Carotenoids are a class of natural pigments found in many plant organisms and some animals. These compounds are responsible for vibrant colors such as red, orange and yellow in many fruits and vegetables. In total, there are more than 600 different known carotenoids.

What are carotenoids used for?
Carotenoids have multiple functions. In plants, they contribute to photosynthesis and protect plant tissues from harmful sunlight. In humans, Carotenoids assume an important role as antioxidants and in the immune system. Some Carotenoids, such as Beta-Carotene, can be converted in the body into Vitamin A, which is essential for eye health, growth and development, and immune function. Some studies suggest that a diet rich in foods with Carotenoids may reduce the risk of various diseases, such as heart disease and some cancers.

In what foods are carotenoids found?
Carotenoids are present in many plant foods. Here are some examples:

  • Carrots As the name suggests, carrots are rich in Beta-Carotene, which gives carrots their orange color and can be converted to vitamin A in the body.

  • Pumpkin Pumpkin is another rich source of Beta-Carotene.

  • Tomatoes Contain Lycopene, a red carotenoid that has been associated with reducing the risk of some cancers.

  • Spinach and other green leafy vegetables contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health.

  • Peppers Peppers of various colors contain different types of Carotenoids .

  • Apricots and Mangoes They are rich in various forms of Carotenoids.

In general, a balanced and varied diet that includes many fruits and vegetables of different colors can help ensure an adequate intake of Carotenoids.