What is Beta-Carotene?

What is beta-carotene? You hear so much about vitamins within certain families and those that are inherently important to your health. You likely don’t hear as much about beta-carotene except for when something is rich in it. You should know that this offers its own unique health benefits that you want to be tuned into if you want to fight off illnesses.

Understanding Its Makeup

sign_vitamin_deficiencyWhen trying to figure out what beta-carotene is start by understanding what it represents. It is a member of the carotenoids which are essentially highly pigmented and fat soluble compounds. They are found naturally in fruits, grains, oils, and vegetables and are most often associated with red, orange, and yellow hued items. They are considered to be provitamins because they can be converted to active Vitamin A.  That’s a rather broad overview of what beta-carotene is and it is therefore synthetically made to offer all of the benefits that our bodies require.

How Does It Help Us?

Quite simply beta-carotene helps with many different body functions. It can help to protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. This is what it has received so much attention for in recent years as it can be helpful in the prevention of cancer. It can provide an excellent natural source of Vitamin A and can be quite helpful in enhancing how your immune system works. You will stay much healthier if you maintain a proper level of beta-carotene within your diet.

Many turn to beta-carotene for its role in keeping the reproductive system functioning properly. Often times if there are some reproductive problems suspected, doctors will point to this nutrient to help naturally regulate any issues. You may not hear of a beta-carotene deficiency and that’s due in large part to the fact that it is naturally found in many of the foods that we eat each day.

You can expect to find good levels of beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, turnip greens, winter squash, collard greens, and fresh cilantro. Though you do get plenty in your diet, it’s always wise to turn to a supplement that helps to offset anything missing for optimal effects.