Beta-carotene isn't just good for your eyes. Beta-carotene, the antioxidant long-linked to healthy vision, is now believed to bring a boost to other parts of your body. Recent studies report that by consuming foods rich in beta-carotene, you will increase brain function and protect your skin from the sun, too. Read on to learn more about these newly-discovered benefits of beta-carotene.
BRAIN FOODAccording to a recent Harvard study, consuming more beta-carotene may save your brain. The experiment found that those who took 50 milligrams of the antioxidant every other day for 15 years significantly delayed cognitive aging compared with those who skipped the supplement. Why? Beta-carotene may fight the oxidative stress that can damage brain cells over time, decreasing your risk of dementia. In addition to brain games, be sure to boost your beta-carotene intake for cognitive health.
SKIN SAVERWho knew that eating certain veggies could save you from sunburn? So says a paper recently published in Photochemistry and Photobiology.
"We found that a diet rich in beta-carotene significantly protects the skin against sunburn if it is consumed for a long period of time," explains the study's author. "It does not offer the same powerful and almost immediate protection against UV radiation offered by modern sunscreens, but it can provide a basis of protection which should be 'topped up' with sunscreen when intensive exposure to the sun is planned."
THINK ORANGE (AND GREEN)To reap these benefits, fill your diet with beta-carotene rich foods like carrots, kale, cantaloupe, spinach, and sweet potatoes (click on each link for delicious recipes featuring each ingredient). And taking a daily multivitamin, like Centrum, will also up your beta-carotene count.