Eat More Orange

If you’ve eaten a carrot lately, you ate a bunch of carotenoids.  But don’t worry; they aren’t a type of plant bug.  Instead, carotenoids are healthy nutrients found in orange colored fruits and vegetables.  These nutrients act as antioxidants to protect our eyes and decrease the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

Carrots have several types of carotenoids including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.  Beta-carotene is also found in other yellow and orange vegetables such as squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.  Beta-carotenes convert to vitamin A in the body.

Vitamin A is often considered a great “eye” vitamin.  It is linked to improved vision and protection against macular degeneration.  Vitamin A helps fight off viruses and bacteria by stimulating white blood cell production and activity.  Vitamin A is also linked to healthy skin and reduced acne breakouts.

But don’t reach for supplements for your carotene fix since whole and real foods provide the best sources of carotenes.  Instead eat more orange and reach for a carrot or munch on one serving of vegetables from the Freschef chicken picatta meal and get 110% of the daily recommended amounts of vitamin A.

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