Life Extension, beta carotene, pile of five fresh leafy carrots on white background (beta carotene foods)

Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that converts into vitamin A.

What is Beta-Carotene?

Beta-carotene is the most potent precursor to vitamin A, but its conversion to vitamin A in the body is limited by a feedback system.

It is definitely an important antioxidant and one that can only build up to toxic levels in rare circumstances.

Beta-Carotene Benefits

  • Beta-carotene helps support immune health by enhancing the function of the thymus gland. 
  • It is also a vital component of the body's natural antioxidant defences against free radicals.
  • Beta-carotene has shown promising results in cognitive function in men.

Vitamin A is essential for vision, growth, cell differentiation and proliferation, and the immune system's integrity. 

Beta-Carotene Foods

As a rule of thumb, the stronger the color of fruit or vegetable, the richer it is in beta-carotene. Yellow, leafy greens, orange and red fruits (such as carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, and winter squash). 

One of the highest beta-carotene containing foods is the sweet potato. Eating sweet potatoes can offer improvement in a variety of areas where beta carotene supplementation is recommended. 

References

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