Beta carotene is found in fruits such as carrots and then is converted into vitamin A which is vital for the maintenance of healthy skin. Your body converts as much vitamin A from beta carotene as it needs, high doses of this vitamin can be toxic.
The benefits of this pigment for skin are as follows.
. Imparts a Healthy Glow
Beta carotene prevents premature skin aging by acting as an antioxidant, a substance that reduces oxygen damage caused by UV light, pollutions, and other environmental hazards like smoking. Consumption of adequate levels of beta carotene imparts a natural glow to your skin, thus making it more attractive and beautiful. Excess intake, however, should be avoided as it can cause the soles of your feet, palms of your hands, your nose, and even the white portion of your eyes turn pumpkin yellow in color.
. Reduces Sun Sensitivity
High doses of beta carotene make your skin less sensitive to the sun. Thus, it is particularly beneficial for people with erythropoietic protoporphyria, a rare genetic condition causing painful sun sensitivity as well as liver problems. Moreover, it can boost the effectiveness of sunscreen.
Consumption of about 90 to 180 mg of beta carotene can reduce sunburn and provide an SPF of 4. Therefore, foods containing beta carotene or supplements can be coupled with sunscreen to enhance its effectiveness.
. Prevents Cancer
Beta carotene helps fight cancer through its antioxidant capacity. Besides, it helps to keep your cells in proper communication, thus preventing the growth of cancer cells. Hence, dietary intake of beta carotene-rich foods lowers the risk of breast, colon, oral cavity, and lung cancers.
. Good for Brain
Research has proven that consumption of beta carotene is beneficial for your brain as it significantly delays cognitive aging. Moreover, it can fight oxidative stress that can damage brain cells over time, thus reducing the risk of dementia.
. Treatment of Respiratory Ailments
High intake of beta carotene foods helps increase lung capacity and relieve respiratory ailments, thus preventing breathing disorders like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
. Prevents Diabetes
Various studies have shown that people with adequate levels of beta carotene in their bodies are less likely to suffer from impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes.
. Prevents Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease in which the macula of the eye, responsible for central vision, starts to break down. Consumption of adequate levels of beta carotene (15mg) along with other nutrients can slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).
. Prevents Rheumatoid Arthritis
Deficiency of beta carotene and vitamin C acts as a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, the consumption of adequate levels of beta carotene is necessary to prevent the occurrence of this condition.
. Strengthens Immune System
Beta carotene strengthens your immune system by activating the thymus gland which is one of the most important sources of immune protection. The thymus gland enables your immune system to fight off infections and viruses, thus destroying cancerous cells before they can spread.