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I try not to avoid, Carotenoid, Oh, Mary, Mary, Quite the contrary, How does my garden, Grow? By trying to know, What beta carotene, Does mean, To my well-being. Not equal, To vitamin, Nor phytochemical, But, then again... Just as critical. I'm in the dark, Can you help me see, You give my eyes a spark, Helping me see more clearly. Oh, I love your hue, Orange, red and yellow, And, the things you do, To help this poor fellow -- Protection, From degeneration. Yesterday, I enjoyed, A carotenoid, Today, I employed, A carotenoid, Tomorrow, It should follow, That I'll solicit, More of it, I'll be looting, The lutein, And, in the scene, Colors of lycopene, Then, Some zeaxanthin, It's within, Our reach, Will you help me teach? It could be the cure, For so many more.
From Reuters Health
Carotenoids are a group of more than 700 compounds that produce the red, yellow, and orange colors found in many fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene (also called provitamin A) is the most widely studied carotenoid, but others are proving to be of great interest. Carotenoids are neither vitamins nor phytochemicals, but are proving to be very important for health. Currently there is no recommended daily allowance for carotenoids, including beta carotene.
From the Carotenoid Society
Carotenoids are a widely distributed group of naturally occurring pigments, usually red, orange or yellow in color. They are used extensively as safe, natural colorants for food, feed, and cosmetics. They are known to be essential for plant growth and photosynthesis, and are a main dietary source of vitamin A in humans. They are thought to be associated with reduced risk of several chronic health disorders including some forms of cancer, heart disease and eye degeneration.
From the USDA
What are the Major Classes of Phytonutrients?
Some of the common classes of phytonutrients include:
Carotenoids, Flavonoids (Polyphenols) including Isoflavones (Phytoestrogens), Inositol Phosphates (Phytates), Lignans (Phytoestrogens), Isothiocyanates and Indoles, Phenols and Cyclic Compounds, Saponins, Sulfides and Thiols, Terpenes.
Of all the phytonutrients, we probably know the most about carotenoids, the red, orange and yellow pigments in fruits and vegetables. The carotenoids most commonly found in vegetables (and in plasma) are listed below along with common sources of these compounds. Fruits and vegetables that are high in carotenoids appear to protect humans against certain cancers, heart disease and age related macular degeneration.
Carotenoid Common Food Source alpha-carotene carrots beta-carotene leafy green and yellow vegetables (eg broccoli, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots) beta-cryptoxanthin citrus, peaches, apricots lutein leafy greens such as kale, spinach,turnip greens lycopene tomato products, pink grapefruit, watermelon, guava zeaxanthin green vegetables, eggs, citrus
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