Monday, July 29, 2013

Oh, The Power of Carotenoids!

We already know that foods rich in beta-carotene and lutein are crazy wonderful for us, and now we have proof that they are even better than we thought. Results from a long term study (11 years) involving over one million people show that in people who consumed the most beta carotene and lutein had the least incidences of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease/ALS). A 15 - 20% difference from the general population.  The amount of beta carotene in a single small carrot reduces the risk by 6 - 10%. It was also shown that those who took the supplement instead showed no difference in risk than those who ate neither the foods or supplements. So, something in those foods either help protect from disease or help to metabolize the carotenoids. The best way to get your vitamins and antioxidants is by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially dark greens. First on the list are peppers, all colors! Here are the ones that pack the most (in order):
Foods for Beta Carotene & Lutein
Romain lettuce
Mustard greens
Pumpkin & Squash (orange varieties contain the most)

~ Ann. Neurol., 2013

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