A number of natural foods like oranges, papayas, mangoes, carrots, tomatoes etc contain a host of nutrients. But most prominently, they contain Vitamin A or Retinol, in the form of beta carotene. It is this nutrient itself that gives these foods their distinctive orange tinted colors.
There are a number of health benefits of beta carotene. These include improving and maintaining eyesight, curing night blindness, making the skin smooth and soft, making bones strong, improving muscular function, and also boosting immunity levels. Adding to all this, it also aids reproductive functions, embryonic and fetal development. Beta carotene is also known as a potent cancer inhibitor.
Preventing cancerous formations both malign and benign is one of the very important benefits of beta carotene. This is because; it inhibits the unnatural division and multiplications of cells in the body. This harmful process, known as cell mutation, is controlled by regular consumption of beta carotene. This reduces the incidence of cancers greatly. People who consume prescribed amounts of beta carotene in their daily diets cut their risk of developing cancers of the lungs, colon, stomach, prostrate and breast by two to three times.
Heart related ailments like arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction, etc can also be controlled by optimal amounts of beta carotene consumption. These ailments are caused due to the narrowing down of artery walls. The walls get narrowed due to the deposition of unhealthy fats into them. These fats get oxidized, forming Low Density Lipoproteins which are unhealthy cholesterols. Beta carotene prevents this harmful oxidation.
Benefits of beta carotene also include being able to ensure proper muscle regeneration. The tissues in the body get subjected to wear and tear daily, and it is important they get re-formed in good time. This is ensured by beta carotene. It also helps in the absorption of minerals like calcium into the blood, which is very necessary for bone health. It can be observed that beta carotene, or rather; vitamin A is a constituent of a number of health drinks. Beta carotene is highly essential in the formation of mucous membranes and keratin in the body, which are responsible for keeping the eyes moist. Its absence or deficiency in the body can cause eye redness and dryness, night blindness and infections.
Among the best known of the health benefits of beta carotene is its efficacy as a beauty aid. It helps in keeping the eyes moist, which in turn give them a shiny, twinkling appearance. Bloodshot eyes can be minimized by proper intake of beta carotene. Skin health and texture can greatly benefit from beta carotene sufficiency in the body. The formation of pimples, acne, rashes and boils can be avoided with proper intake of beta carotene. And if these skin problems already exist, they can be cured with its intake as well as topical application in the form of creams and lotions which contain beta carotene. A host of face washes, creams, anti acne medications and gels are hence seen to contain vitamin A.
The health of hair can also be greatly enhanced by optimum intake of beta carotene. One can get fuller, glossy and shiny hair if one consumes organically grown fruits and vegetables, a natural source of the nutrient. Hence, it is important to include all the brightly colored fruits and vegetables you can find in your daily diet.
It is important however to ensure that the intake is restricted to the prescribed limits- ordinarily 20 milligrams a day. This is because if beta carotene is consumed in excess, it can cause irritability, joint pain; vomiting, enlarged liver, even fatal seizures which can nullify the benefits of beta carotene.