Fruits and vegetables, as we all know, are beneficial for our health since they include fibre, minerals, and vitamins.
Phytonutrients is a category of chemicals responsible for the flavor, colour, and odour of plant-based meals.
In terms of the colours of fruits and vegetables, the expression “Eat the Rainbow” has been increasingly popular in recent years. That’s because phytonutrients aren’t only helpful for making plants look and taste delicious; they’re also extremely healthy for a variety of reasons.
One such is their antioxidant capabilities, which neutralise free radicals, which are the root cause of ageing and a variety of illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, arthritis, to name a few.
Phytonutrients come in a variety of forms, the most well-known of which being carotenoids.
Carotenoids’ Importance To Human Health
#A Skin Health
Lycopene, which gives tomatoes and watermelons their red colour, is another carotenoid that is gaining popularity. The preventive benefits of lycopene and beta-carotene, the two most prevalent carotenoids in human skin, were compared in one research.
They discovered that before beta-carotene and potentially other antioxidants, the body utilises lycopene to neutralise free radicals. This frees up beta-carotene and other antioxidants to perform their various functions, resulting in healthier skin.
Carotenoids have even been shown to play a function in attractiveness in studies! According to a research, persons who were seen to be healthy and beautiful had greater amounts of carotenoids in their skin.
#B Improves Vision
We were constantly encouraged as kids to eat our carrots because they would “defend our eyes.” This sentence contains some truth. The orange pigment present in carrots is beta-carotene, one of the most well-known carotenoids in nutrition. This pigment is turned to Vitamin A, which is particularly crucial for night vision.
Dark leafy greens get their colour from zeaxanthin and lutein. They filter damaging wavelengths of light and serve as antioxidants in the eyes, helping to protect and maintain healthy cells, in tandem with beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is essential for general health in addition to eyesight, as Vitamin A is the most versatile vitamin in the human body. Many other functions rely on it, including reproduction, development and growth, immunological response, cell proliferation, tissue maintenance, and cognitive function.
#C Boost Energy Levels
Astaxanthin is a special carotenoid in that it may permeate the body’s cells. It’s also thought to help with energy levels and tiredness by increasing muscular endurance.
Carotenoids are also becoming recognised for their antioxidant action, which may be linked to lower cholesterol levels and enhanced heart health.
Nutritional Value While Cooking
Many people are concerned that cooking reduces the nutritional content of vegetables and fruits. Although many nutrients are heat sensitive, this isn’t always the case with carotenoids.
The lycopene in tomatoes undergoes a structural shift when cooked, making it more effective. Similarly, boiling carrots increases beta-carotene absorption.
Packing a salad, fruit bowl, or grilled meal with yellows, oranges, reds, and greens is always a wonderful idea.
If you wish to reach out to my team for a customized nutrition plan, call us at +91-9743430000.
Ryan Fernando is an Award-winning celebrity Sports Nutritionist with 2GUINNESS world record and 2 Olympic medals under his belt. His client list include Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar, cricketer Shikhar Dhawan & bollywood superstars Aamir Khan & Abhishek Bachchan. He is Chief Nutritionist at QUA Nutrition Signature Clinics.