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Eat Right with Color: Orange and Yellow for Carotenoids

Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are colored by the natural plant pigment called "carotenoids". Beta-carotene is one of the Carotenoids and is the precursor of Vitamin A, so it can convert into Vitamin A in human body. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants which help to eliminate free radicals. Scientists have reported that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve immune system function. Other benefits of carotenoids: - Prevent the UV damage of skin - Strengthen and enhance our immune system - Increase the sensitivity of retinal photoreceptors - Prevent the macular degeneration caused by aging Citrus fruits like oranges are not a good source of vitamin A. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects. The absorption of carotenoid is similar with lycopene, the β-carotene can be released by boiling, stewing, masticate, or cooking the plant. Limit storage of fruits and vegetables. Once plants containing carotenoids are pulled from the vine, their active antioxidants gradually lose their potency. The recommendation is to have 85-170 grams of orange/yellows fruits and vegetables per day. Examples of Orange/Yellow fruits and vegetables are carrots, yellow /orange bell pepper, pumpkin and mango.

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