Carotenoids: have you heard?

Some say that it has vitamin A, but it is not quite truth. Learn what are these essential nutrients to the body.

Beta-carotene is the most famous of carotenoids,especially for being found in foods such as carrots and often be related to the skin’s youthful appearance. But the fact that something is rich in carotenoids is not the same as being rich in vitamin A. Although all carotenoids are antioxidants, only some of them can be transformed into vitamin A.

Carotenoids range from a yellow to a red color, it can be found in vegetables and other foods that have this color. Beta-carotene can be ingested through carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes or pumpkin and is almost entirely converted into vitamin A by the body.

Apart from the beta-carotene, only can alpha, gamma-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin be converted into vitamin A. These are considered provitamins A, This means that from chemical reactions occurring in the body after ingestion, they become vitamin A. Food sources of carotenoids are vegetables with dark green leaves (cabbage, spinach, broccoli) and fruits such as mango, papaya, peach, melon or orange.

Vitamin A is especially important for the health of our eyes, hair, and has an important anti-oxidant action, fighting free radicals resulting from respiration of the cells, as free radicals are the main reason for the aging of our tissues.

It is believed that foods rich in carotene can reduce the incidence of diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.

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