Very little was specifically published on alpha carotene in the medical press until recently. It is a carotene that is found in orange, red and yellow fruits and vegetables. Much is known about the benefits of its sister, beta carotene; it is the precursor for vitamin A.
Carotenoids are anti-oxidants that quell inflammation and free radical damage that propel degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes II and heart disease.
A recent study reported by Victor Marchione, M.D. was found to reduce disease deaths by 20% to 40%. Those with the highest levels of blood alpha carotene had a 40% death rate reduction from all causes, as compared to those with the lowest blood levels.
Alpha carotene was especially effective against cancer of the esophagus, pharynx and larynx. It was also strong against respiratory disease and diabetes II. The study was a large one done over a period of 14 years, on 15,000 adults. A study this large over this long a period is usually quite reliable.
In order to get optimal amounts of alpha carotene, seven to ten servings of vegetables are recommended. Many servings can be combined by juicing raw vegetables and fruit. Cooked vegetable are very valuable sources for this carotene because the cooking breaks down the cellular walls and releases the alpha carotene.
Sweet potatoes or yams are excellent sources of alpha carotene and would be good substitutes for regular white potatoes. Surprisingly sweet potatoes generally do not have as high a glycemic index as the white potatoes even though they taste sweeter. They do not seem to release glucose as rapidly as the regular potatoes do.
Generally speaking, the greater the quantity of vegetable you can consume the better it is for fat control and health in general. The bulk of vegetables does not impart many calories and it satisfies by a feeling of fullness. Fiber is shown in studies of colon cancer to reduce it. It absorbs toxins and scrapes the large intestine of waste products that otherwise stick inside the colon.
Vegetables are loaded with minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, anti-oxidant carotenoids and flavonoids that are proven to extinguish the rate of degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes II and heart disease.
For dozens of valuable posts on heart health and prevention without drugs, check out the following link to another of my free health blogs: http://naturalhealthsecrets.ws Denis Van Loan D.D.S.