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Beta carotene contributes to healthy skin and protects eyesight

Beta carotene contributes to healthy skin and protects eyesight

Beta carotene is a carotenoid. Carotenoids are natural pigments found in plants and responsible for the vibrant colors of some fruits and vegetables, such as the orange color of the carrot, the red of persimmon, and the intense yellow of the mango. Once ingested, beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A (retinol) or act as an antioxidant to help protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. 50% of the vitamin A in the body comes from the intake of beta-carotene, so it is called "pro-vitamin A", meaning beta-carotene is a precursor to the production of vitamin A in the body. be obtained in two ways. One that is ingested in foods of animal origin is called retinol, and can be used directly by the body. Good sources of vitamin A-retinol include chicken and beef liver, whole milk and cheese. Vitamin A obtained from fruits and vegetables comes in the form of carotenoid or "pro-vitamin A", which is converted into retinol by the body.

In addition to its antioxidant action, beta-carotene helps to maintain healthy skin and also plays a vital role in ocular health, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, macular degeneration and other age-related diseases. Because of its antioxidant action beta-carotene strengthens the immune system, which contributes to the proper functioning of the lungs and the respiratory system in general, helping to prevent colds and flu.

Proven benefits of beta carotene

Beta carotene helps fight free radicals that age the skin and helps to preserve collagen, which increases its elasticity and tone. Beta carotene contributes to a beautiful tan. This is because it helps in the formation of melanin, responsible for pigmentation of the skin and protection against solar radiation.

Beta carotene helps in tanning, which occurs faster and more efficiently. Eating a carrot daily, drinking orange juice with beets and capricious in salads with dark green leaves, helps to leave the golden skin due to the carotenoids present in these foods. There are more than 600 carotenoid pigments found in green, red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. These carotenoids are produced by plants as a form of defense to solar radiation and people also benefit from its antioxidant and protective action of cellular DNA.

Good for bones:

Beta carotene helps in bone growth by stimulating production of collagen, which is part of the bone matrix to fix minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and boron. Good for vision:

Beta-carotene protects the eye surface (cornea) and structures that make up the eye. This action improves dry eye and some inflammatory conjunctivitis. It is essential for vision and may contribute to reducing the incidence of cataracts along with other antioxidants. Spinach is rich in beta-carotene - Photo: Getty Images

Good for immunity:

Beta-carotene increases system capacity and so our defenses become more competent in the fight against invading microorganisms. Good for hair and nails:

Because beta-carotene contributes to preserve collagen, it helps the skin and hair to stay "Beta-carotene deficiency and vitamin A deficiency is very common in developing countries where it is the leading cause of vision problems and preventable blindness in children according to the World Health Organization. signs of deficiency include night blindness, dry or inflamed eyes, hair loss and skin irritation. Beta carotene and vitamin A can be measured in the blood to detect the deficiency.Beta carotene deficiency reduces the body's antioxidant capacity, can impair vision and lead to blindness, lowers immunity, impairs skin health, weakens nails and hair, and stops protecting the cardiovascular system. Beta Carotene Sources

The best sources of beta-carotene are: carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, cabbage, red peppers, papaya, persimmon, mango, melon, watermelon, apricot, guava and mandarin. easy. 100 grams of raw carrot contains 4 times the daily recommendation of the nutrient. Already 100 grams of sweet potato has 6 times the beta carotene orientation of the day. Therefore, in order to maintain the correct levels of beta-carotene, it is sufficient to have a varied diet with fruits, vegetables and vegetables being consumed daily.

To increase the absorption and bioavailability of beta-carotene, it is always interesting to include some fatty food in the meal,

Recommended Amount of Beta Carotene

The National Institutes of Health recommends a daily intake of 3,000 IU (units men); 2,300 IU for women; 1,320 IU for children 0-6 months of age; 1,650 IU for children 7-12 months of age; 1,000 IU for children aged 1-3 years; 1,320 IU for children aged 4-8 years; 2,000 IU for children aged 9-13 years

Beta-carotene supplements

The use of beta-carotene supplementation is recommended when symptoms of nutrient deficiency are detected. In the case of people who do not eat fruits and vegetables supplementation may be necessary, however, it should always be done with medical advice.

Risks of excess consumption of beta-carotene

Risks of excess beta-carotene are hypercarotenemia , that is, the orange skin, which is reversible after stopping using the supplement. Too much synthetic vitamin A (not to be confused with beta-carotene) in medications such as isotretinoin (used to treat acne) can cause liver problems and even birth defects in infants.

Combining beta-carotene

It is important to ingest sources of beta-carotene and also vitamin C and vitamin E. This is because all three nutrients have strong antioxidant action and act together to provide this benefit.

Pumpkin is a good source of beta carotene - Photo: Getty Images

The sources of Vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, and the main sources are guava, kiwi, strawberry, goji berry, orange, cranberry, cashew, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and peppers. Vitamin E can be found in various foods and oils, such as nuts, seeds and vegetable oils such as olive oil.

Rich recipes in beta carotene

Pumpkin cream soup with ricotta

Oatmeal with spinach

Carrot juice.

Source consulted:

Dr. Tamara Mazaracki, a nutrologist and post-graduate in orthomolecular medicine. CRM: 52301716 / RJ

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