What Are The Health Benefits Of Beta Carotene?

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Beta carotene is a carotenoid or plant pigment, usually responsible for red, orange or yellow pigments. This compound, once absorbed by the body, gets converted into vitamin A, providing essential benefits to our health.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Beta Carotene?

Overall, consuming this through your food can improve the levels of vitamin A in your body while also having various benefits when it comes to your cognition, skin, eyes, lungs and general immunity.

Here, you can go through further details about beta carotene and how it can benefit your health as well as how you should consume it.

What Is Beta Carotene?

Beta carotene provides and deepens the color of fruit and vegetables since it is a pigment of its own. It also has several antioxidant properties that can have various health benefits on your body such as reducing the risk of developing cancer.

Once you eat foods containing this pigment, your body will convert it into vitamin A, allowing various organs to feel its impact.

It is important to regulate your intake of this compound or pigment since too much of it can lead to toxicities.

Health Benefits Of Beta Carotene

Beta carotene has various health benefits that you can go through below.

Improved Cognition

Beta carotene can help improve your level of cognition in the form of memory, awareness, retention and more. This is particularly seen in the longer term or in older age since the usual decrease in cognitive abilities can be reduced if you eat foods containing beta carotene on a regular basis.

This can also impact the intensity or symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s.

In general, just as maintaining a good intake of fruits and vegetables can improve your cognition over a long period of time, so too does the intake of beta carotene function (since many fruits and vegetables also contain this pigment).

Eye Health

Your eyes can benefit from beta carotene to a considerable extent as well. This is because it gets converted into vitamin A in your body.

Over a long period of time, beta carotene can help maintain your sense of vision while reducing the extent or potential of damage. It can also help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to a considerable extent.

This can also apply to those who smoke, as noted in this study conducted on elderly Korean men.

Reduced Cancer Risk

Due to the antioxidant properties of beta carotene, there might be a reduced risk of cancer in your body since the vitamin A that results from the conversion of beta carotene can help your body fight against cancer cells.

While preventing cancer completely might not necessarily be possible simply through an increase in your intake of beta carotene, it can help your body build immunity and an effective way of dealing with certain kinds of cancer.

For instance, antioxidants can reduce the level of inflammation, leading to a lower risk of cancers like breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. It is important to enrich your consumption through natural foods instead of simply relying on supplements.

Skin Health

Antioxidants can improve the overall health of your skin. In this sense, beta carotene can also provide this function when it comes to your skin. It can prevent skin damage due to the harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.

This is because the beta carotene can prevent the cells on your skin from getting too damaged. However, this benefit is not immediate but can take time to truly develop and become obvious.

Thus, this is more of a long-term impact.

Lung Health

Beta carotene can have several positive impacts when it comes to maintaining the health of your lungs.

Apart from an overall standard functioning of your lungs, beta carotene (as vitamin A) can protect your lungs from various diseases while also lowering the risk of developing lung cancer. This can also apply to people who smoke on a regular basis.

Once again, this is due to its antioxidant properties. This is likely to be a long-term impact that can develop if you continue eating healthily with regulated quantities of foods containing beta carotene.

Supplements might not have this kind of an impact.

Foods With Beta Carotene

It is important to know which foods are rich in beta carotene so that you can start incorporating them into your diet. This can be a good way for you to attain all the benefits, but make sure you do not overdo the intake of such foods either.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Beta Carotene?

Some common foods that contain beta carotene in them that you can consume include the following:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Apricots
  • Peas
  • Salmon
  • Mango
  • Dairy products
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Paprika
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Chili
  • Coriander

You can easily find most of these foods in a local supermarket.

Daily Recommended Dose

For beta carotene, there is technically no formal recommended daily allowance (RDA), although you can refer to the same for vitamin A. This dose is 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women.

You will need to increase this dose if you are a pregnant or lactating woman.

How To Take Beta Carotene

Ideally, you should take beta carotene through some of the foods mentioned above. Eating them regularly as part of your meals (with different variations) can help your body improve the intake of this compound.

Supplements should only be taken if required or recommended by your doctor, so make sure you consult them beforehand to prevent any risk.

Side Effects

Too much beta carotene is not good for your body either. Some side effects in such a case can include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Reduced bone strength
  • Skin pigmentation

Overall, too much toxicity is unlikely to occur solely due to beta carotene but you should still be cautious of how much of it you consume.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Beta Carotene? Summing Up

You now know that beta carotene can lead to various health benefits when it comes to your cognition, eye health, lung health and skin health while also reducing the risk of cancer. Incorporating foods rich in this compound can help you feel these benefits over a long period.

Rosemary Richards