Beta-carotene is the element that gives fruits and vegetables their orange or yellow appearance. The name itself comes from the Latin word for carrot. Beta-carotene can be found in plants, algea, and photosynthetic bacteria. It is a safe source of vitamin A, which is vital for good eye health and vision, a strong immune system, and healthy skin. This helpful nutrient is also antioxidant that helps decrease the risk of contracting cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic inflammation.
Doctors recommend obtaining beta-carotene from food rather than dietary supplements. Current research, however, has not yet determined whether a minimum level of beta-carotene consumption is essential for health. Beta-carotene is the most common type of pro-vitamin A, the substances obtained from plant-based foods that our body then turns into the vitamin. Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.
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