What are Carotenoids?
Carotenoid antioxidants are a group of fat-soluble compounds that come from plants but animals also synthesize them from plant sources. These carotenoid antioxidants absorb some wavelengths of light while reflecting others. This characteristic is what gives them their yellowness or redness and also helps plants against ultraviolet rays. The color of a carotenoid is what determines its potency with some being more effective than others. The yellow, red, and orange color of fruits and vegetables is due to the color of the carotenoids present in them. Some carotenoids act as antioxidants when released into the human body.
Types of Carotenoid Antioxidants
Carotenoids cannot be produced by animal and human bodies, but they can be absorbed through plant sources. Fruits and Vegetables rich in carotenoid antioxidants include bell peppers, cantaloupe, carrot, kale, mangoes, oranges, spinach, tomatoes, watermelon, yams. There are approximately 600 different kinds of carotenoid antioxidants. Almost all kinds of carotenoids have antioxidant properties. Depending on their characteristics, carotenoids are divided into two main groups: xanthophylls and carotenes. Some well known carotenoid antioxidants are listed below:
- Alpha Carotene
- Beta Carotene
- Beta Cryptoxanthin
Health Benefits of Carotenoids Antioxidants
1- Carotenoids for Cancer:
Carotenoids play a significant role in the immune system by fighting free radicals and other toxins that constantly damage cells. Carotenoids are an essential part of a healthy immune system. These compounds will help fight free radicals and other toxins that constantly damage cells. They protect the body from oxidative stress and can reduce the risk of cancer. They also help reduce inflammation, which is why it’s important to eat foods rich in carotenoids if you want to maintain your health. Some carotenoids can be converted into vitamin A, which is highly beneficial to protect it from sun damage. Some studies have also proved that carotenoids are proved to be helpful in reducing the effects of lung cancer.
2- Carotenoids for Eye Health:
The eyes are one of the most important organs in our body. The human eye is made up of many parts that work together to allow us to see. The retina is the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye, which converts light into an electrical signal that is sent to your brain. Diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts can be devastating for people with low vision. Recent studies have shown that increasing carotenoids rich food in your diet help to slow the effects of eye diseases.
3- Carotenoids and Heart Health:
Carotenoid antioxidants have been shown to protect the cells of our heart against damage, reducing inflammation and preventing cholesterol buildup. This in turn help to reduce the dangers of cardiovascular diseases and arterial paths being blocked by cholesterol. The lesser amounts of cholesterol accumulate in arterial paths, the easier it is for blood to flow through the body without exerting pressure over the heart.