Nature of [B]eta carotenesBeta carotenes are a sub-class of substances called carotenoids, which provide color to plants. See plant pigments. So every time one sees the bright red, yellow, or orange color of plants, think beta carotenes! Beta carotenes are less conspicuously found in green leafy vegetables where their brightness is concealed by the presence of chlorophyll. Like all carotenoids, beta carotenes are chemically very fragile, so one should refrain from overheating or over cooking foods that contain them.
Food sources of [B]eta carotenes
Food sources of these nutrients vary tremendously. Tip: Buy food that’s in season. They include, but not limited to carrots, spinach, turnips, turnip greens, winter squash (see: Chicken and Wild Rice Butternut Squash Soup recipe), pumpkin, cantaloupe, etc…
Consider food sources of beta carotene instead of supplemental sources, unless, otherwise prescribed by your physician. Beta carotenes are important for the body as they contribute to healthy vision, skin and immune system. However, when consumed in excess, beta carotenes can lead to skin discoloration among other health problems. Adequate consumption is key!
Photo credit: Parrynutraceuticals, Alfajr-news.net
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