Carotenoids are pigments that are the precursors of vitamin A. Vitamin A, therefore, linked to the care of the skin. However, the benefits of carotenoids go further and we tell you about them as well as where to find these food components.
The Benefits Of Carotenoids
We find a variety of carotene that are pigments of various plants. The most abundant being beta-carotene. So, they often referred to in this way.
Among its functions and benefits, beyond the care of the skin, it contributes to getting a brown color in summer. They are:
They Have Antioxidant Action
Most of the carotene have antioxidant action. They can reduce in our body the negative effect of oxygen free radicals or oxidative stress in our body.
This property of the carotene is responsible for many other benefits that we will mention below, but it can also be advantageous for smokers or alcohol consumers who need more antioxidants as well as to recover before or to favor the organism before the practice of intense exercise.
Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Factors
There are many cardiovascular risk factors that are easily modifiable or controllable through our habits.
The carotene included in the habitual diet inversely associated with atherogenic plaque. Thus, carotenoids reduce the risk of atherosclerosis that constitutes at the same time a decrease in cardiovascular risk.
Also, research published in Clinical Nutrition indicates that low levels of plasma carotene linked to greater abdominal adipose. This could translate into benefits of carotene to prevent overweight or obesity. They subtract another cardiovascular risk factor, something tested for lycopene specifically.
Contribute To Eye Health And Vision
Carotene absorbs harmful sun rays in the eye and thus protect the macula from damage, improve visual acuity and eliminate free radicals from oxygen or harmful oxidation stress in that area of the body.
Among the most beneficial carotene in this regard are lutein and zeaxanthin, according to a study published in the journal Nutrients.
They Could Have Anticancer Properties
Although no food or diet can cure cancer, our diet can help prevent this disease and the carotene is valuable components in this regard.
Carotene levels in plasma have been inversely associated with the prevalence of lung cancer and its antioxidant effect as well as modulating the metabolism could be responsible for this link.
However, there are still studies that prove this effect in the organism and for the moment, its anticancer properties are probable but not confirmed.
Benefits of Carotenoids for Mental And Cerebral Health
Our diet also has a great influence on the functioning of the brain. According to research published this year, Carotenoids and lycopene, in particular, are linked to better mental and cerebral health.
Apparently, these components stimulate connections in the brain, promote cognitive performance and could delay the development of dementia associated with age.
Where to find carotene to include in the usual diet
As we have said, carotene pigments synthesized in many foods of vegetable origin. But carotene predominates in vegetables or fruits of intense color.
The orange, yellow, red and dark green color of many vegetables and fruits could determine the presence of carotene. Thus, the carrot is one of the main sources next to pumpkin, as well as greens, spinach, seaweed, cress, curly cabbage, red pepper or apricots, and dried peaches, among others.