Carotenoids

Today is Friday, February 7th

The topic or question of the day is:

What are orange, yellow, red and sometimes green?

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            Carotenoids!  These are the beautiful colors of fall found in many fruits and vegetables.  Red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables usually are loaded with carotenes with the exception of corn.  Carotene is found in foods such as apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, red and yellow peppers and sweet potatoes.  Beta-carotene is the most popular carotenoid and is a precursor for vitamin A.  Broccoli, kale, spinach and romaine lettuce also contain carotene only the yellow-orange color is masked by the chlorophyll in the leaves.  Fancy that!  There are 563 known carotenoids.

            No dietary RDA or reference has been established for carotenoids except as precursors to vitamin A, so once again be careful.  These carotenoids are anti-oxidants (see yesterday’s blog).  Eat yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables and you will acquire all the wonderful anti-oxidants and phyto-chemicals (another topic for later) your body needs from the carotenoids.  It is always best to get them from food sources and not supplements. 

Tip of the day: 

Supplements of beta carotene can be dangerous, especially for smokers.  It is always best to stick to the real foods God created and eat intelligently.  Remember excess of food can be dangerous.  I have seen several people turn orange from overeating carrots!

Take Action Today:

Make pumpkin fluff with a can of pumpkin (full of Beta-carotene), mixed with 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 tsp. vanilla, and pumpkin pie spices to taste.  Chill and enjoy.

(Some people need more sugar and add some brown sugar, but try to change your taste buds and use only the small amount of maple syrup)

 

 

Vitamin Antioxidants

Today is Thursday, February 6th

The topic or question of the day is:

Antioxidant Vitamins

There are 3 antioxidant vitamins.  Beta-carotene/carotenoids, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.  These anti-oxidant vitamins control free radicals in our body by neutralizing or converting them into harmless waste products.  They can even undo some damage already done!  Free radicals are unstable molecules with a missing electron that makes them rogue.  Free radicals can damage your body. 

     Antioxidants work in synergy with each other, against these free radicals, yet they have different jobs.  Because Vitamin C is water soluble, it removes free radicals from fluids inside and outside of the cells in our body while Beta carotene and Vitamin E are fat soluble and work in fat tissues and lipids.  Excess of any of these can cause an imbalance.  The best way to ensure you get enough is to eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.  It is not a good idea to take excess amounts of anything (see yesterday’s blog).  Tomorrow we will talk about sources of Beta-carotene and the carotenoids.

Riddle of the Day:

Round and round and round we go

Seeing all the things that grow

Some on top and some below

Which is which?  Do you know?

I eat iron from the ground

I grow long but never round

My vitamins will give you spark

So you can see things in the dark

What am I?

 

Take Action Today:

Make carrot-apple salad by shredding 5 carrots and 1 large Granny Smith apple.  Add 1/3 cup pineapple or orange juice along with some cinnamon.  Mix, chill & eat!