By Gary, on July 3rd, 2013
Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables get their color from the fat-soluble plant pigments known as carotenoids. The most common carotenoids essential to human health include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene.
What can high-carotenoid foods do for you?
- Protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals
- Provide a source of vitamin A
- Enhance the functioning of your immune system
- Help your reproductive system function properly
Note: If you smoke or drink alcohol on a regular basis, you should increase your consumption of yellow vegetables and fruits.
What happens if you get too many carotenoids?
- The result of too much consumption of beta-carotene is a yellowish discoloration of the skin, most often occurring in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. This condition is called carotenodermia, and is reversible and harmless. Excessive consumption of lycopene can cause a deep orange discoloration of the skin. Like carotenodermia, lycopenodermia is harmless. For example, if you drink an excessive amount of carrot juice, your skin may develop an orange color.