Those bright orange and yellow veggies and fruits in the produce section don’t only look sunny and pretty, they also can really make a difference in how your skin looks when you ensure their incorporation into your daily diet.
There are several that can really enhance any meal, whether raw or lightly cooked, and thanks to a key component that gives them that sunny hue, you’re also adding valuable components for a healthy body and glowing skin.
These components are from a large family of nutrients called carotenoids, which are antioxidant in nature, meaning they scavenge the body for health-destroying free radicals and eradicate them. The carotenoid found in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and various types of squash is called beta carotene.
It is responsible for the bright color of the foods it is found in due to its concentrated pigmentation, and when consumed on a daily basis, can actually lend a healthy glow to the skin. In fact, if one eats TOO much of the foods with high concentrations of this nutrient, their skin can actually turn orange adding a new level of meaning to the old adage “you are what you eat”.
Not only can beta carotene contribute to a healthy complexion, it can also add another level to your internal ability to block harmful over-exposure to UV light. In other words, you can boost your body’s own sort of “internal sunscreen factor” by incoprorating it into your diet regularly.
How to Get More Beta Carotene in Your Diet
One of the easiest ways to get more in your diet is to keep sweet potatoes around the house. They have a pretty long shelf life as long as they are kept in a dry, cool storage area, and they cook up really quickly. They’re also pretty versatile.
I like to shred mine on a mandolin or cheese grater in the morning and cook them a few minutes on each side, mixing them with my eggs. or try incorporating the shreds into a burger, a tuna patty, or even a chicken salad patty. Or try replacing regular potatoes with sweet potatoes (also commonly called yams), in any recipe that calls for potatoes. They really add moisture to anything you cook, and they have a ton of fiber as well.