carrot root.
- Beta-carotene for the first time identified in the 1930s and since then becomes one of the nutrients that are considered to be vital and essential to human body’s development.
- Beta-Carotene is one of the types of carotenoids along with lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin but only Beta-carotene that could be converted into Vitamin A. That’s why it is also well known as provitamin A.
- For proper absorption is recommended to consume Beta-carotene along with fat since it is fat soluble and not water soluble.
- Beta-carotene is powerful antioxidant that is good for fighting cancerous cells but in certain conditions beta-carotene could cause the opposite condition and contribute in the development of cancerous cells.
- Though beta-carotene is considered to be super nutrients but combined it with other nutrients like selenium, zinc, Vitamin C and E will give excellent result.
Health Benefits of Beta-Carotene
Source of Vitamin and Super Nutrients
- Source of Vitamin A
It is a common knowledge that beta-carotene is provitamin A which in other words it could be converted into vitamin A that is beneficial for your body like visions, immunity system even as natural source of antioxidant which has a lot of benefits for human body. Vitamin A has a lot of benefits for human’s health and the deficiency of this vitamin could cause some deficiencies.
- Source of Natural Antioxidant
Vitamin A as one of the powerful antioxidant is a common knowledge and beta-carotene as provitamin A surely could act as natural antioxidant since it enables to provide additional protections from free radical that could be harmful for body. Consuming foods which is rich of beta-carotene or supplement contained beta-carotene is highly recommended this day.
- Beta-Carotene as Vitamin Supplement
It is true that sometimes consuming food which is rich of beta-carotene is not enough since there are a lot of factors that could reduce the amount of beta-carotene contained in food likes the cooking process and not to mention the contamination from chemicals during cultivation could be harmful for your body. That’s why, beta-carotene as vitamin supplement could be the solution to replace the need of beta-carotene in your body that cannot be fulfilled through daily diet.
- Super Nutrient for Brain
Beta-carotene is considered to be the super nutrient for brain is due to its ability to fight dementia effectively. Dementia occurs due to oxidative stress in the brain cells and consuming beta-carotene could fight this kind of condition by delaying the cognitive aging of brain cells.
- Essential for Growth and Development
As rich of vitamin A, surely beta-carotene is essential for normal growth and development. Giving children with age more than 13 years old beta-carotene supplement is highly recommended to maximize the body growth and development though of course before that consult this matter with the professional is a must since large dosage could be harmful. In other words, instead of taking supplements is much more recommended to give children beta-carotene rightly from its natural sources like vegetables and fruits that are rich of beta-carotene.
Assist in Fighting the Development of Cancerous cells
- Reduce the Risk of Lung Cancer
As antioxidant surely one of the main functions of beta-carotene is to fight cancerous cells and prevent them from spreading throughout the body, especially cancerous cells that could cause lung cancer. Beta-carotene has one of the amazing functions which are able to increase the lung capacity as well as provide relief to respiratory ailment which will reduce the risk of lung cancer. However, those who are currently smokers with lung problem should not take beta-carotene supplements because could increase the risk of lung cancer. Stop smoking first before taking beta-carotene supplement to treat lung problem.
- Reduce the Risk of Ovarian Cancer
In post menopause women the risk of ovarian cancer is becoming higher. Consuming foods which are rich of beta-carotene or beta-carotene supplement is highly recommended in order to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Many studies have support this opinion.
- Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer
Just like ovarian cancer, post menopause women are also high in risk of breast cancer. To assist in reducing the risk consuming healthy food daily is recommended and the best foods to reduce the risk are those which are rich of beta-carotene. Besides that there are a lot of supplement products that are offered nowadays though the usage should be based doctor’s order. Taking beta-carotene is highly recommended for post menopause women whose family has history of breast cancer.
Treating Chronic Diseases
- Prevent People with Osteoporosis from the Worst Condition
One of the amazing benefits of beta-carotene is able to prevent the worst condition of osteoporosis. It is actually a common knowledge that vitamin A is closely related to bone health. In other words, as pro vitamin A surely beta-carotene has significant role in assist people dealing with the worst condition of osteoporosis.
- Reduce the Risk of Asthma
Its ability to improve the capacity of lung as well as assisting in relieving the respiratory ailment is the reasons why consuming beta-carotene is highly recommended for those who have respiratory issue. In other words, beta-carotene is effective in reducing the risk of asthma. Though asthma is considered one of the diseases that cannot be completely cured but beta-carotene will make this condition a bit bearable.
- Reduce the Oxidation of LDL
For proper result in reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, consuming beta-carotene supplement along with vitamin E is highly recommended. Lower LDL cholesterol level means healthier heart condition that could prevent some cardiovascular diseases caused by bad cholesterol.
- Natural Treatment for Oral Leukoplakia
Though beta-carotene cannot treat oral leukoplakia completely but many studies have proven that beta-carotene is able to reduce the symptoms of this condition. Taking it by mouth is much more recommended for maximum result.
- Treat Bronchitis
Beta-carotene when it is combined with flavonoid will act as natural antioxidant that will ace as anti-inflammation as well. Especially for people with bronchitis, taking beta-carotene will assist in treating the worst symptom by reduce the inflammation and prevent the patients from suffering the worst symptoms of this condition.
- Help in Dealing with Diabetes
Some studies have been conducted in order to find out whether consuming beta-carotene has significant effect related to diabetes. Well, those studies have shown that if body get enough beta-carotene the risk of diabetes could be reduced because people with adequate amount of beta-carotene in their body will not suffer glucose tolerance which will be reduce the risk of diabetes.
- Prevent the Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Many studies have proven that beta-carotene is effective in preventing the development of rheumatoid arthritis. However, for significant results, the consumption should be conducted along with vitamin C.
Recommended Supplement for Old People
- Improve Physical Performance
When someone reaches senior age, he or she will suffer some declines and one of the most common is physical performance. Consuming beta-carotene will assist in improving their physical performance by improving their muscle strength. It is recommended to consume beta-carotene from the natural sources instead of the supplement.
- Assist in Slowing Down the Cognitive Decline
Consuming beta-carotene will not make you younger but at least beta-carotene could contribute in slowing down the cognitive decline. As antioxidant and pro vitamin A surely beta-carotene has super power to slowing down the degeneration of cells that will affect the cognitive decline as well.
- Prevent Vision Loss for People with AMD Condition
In senior people the main problem they should face is some macular degenerations issues and one that is very crucial is vision loss. Consuming beta-carotene will assist in prevent this condition to happen because as a provitamin A, beta-carotene is important nutrients for healthy eyes and visions. For better result, senior people could take beta-carotene along with zinc, vitamin C and E.
The Goodness of Beta-Carotene
- Good for Pregnant Women
Many studies have shown that consuming beta-carotene supplement or foods rich of beta-carotene during pregnancy could reduce the risk of death after labor process. Though the high dosage consumption is not recommended since it could be harmful for the fetus.
- Good for Heart
Consuming Beta-carotene in the right dosage could assist in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In other words, it is good for your heart because of its ability in lowering the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which could be harmful for coronary heart.
- Good for Vision
It is a common knowledge that colorful food which is rich of vitamin A is good for vision and beta-carotene has significant role to keep visions and eyes healthy since it is well known as provitamin A which whenever it is converted will produce Vitamin A which is good for vision.
- Good for Reproduction
Some studies have shown that consuming beta-carotene supplement or foods rich of beta-carotene has significant role in enhancing fertility by improving the sperm quality.
- Good for Immune System
As super nutrients, beta-carotene has a specific super power that will activate thymus gland. It is one of the most important sources of immunity system which enables the system to fight for virus and all kinds of infections. Besides that, the system will make sure to kill all cancerous cells before they could spread and causes some more serious conditions.
For the Beauty Sake
- Good for Skin
As antioxidant, surely beta-carotene is good for skin. Most of skin supplement will contain high amount of beta-carotene. In other words, all foods which are rich of beta-carotene is surely good for skin. It is because as natural source of antioxidant, beta-carotene has important role as anti-aging. The best part is, adequate amount of beta-carotene in the body could enhance the natural glow of healthy skin.
- Assist in Dealing with Sun Sensitivity Condition
There is one skin condition which is sensitive to sun called erythropoietic protoporphyria. It is one of the blood disorders that causes the person who suffers the diseases will be sensitive to the sun. Consuming beta-carotene will cause the condition bearable though surely the intensive treatment is required to deal with this condition.
- Scleroderma Treatment
Well, the main reason behind a person suffers from scleroderma is because of the low level of beta-carotene in their bodies. Making sure that consuming enough beta-carotene will treat scleroderma effectively.
- Removes Age Spots
Age spots are caused by dead skin that cannot be completely removed from the skin surface while the regeneration of new cells is slow. Well, dry skin is one of the reasons why it is very difficult to remove the dead skin, that’s why consuming foods which are rich of beta-carotene could assist in making sure your skin is moisturized naturally and as antioxidant at the same time assisting in the regeneration of new skin cells, so dealing with age spots is just a piece of cake.
- Prevent Dandruff
Dandruff is actually one of the skin conditions that happen to appear in the scalp. It is a common knowledge that a person who suffers vitamin A deficiency will easily suffer this scalp condition. Beta-carotene is pro vitamin A that could make sure this condition would no longer be suffered as long as body has enough amount of beta-carotene.
- Dealing with Hair Loss
Just like dandruff, hair loss is also one of the scalp conditions that could occur when a person is suffering from vitamin A deficiency. Consuming healthy food which is rich of vitamin A and beta-carotene is surely highly recommended to deal with this condition.
- Healthier and Shiner Hair
Once your scalp is free from dandruff and there is no more hair loss problem to be faced, the next thing you know is you will have healthier and shiner hair. It is true that healthy hair is closely related to your daily diet though some people still not aware of that and keep consuming junk food and keep complaining about their hair and skin.
Side Effects of Beta-Carotene
Even as super nutrients with a lot of health benefits, Beta-Carotene is not without side effects, especially the supplement products. The consumption of supplement product should be used wisely and based on doctor suggestions is much more preferable. Below is the list of side effects or general cautions of Beta-carotene that everyone should aware of, that even a super nutrient could be harmful if it is not taken properly:
- Too much Vitamin A could be harmful
Too much vitamin A in the body could be toxic that’s why for you who are consuming the supplement should be consumed based on doctor’s order. Breastfeeding women should be careful with the beta-carotene dosage they consume because it could affect the babies; too much vitamin A in babies could be fatal.
- High Dosage could be harmful for Pregnant Women
Though, as mentioned above, beta-carotene is good for pregnant women but still consuming it in the large dosage could cause health problem not only to the mother but much more specific to the fetus or the baby.
- Increase the Risk of Cancer Disease
It is true that as super source of antioxidant, beta-carotene could assist in fighting the development of cancerous cells but in some conditions, beta-carotene will cause the opposite effect such as for those who are smoking, consuming beta-carotene could be dangerous because could increase the risk the development of cancerous cells that will lead to lung and prostate cancer.
- Special Cautions for People with Kidney Disease and Eating Disorder
Beta-carotene is not recommended for people with kidney diseases and eating disorders. If somehow the taking of beta-carotene is highly required, consult this matter with the professional is a must without exception.
- Beta-Carotene is NOT for Smokers
If you are about to take beta-carotene supplement, you have to make sure that you are not a smoker. Why? It is a common knowledge that a smoker is likely in high risk of lung and prostate cancer and beta-carotene is only making that risk much higher.
One important thing to note is though beta-carotene is already proven to be super nutrients for human health but still for better and healthier life balancing it with other nutrients is highly recommended. That’s why before you decided to take beta-carotene supplement is better for you to consult with your doctor first just to make sure whether your body needs additional supplement of beta-carotene or not since too much beta-carotene could be harmful for human’s body.