Beta-carotene or carotenoids is perhaps best known for its role as a precursor for vitamin A, or as pro-vitamin A, meaning that the human body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A when needed. The human body is unable to synthesize carotenoids and they must therefore be taken up as a food constituent
Carotenoids/Beta-carotene is a naturally occurring reddish-orange pigment, responsible for the yellow-orange colour of many fruits. It is one of literally hundreds of carotenoids found in nature, particularly in dark green, deep orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene is one of the most extensively researched carotenoids and pro-vitamins, and it is highly regarded for its many health-promoting capabilities.
The most common carotenoids in diets are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin are provitamin A carotenoids, meaning they can be converted by the body to retinol (vitamin A). Lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene have no vitamin A activity.
Beta-carotene rich food – Orange/ Yellow fruits and vegetables
Lycopene rich food – Red fruits & vegetables
Lutein rich food – Green Leafy Vegetable
Zeaxanthin rich food - Yellow/ Orange Colour Fruits and Vegetables
Carrot, pumpkin, water melon,tomato, spinach,Kale,Persimmon,and corn
Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system, which helps prevent or fight off infections by making white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. Vitamin A also may help lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) fight infections more effectively.
Benefits of Carotenoids on our immune
Main functions of Carotenoids
- immunity booster
- promotion of cell communication
- cancer prevention
- eyesight improvement
- protection of the skin against oxidative damage
- Increasing lymphocytes to fight against infection
- Increasing T-cells to fight off cancer cells
- stimulates macrophages to kill cancer cells
- Protect cells against free radicals
* Vitamin A and Carotenoids