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The three major carotenoids

Top 3 Carotenoids You Need For Your Health 

Do you know why fruits and vegetables have different colours such as yellow, red, and orange? Carotenoids are the reasons why fruits and vegetables occur in different colours.Like Vitamins, Carotenoids are also nutrients founds in our diets. They are mainly present in rich fruits and vegetables. Some popular examples of Carotenoids are Lutein, Astaxanthin, Anthocyanin.Over time, scientists have verified the biological functions of Carotenoids. Carotenoids help to strengthen the immune system because they are powerful antioxidants. They also reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.Due to their many health benefits, carotenoids are now added to drugs, supplements and children’s food to make them more nutritious and attractive.  Research also suggests that Carotenoids are effective for weight control and anti-obesity activities.  Today, there are over 700 Carotenoids naturally present in fruits and vegetables. However, only 50 of them are recognized by scientists are those having significant biological activity in the body.This article recommends 3 Carotenoids (Lutein, Astaxanthin, Anthocyanin) which have positive health effects for everyone.

Lutein

<a style="color:#19c4a7" href="Lutein is the compound that makes fruits and vegetables have bright yellow, red and orange colours.Lutein is a very powerful antioxidant type of Carotenoid. It is very vital in maintaining eye health.Interestingly, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are the only Carotenoids found inside a part of the eye called the “macula.” These Carotenoids work together inside the eye to fight free radicals, which can cause damage to the macula and other parts of our eye.

Lutein Food sources

Even though Lutein actually has a yellowish colour, it’s richly found in green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and collard greens.Other vegetable sources are Zucchini, squash, broccoli, corn, peas and brussels sprouts. Lutein is also a fat-soluble Carotenoids. This means that they’re best absorbed when they’re eaten with some fat, like olive oil or butter.Eggs, too, are a good source of Lutein. They may have a lower quantity, but the fat found in the yolks makes Lutein easily absorbed in our body. Unfortunately, most people don’t consume enough Lutein from their food. Research has discovered that the average person consumes just 1-2 mg per day.  In other to maintain the eye, most of us should aim to increase our intake of lutein-rich foods.Lutein can also be found in capsule form as a dietary supplement.If you want to enjoy the many health benefits of Lutein, it is advised to consume between 6 to 20 milligrams (mg)/day through foods or dietary supplements.

Related:5 Basic Eye Care Practices for Every Family

Top Lutein Benefits

Eye care

Lutein is very effective for eye care. It maintains the retina and macula part of the eye.  Since Lutein has antioxidant properties, it protects the eyes from harmful blue light and cataract. Doctors recommend a daily intake of 10 mg for persons who want to enjoy the eye benefits of Lutein.

Skin Care

Lutein is an antioxidant that can help to protect our skin from damage by ultraviolet (UV) light.

Recommended Supplements:

Webber Naturals - Blue Light & Dry Eyes Softgels. An Eye enhanceing formula containing Lutein, Zeaxanthin & Omega-3.
Jamieson – Extra Strength Eye Softgels. A Lutein supplement with eye protection antioxidants.

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a Carotenoid found in aquatic animals, such as lobster, crab, shrimp and salmon. It is the pigment that gives fish its pinkish or reddish colour. Today, Astaxanthin is usually added to diets to make their colour attractive to the consumer. This is why it is used as a colouring for cooking salmon, crabs, shrimp and chicken. Astaxanthin is also a very powerful antioxidant. This pigment has an antioxidant power 10 times greater than β-carotene and 500 times higher than vitamin E.Its antioxidant use has become beneficial in some diseases treatment, including cancer prevention. It is also known for anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects. Astaxanthin helps to improve blood flow and to lower oxidative stress in overweight people and those with heart challenges. It is also known for anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects. This pigment can also make the skin look healthier. It helps to smooth wrinkles, remove age spots, and maintain skin moisture.

Astaxanthin Food Sources

It is found in salmon, trout, lobster, and shrimp.

Top Astaxanthin Benefits

Skincare

It has a potent antioxidants effect that helps skin fight damage caused by sunlight, ageing and free radicals. 

Exercise recovery

There is High-quality evidence that Astaxanthin helps muscles recover from soreness and fatigue.

Male fertility

Limited evidence suggests that Astaxanthin can improve fertility in men.

Scientists recommend taking 4-8 milligrams of Astaxanthin either by food or supplement to enjoy its antioxidant benefits.

Recommended Supplement: FORCEVAL-Astaxanthin 60 capsules.

Anthocyanin

Anthocyani is a compound that makes fruits and vegetables have red, purple, and blue colours. Most berries, currants, grapes are rich sources of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are also found in flowers. Most of the red, purple, and blue-coloured flowers contain anthocyanins. Some examples are red hibiscus, red rose, lavender and cornflower. These flowers are edibles. Our forefathers also used them as medicine and as colourants for food.  Anthocyanins are rich in antioxidants. Studies suggest that these compounds can lower the risk of diabetes and cancer. They are also anti-inflammatory and can prevent heart diseases. Few studies claim that Anthocyanin can enhance memory in aged people. Due to their nutritional value, manufacturers now add Anthocyanins to kid’s foods, jam, confectionaries, and beverages. 

Astaxanthin Food sources

Carrot, cabbage, purple potato, blue, red, and purple flowers, berries, currants and grapes.

Top Anthocyanin Benefits

  • Antiobesity. It suppressed body weight gain.
  • Helps lower risks of heart diseases and diabetes.
  • Enhances eyesight and memory in aged people.
  • It may help to fight against cancer.

Conclusion

Many people are well aware of the benefits of fruits and vegetables. However, only a few people know the disease-fighting compounds in the fruits and vegetables they eat. Lutein, Astaxanthin, Anthocyanin are the actual names of some of the disease-fighting compounds found in our diets. They are called Carotenoids and are very vital in achieving good health. They contain strong antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects. Eating rich fruits and vegetables of colours supplies the body with a lot of these nutrients. Taking carotenoid supplements also make our body enjoy their nutritious health benefits.

Michael Yeung
Author: Michael Yeung

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