Wednesday, April 2, 2014

[B] precedes A

The article on antioxidants gave a brief account on the nature of antioxidants and their invaluable role in the human body. To continue with that theme, I thought it was fitting to have a discussion on an important class of these powerful nutrients. The title of today’s article may appear contrary to reason, however, makes perfect sense in the world of antioxidants. At this point, it is known that beta carotenes are a class of powerful antioxidants but what might not be common knowledge is the fact that beta carotenes make the well known and equally important vitamin A, making them provitamins.

Nature of [B]eta carotenes
Beta 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,">Followref="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>     


  1. I love carrots, but not so many red veggies.

    1. Hey! I love carrots too! Before studying this I didn't much about red veggies and their health benefits either. I try to add different spices for different tastes, so they don't become boring over time. Thanks for visiting.

  2. I love deepening my understanding of food chemistry! Thanks for doing this series. I'll be back reading, even if I don't always comment.

    1. You are very welcome!. Thank you for visiting. I'll make sure to keep the articles coming. I loved your take on pasta cooking yesterday. I might just try it today. fingers crossed!

  3. I love learning about this kind of thing! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

  4. This month is gonna broaden the horizons of our knowledge in the companionship of experts from various fields...
    informative post.....happy blogging!

  5. Thanks a lot for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I'll do my best to keep' em coming.