Carotenoids are colored pigments found in plants, algae, and bacteria. These yellow, orange, and red pigments are found in over 600 species and we can take advantage of their benefits simply by eating foods that contain them. Some of the most common carotenoids are alpha- and beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. They appear in fruits of those colors, and also leafy green vegetables. The wide range of health benefits of carotenoids includes vision protection to antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent dangerous oxidation that can lead to the damage of cells. Superfoods such as blueberries, wheatgrass, acai berries, and goji berries have become popular for their antioxidant content, but foods high in carotenoids are great sources, as well. Research shows the antioxidant properties of carotenoids may be helpful in reducing certain types of cancer, cardiovascular and photosensitive disorders, as well as eye disease.
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