Top 10 Foods Rich in Beta Carotene
Beta Carotene is a plant pigment present in many foods, a pro-vitamin A which once ingested is converted into vitamin A in our body, offering a good deal of useful antioxidants to maintain healthy cells. This nutrient is very useful to ensure the health of our skin but also to prevent the formation of free radicals and premature aging, so we should often consume it in our diet. Do you want to know which ingredients contain it? On oneHOWTO we give you a list of top 10 foods rich in beta carotene.
Eating foods rich in beta-carotene is very important to ensure our health, because this plant pigment provides important antioxidants for our body that help to strengthen the immune system, prevent disease and fight the formation of free radicals responsible for premature skin aging and diseases like cancer.
Another of the best known benefits of beta-carotene is its ability to promote the production of melanin in the body, helping to obtain a much healthier and even tan. It also has a property very beneficial for those with sensitive skin, as it helps to reduce the possibility of sunburn when combined with proper protection.
As it is present in various vegetables, in addition to receiving this nutrient we are ingesting other equally important nutrients such as fiber, iron and vitamin C, which are essential for a healthy body.
Carrots are undoubtedly the best known food rich in beta-carotene, offering a good dose of this nutrient and also providing us with a high fiber intake. In total, carrots have approximately 4,142 micrograms of beta carotene per carrot, which is actually more than your recommended daily amount! For those who enjoy sunbathing, carrots can help get a healthy tan if incorporated frequently to your diet and if you increase your intake a few days before sun exposure.
But despite being the best known, the carrot is not the food source with the most beta-carotene because above it there is another ingredient that might surprise you: spinach.
Spinach is one of the foods with the highest fiber content we can find, benefiting intestinal transit and absorption of fats and sugars, but also offers an excellent dose of antioxidants due to its high beta-carotene content. It is without doubt a food that should be included frequently in our diet. Per half a cup of spinach you will be taking 5,600 micrograms of beta carotene!
Watercress is also one of the foods rich in beta carotene, an ideal complement to salads and an excellent source of iron, making it a prominent ingredient and highly recommended for anaemia sufferers. When eaten raw and natural, watercress contains 1,914 micrograms of beta carotene per 100 grams portion.
Another prominent ingredient rich in beta-carotene is red pepper, a versatile ingredient that has various properties among which is its vitamin C and fiber content making it a very healthy choice that you can grill, served raw or enjoy with a meat or fish filling. Per 100 grams, bell peppers contain 1,500 micrograms of beta carotene.
As its color suggests, that intense orange glow, the pumpkin has beta-carotene pigment, making it a perfect choice to consume this nutrient. This food can be used both for sweet recipes and savory dishes, It is ideal for those who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.
To get an idea of how much beta-carotene pumpkin has, you should know that it contains 4570 micrograms per 100g making it another of the best ingredients for those who want to increase their daily intake of beta carotene.
Apart from its antioxidant and digestive properties, sweet potato also has a high amount of beta carotene. In total, sweet potato has 11509 micrograms of beta carotene per 100 grams! Bake sweet potato in the oven and benefit from its properties without putting on any extra pounds, it only has 0.2g of fat per potato!
Though it may be green on the outside, its peachy orange interior hints its high content in beta carotene. You can either eat it raw or make a delicious smoothie with it. Its high amount of vitamin A also makes it great to prevent skin dryness in the summer too.
The pumpkin's little cousin, butternut squash proves as effective. A good way of benefiting from its properties is to eat it baked or to make a delicious butternut squash puree. Don't get rid of the seeds inside, as they are a great source of amino acids, making them great for your brain.
The most popular super-food also hides a great amount of beta carotene within. Among its many health benefits, it is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, iron and even calcium, so it's a great addition to a vegan diet.
The best dried fruit that you can eat to get your dose of beta carotene is dried apricot, though dried peaches and prunes also prove as good.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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- Taking beta carotene in supplements does not have the same effectiveness as taking it naturally through food. Moreover, according to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, there is a higher risk of lung cancer for those who smoke taking the supplement