The Beauty of Beta-Carotene

You’ll notice that beta-carotene is one of the ingredients in our Ultimate Age-Proofing Complex (our top moisturizer) and our Beyond CP (nightly serum for oily skin or those with broken capillaries and scars). There are many skin and health benefits of this colorful red-orange pigment, also found in plants, fruits, and colorful vegetables.

Our bodies transform beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol). Vitamin A can be derived from beta-carotene-rich foods or with supplements. The benefit of the dietary form is that the human body only modifies the amount it requires as needed. Vitamin A in excess quantities can be toxic. Toxic Vitamin A amounts can arise by ingesting a large quantity of the supplement form. If your source is from food, toxicity is preventable. We require Vitamin A for beautiful skin, a healthy immune system and vision, and to produce mucus membranes.

beta-caroteneWhy beta carotene is essential?

Beta-carotene is regarded as an antioxidant and is also a predecessor to vitamin A. This compound promotes healthier skin while is also crucial to the overall health of the lungs, heart and eyes. In fact, beta-carotene consumption can help decrease coronary artery disease, strokes, macular degeneration, and other age-associated conditions.

Other health benefits of beta carotene:

For skin wellbeing, there is proof that beta-carotene, itself or combined with other carotenoids or antioxidant vitamins can safeguard the skin from damaging UVA/UVB sun rays. However, it is always recommended to apply a broad spectrum sun screen daily (snow, rain or shine). I like Evenly Radiant Day Crème. It’s nano-particle-free so it refracts harmful rays away from the skin. Find it at my shop in the sunscreen section.

Studies reveal that eating at least 3-5 servings of veggies and fruits loaded with beta carotene could help reduce lung cancer. See a list of foods below. It is not apparent if these results can be associated to beta-carotene by itself. For heart health, a variety scientific research studies have connected high blood levels of dietary beta-carotene and alternative carotenoids with a reduced danger of developing illnesses which affect the heart or blood vessels.

For eye health, research indicates that foods containing high levels of beta-carotene and other carotenoids could assist in reducing the advancement of age-associated macular degeneration (degradation of the macula, a portion of the retina responsible for central vision) and cataracts (which cause the eye lens to cloud) leading to loss or reduction of vision if untreated. Also be sure to wear polarized sun glasses to help prevent the onset of cataracts.

For a healthy immune system myriad scientific studies note that beta-carotene and carotenoids, can help prevent some infections.

Which foods are rich in beta-carotene?

Apricots, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, kale, Chinese cabbage, chives, dandelion leaves, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, ketchup, onions, peas, peppers, plums, pumpkin, spinach, squash, herbs and spices including chili powder, oregano, paprika, parsley.