Health Benefits to CarotenoidsThere are so many health benefits to these we should be consuming them on everything, like sugar sprinkles.First, studies show that antioxidant substances help in protecting the body from degenerative diseases (Beecher, 1999). Second, even more recent studies have shown the correlation between a diet rich in carotenoids (like β-carotene and lycopene) and a diminishing risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers.Lastly, there are even more reports confirming that a lower incidence of age-related chronic diseases is associated with consumption of carotene-rich vegetables. And what is our favorite carotene-rich vegetable? You guessed it – seaweeds!
Seaweeds as CarotenoidsUltimately, a lot of studies have demonstrated the antioxidant properties of algal carotenoids (that is, β-carotene et al.) and the role they play in preventing many problems linked to oxidative stress (Burtin, 2003). Oxidative stress is the term used when your body has too many oxidants and not enough antioxidants – or, as I call it, a disturbance of the Force.To fight this imbalance it is necessary to consume more antioxidants to help the body. Simply put, seaweeds are the main dietary source of vitamins and phytochemicals out there (Sangeetha, 2009). Let us break them down for you:
- Brown seaweeds are particularly rich in carotenoids, especially in fucoxanthin, β-carotene and violaxanthin.
- Red algae’s main carotenoids are β-carotene and α-carotene. Lots of species of red seaweed were recently found to have 5.4 mg of β-carotene per 100 g of seaweed, which is a relatively high level compared to other vegetables (MacArtain, et al., 2007).
- The carotenoid composition of the green algae is similar to that of higher plants, and its main carotenoid is the β-carotene (Burtin, 2003).
About Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A
- Why Do We Need Vitamin A?
- What is up between β -Carotene and Vitamin A?
- Excess Vitamin A and Toxicity
References Beecher, GR (1999). Phytonutrients’ role in metabolism: effects on resistance to degenerative processes. Nutr Rev 57 : S3-S6. Burtin, P. (2003). Nutritional value of seaweeds. Electronic journal of Environmental, Agricultural and Food chemistry, 2(4), 498-503. MacArtain, P., Gill, C. I., Brooks, M., Campbell, R., & Rowland, I. R. (2007). Nutritional value of edible seaweeds. Nutrition reviews, 65(12), 535-543. Nordqvist, C. (2017). All you need to know about beta carotene. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252758.php Sangeetha, R. K., Bhaskar, N., & Baskaran, V. (2009). Comparative effects of β-carotene and fucoxanthin on retinol deficiency induced oxidative stress in rats. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 331(1-2), 59.