Carotenes: what are they and what are their benefits?

The carotenes are natural pigments, plant or animal origin. Vitamin A precursors and linked to skin care. Its components offer many benefits. Read on if you want to discover them all! And to expand your knowledge and improve your training, you can take our Masters in Nutrition .

What are carotenes?

Carotenes are synthesized pigments that are abundant in nature, especially in flowers, vegetables and fruits. This gives it a dark red, orange, yellow, or green color. Therefore, it is found in tomato, carrot, pumpkin, egg yolk, spinach, red pepper, dried apricots and peaches, etc.

What are the benefits of carotenes?

Among the functions and benefits of carotenes we find skin care and its contribution to taking a brown color in summer. However, they offer many more benefits for the body, such as disease prevention. Here are some of its main benefits:

Antioxidant effect

Most carotenoids have an antioxidant action. This allows reducing the negative effect of oxygen free radicals or oxidative stress in our body, caused by many diseases that start at the cellular level.

The effects of carotenes can be key to counteracting the negative effects of smokers or alcohol users. In turn, they can also contribute to recovery after intense physical exercise, which puts stress on the body.

They promote mental and brain health

Carotenes stimulate brain connections and optimize cognitive performance. In addition, they can also delay the development of age-related dementia.

Contribute to eye health and vision

These carotenoids absorb harmful sun rays in the eye, protecting the macula from damage. They also improve visual acuity and scavenge free oxygen radicals or harmful oxidative stress.

Reduce cardiovascular risk

Thanks to their antioxidant function in the human body, these components reduce cardiovascular risk by reducing the chances of suffering from atherosclerosis. For this reason, it is advisable to introduce these carotenes in the usual diet.

Improve metabolic health

These pigments can reduce the accumulation of fat in the abdomen. That is, they can improve metabolic health, helping to improve the functioning of the immune system and our hormones. Well, they help prevent diseases such as obesity, overweight, diabetes, among others.

Anti-cancer properties

The components of carotenes are very valuable and beneficial for health. There are studies that show that the high contribution of carotenoids in the human diet can reduce the risk of some types of cancer. For example, β-carotene can suppress the growth of certain cancer-precursor lesions in the intestine. It can also fight cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and breast cancer. Or even other diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, among others. This is possible thanks to its antioxidant effects, which neutralize various chemicals that can damage cell membranes and genetic material.

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