Tag Archives: Broccoli

Tryptophan: The essential amino acid that is needed to maintain optimum health.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and is needed to maintain optimum health. Tryptophan must be obtained from the diet. The unusual indole side chain of tryptophan is also the nucleus of the important neurotransmitter serotonin, which is biosynthesized from tryptophan.  The aromatic portion of tryptophan also serves as an ultraviolet marker for detection of this amino acid either separately, or incorporated into proteins and enzymes, via ultraviolet spectrophotometry. Tryptophan is incorporated into proteins and enzymes at the molar rate of 1.1 percent compared to other amino acids, making it the rarest amino acid found in proteins.

Tryptophan is required for the production of niacin (vitamin B3). It is used by the human body to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is important for normal nerve and brain function. Serotonin is important in sleep, stabilizing emotional moods, pain control, inflammation, intestinal peristalsis, etc.

It is further important in controlling hyperactivity in children, assists in alleviating stress, helps with weight loss and reducing appetite. It has been found that people suffering from migraine headaches have abnormal levels of tryptophan. In this case, supplementation may be helpful.

Function and Benefits of Tryptophan

  • Tryptophan is essential for the production of the B vitamin, niacin, which is vital for the brain to manufacture the key neurotransmitter, serotonin.
  • It enhances the release of growth hormones, and suppresses the appetite.
  • It is used by the brain to produce serotonin, a necessary neurotransmitter that transfers nerve impulses from one cell to another and is responsible for normal sleep. Consequently, tryptophan helps to depression and insomnia and to stabilize moods.
  •  It helps to control hyperactivity in children, alleviates stress, is good for the heart, aids in weight control by reducing appetite, and enhances the release of growth hormone.
  •  It is good for migraine headaches and may reduce , some of the effects of nicotine.
  • Sufficient amounts of vitamins B6 (pyridoxine) and C, folate, and magnesium are necessary for the formation of tryptophan, which, in turn, is required for the formation of serotonin.
  • A study reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that women with a history of bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder, experienced relapses after they took an amino acid mixture lacking tryptophan.
  • A shortage of tryptophan, combined with a shortage of magnesium, may be a contributing factor to heart artery spasms.

Deficiency Symptoms of Tryptophan

Deficiency Symptoms of Tryptophan are dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and digestion problems.

Rich Food Sources of Tryptophan

  • Tryptophan is a routine constituent of most protein-based foods or dietary proteins.
  • It is particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, corn, spirulina, bananas, and peanuts.
  • Asparagus, beet greens, broccoli raab, raw [broccoli rabe, rapini],  mushrooms, watercress, amaranth leaves, chicory greens, parsley, radishes, ginger root, winter squash, endive, kale, swiss chard, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, sea vegetable, etc.
  • Despite popular belief that turkey has a particularly high amount of tryptophan, the amount of tryptophan in turkey is typical of most poultry.

More inforamtion on Tryptophan

Most tryptophan was banned from sale in the US in 1991, and other countries followed suit. Tryptophan from one manufacturer, of six, continued to be sold for manufacture of baby formulas. At the time of the ban, the FDA did not know, or did not indicate, that EMS was caused by a contaminated batch, and yet, even when the contamination was discovered and the purification process fixed, the FDA maintained that L-tryptophan is unsafe. In February 2001, the FDA loosened the restrictions on marketing (though not on importation), but still expressed the following concern: “Based on the scientific evidence that is available at the present time, we cannot determine with certainty that the occurrence of EMS in susceptible persons consuming L-tryptophan supplements derives from the content of L-tryptophan, an impurity contained in the L-tryptophan, or a combination of the two in association with other, as yet unknown, external factors.” Since 2002, L-tryptophan has been sold in the U.S. in its original form. Several high-quality sources of L-tryptophan do exist, and are sold in many of the largest healthfood stores nationwide. Indeed, tryptophan has continued to be used in clinical and experimental studies employing human patients and subjects. In recent years in the U.S., compounding pharmacies and some mail-order supplement retailers have begun selling tryptophan to the general public. Tryptophan has also remained on the market as a prescription drug (Tryptan), which some psychiatrists continue to prescribe, in particular as an augmenting agent for people unresponsive to antidepressant drugs

Beta-carotene : Beta-carotene (provitamin A) is essential for vision, adequate growth, and tissue differentiation.

Beta-carotene is probably the most well known of the carotenoids, a phytonutrients family that represents of the one most widespread groups of naturally occurring pigments.

Beta-carotene is the pigment that gives carrots, sweet potatoes, and other yellow vegetables their characteristic coloring. This conjugated polyene also serves as a precursor that can be enzymatically converted into vitamin A in most animals and man. It is an antioxidant, like vitamins E and C

Beta-carotene is necessary for growth & repair of body tissues; helps maintain smooth, soft disease-free skin; helps protect the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat & lungs, thereby reducing susceptibility to infections; protects against air pollutants; counteracts night-blindness & weak eyesight; aids in bone and teeth formation. Current medical research shows that foods rich in Beta Carotene will help reduce the risk of lung cancer & certain oral cancers. Unlike Vitamin A from fish liver oil, Beta Carotene is non-toxic.

Beta-carotene Function

  • Prevention against cancer and heart disease
  • To slow the progression of cataracts
  • To prevent macular degeneration
  • To boost immunity
  • To protect the skin against sunburn
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Psoriasis

Deficiency of beta-carotene

A deficiency of beta-carotene may result in night blindness; increased susceptibility to infections; loss of smell & appetite; frequent fatigue; lack of tearing; defective teeth & gums, retarded growth,brittle fingernails, cirrhosis of the liver, corneal ulcers, diarrhea, obstruction of the bile ducts, rough, dry, or prematurely aged skin, skin blemishes, softening of bones and teeth, sties in the eye, ulcerative colitis, xerosis.

Food Source of  Beta-carotene

  • Yellow/orange vegetables – carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash
  • Yellow/orange fruits – apricots, cantaloupes, papayas, mangoes, carambolas, nectarines, peaches
  • Dark green leafy vegetables – spinach, broccoli, endive, kale, chicory, escarole, watercress and beet leaves, turnips, mustard, dandelion
  • Other good vegetable and fruit sources – summer squash, asparagus, peas, sour cherries, prune plums.

Germanium : The trace mineral that enhances the body’s natural healing power.

Germanium is a trace mineral with no Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) established.  It is abundant on the surface of the earth and is in most plants. Germanium is believe to be highly beneficial to good human health. In fact, germanium has many important medicinal properties. In the body, germanium attaches itself to oxygen molecules. This has the unexpected effect of making our bodies more effective at getting oxygen to the tissues in our body. The increased supply of oxygen in our bodies helps to improve our immune system. It also helps the body excrete harmful toxins.  Germanium is one of the most important reasons why natural foods, such as garlic are recommended by nutritional practitioners. Many disease states, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, immune system dysfunction and cancer have all been shown to respond to germanium therapy.  It is also a powerful analgaesic, which enhances the effects of the body’s own endorphins.

The increased supply of oxygen in our bodies caused by germanium has many other exciting effects as well. Taking germanium supplements is effective in treating arthritis, food allergies, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and even cancer. Germanium can also be used to control pain in the human body.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about germanium is that it can stimulate the human immune system to fight cancer cells. This is exciting for two reasons. First, and most obvious, it helps fight cancer – one of the most deadly diseases in the world. But more importantly, it is not toxic to human cells. In fact, germanium is completely harmless to human cells, even cancer cells. Since it works by stimulating our immune system, which fights the cancer, it doesn’t damage the rest of the body like many other cancer treatments. Testing of new cancer treatments with germanium are underway, and perhaps we will soon see new, less damaging, cancer treatments using the element germanium.

In plants, this process helps protect them from infections by viruses, bacteria and fungi as well as increasing growth and protecting them from the cold. In humans, it seems the effects are both related to oxygen regulation and strong antioxidant activity

 Germanium Function 

  • Antioxidant
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps chronic Epstein Barr virus syndrome
  • Helps correct distortions in the electrical aggregate of the human body
  • Helps rid the body of toxins and poisons
  • Improves cellular oxygenation
  • Intracellular electrical impulse initiator
  • Maintains the homeostasis in the body
  • May be analgesic
  • May have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor activity
  • May reduce high blood pressure
  • Reduces high cholesterol levels
  • Useful as part of a cancer treatment program
  • Useful in the treatment of hiv/aids

Germanium deficiency

Although germanium deficiency per se is not recognised, a lack of germanium is associated with infection and immune disorders, heart disease and high cholesterol, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer and many other conditions.

Normal amounts of Germanium in the diet

Germanium is present in many natural foods, comprising around 1mg/day in an average western diet. High intakes of synthetic germanium (50-250mg/day) have been shown to be detrimental to health, although this seems to depend on the form taken.

Best natural food sources of Germanium include:

Aloe vera, Broccoli, Celery, Comfrey, Ginseng, Goji berry, Garlic, Mushrooms (especially shitake), Rhubarb, Sauerkraut, Suma, Seeds  Tomato juice and Vegetables

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) : The vitamin that enables rapid cell division and growth and is also the main fuel for productions of red blood cells to prevent anemia.

Folic acid, Vitamin B9, Folate or Folacin is necessary for healthy blood formation, enzyme efficiency, the division and growth of new cells and for maintaining a healthy intestinal tract. Folic acid is an essential water soluble vitamin that is required to form new healthy set of cells. Looking at the scientific results we can say that folic acid is the most researched vitamin from the group of vitamin B. These researches proved the importance of folic acid and its numerous health benefits.

This vitamin is of immense importance for cell division and growth, synthesis and repair of DNA, protein metabolism and proper functioning of the brain. It is also important for the production of healthy red blood cells. Folic acid is required by the body to produce ‘heme’, the component of hemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying iron. Folic acid benefits for men and women are numerous.

Folic acid essential for efficient neural tube development during pregnancy which forms the brain and spinal cord. Pregnant women with an insufficient intake of folic acid are more likely to give birth prematurely or to deliver babies with low birth weight or with neural tube defects. The sulfa drugs are thought to achieve their antimicrobial effects by interfering with the production of folic acid within bacteria.

Vitamin B9 Benefits – Functions in the Body

Folic acid, in combination with vitamin B12, is essential for the formation, maturation and multiplication of red blood cells. It is necessary for the growth and division of all body cells, including nerve cells, and for manufacturing a number of nerve transmitters. It also produces nucleic acids, RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), that carry hereditary patterns. It aids in protein metabolism and contributes to normal growth. Folic acid helps in the building of antibodies which prevent and heal infections. It is essential for the health of the skin and hair, and helps to prevent premature greying of the hair.

Vitamin B9 Deficiency Symptoms

Deficiency of folic acid causes anaemia which often occurs in pregnant women and children. Serious skin disorders, loss of hair, impaired circulation, a greyish-brown skin pigmentation, fatigue, and mental depression can result from a deficiency of this vitamin. Reproductive disorders such as spontaneous abortions and difficult labour, and a high infant death rate can also be caused by folic acid deficiency. Vitamin B9 deficiency may also lead to loss of libido in males. According to studies, two-thirds of geriatric patients were found to be deficient in folic acid, while one-third of psychiatric patients were also deficient in this vitamin. Lack of folic acid can also lead to dementia.

Foods High in Folic Acid

The food items that contain iron, are rich sources of folic acid too. Folic acid reserves and consumptio are extremely important for development of a healthy body.

Foods High in Folic Acid and Iron

Spinach, asparagus,  fenugreek, corn, millet, finger millet, dates, almonds, broccoli, kale cabbage, parsley,  potatoes, raisins, fig, whole wheat pasta, okra, orange juice, black-eyed peas, lentils, sunflower seeds, grapes, pineapple juice, chickpeas and turnip greens are all the items that are high in folic acid and iron. Other than these, collard greens and every other green leafy vegetable is high in folic acid and iron.

Fruit Sources ( Avocado,  Blackberries, Boysenberries, Breadfruit, Cantaloupe, Cherimoya, Dates,  Guava,  Loganberries, Lychee,  Mango,  Orange,  Papaya,  Passion fruit,  Pineapple,  Pomegranate,  Raspberries,  Strawberries)

Vegetable sources (Amaranth Leaves ,Artichoke, Asparagus, Beet greens, Beet root,  Bok Choy,  Broccoli,  Brussels Sprouts, Carrot,  Chinese Broccoli,  Chinese CabbageFrench Beans,  Lima Beans, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Okra, Parsley,  Parsnip,  Peas , Potatoes,  Spinach, Spirulina, Squash-summer, Squash – winter)

Nut/Grain Sources: (Buckwheat,  Chestnuts , Filberts/Hazelnuts, Oats,  Peanuts,  Quinoa,  Rye,  Sunflower Seeds,  Wheat – Durum, Wheat – Hard Red, Wheat – Hard White)

Legume Sources(Black Eye Peas, Edamame , Soy Bean)

100% Raw Food Diets May Not Be The Best For You.

A picture taken, of A Green Salad.

 

 

 

Raw Food Diets – The Ayurvedic Perspective

by Claudia Ward, L.Ac

There is much confusion as to what is the healthiest diet for us to consume–a predominantly raw food diet or a cooked-food diet? On the one hand we have raw food enthusiasts recommending a natural diet of 100% raw food. This is based on the fact that raw food is high in nutrients, enzymes, and prana (life energy). Some raw foodists can get quite fanatical about their philosophy that cooked food equals “dead food” which has lost most of its nutrients. Others have their Chinese or Ayurvedic doctor recommend mostly cooked foods and see a lot of their health issues disappear on such a diet. Now who is right and who is wrong? I myself have experienced the benefits of raw foods and especially juicing, which manifest in increased energy, clarity of mind, radiant complexion, and weight loss, just to mention a few. There are certainly many documented cases of individuals overcoming serious health issues, some life threatening, through adherence to a raw food regime. And of course I have to agree, that some types of cooked food are not very good for you when consumed over a long period of time – fried foods, heavily salted food, over-cooked vegetables, microwaved food, etc.

However, everyone is different, and diet must be individualized. There is no one single diet that is “best” for everyone. Some people will do best on raw, others on macrobiotic diets. Also, a 100% raw food diet can be problematic – even though a good healing diet, it can create problems in the long run.

Orange, pear, apple
Orange, pear, apple (Photo credit: Joe Lencioni)

Below are the symptoms and problems associated with a long-term strict raw food or vegan diet:

* a general lack of vitality

* low body temperature (always cold)

* a weak digestive system with a loss of digestive strength

* food cravings

* rapid growth of grey hair

* stalled weight loss due to low metabolism

* emaciation

* amenorrhea (menstrual cycles cease), even in young women

* loss of libido

* hair loss and nail problems

* dental erosion

* insomnia and neurological problems

* constipation

* diarrhea

* infertility

Obviously, the modern Western diet sickens us with its overload of meat, salt, bad fats, white sugar, white flour, and its deficiency of living foods.

There is no question that cooking deactivates some vital nutrients, including enzymes, but cooking also makes digestion less stressful. Many people with poor digestion don’t handle raw foods or beans very well, which is in part why macrobiotic diets may have worked for some people recovering from various maladies. The higher proportion of nutrients in raw food is useless if the food can’t be digested, absorbed and assimilated. Cooking contracts vegetable foods, concentrating more nutrients with less bulk. Bitter greens like spinach and kale are generally more edible when cooked, because cooking also eliminates the oxalic acid, which interferes with calcium absorption.

Cooking significantly improves the digestibility/bioavailability of starchy foods such as potatoes and yams, squashes, grains, and legumes. Legumes need to be soaked and cooked thoroughly, otherwise they contain enzyme blockers, that inhibit protein and carbohydrate metabolism. They also contain lectins, phytic acid and saponins that are deactivated by cooking. Lectins play a role in certain auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory diseases. Green beans always need to be cooked until soft otherwise they are toxic! Raw beans are poisonous because they contain prussic acid, which is de-activated only by cooking. Beta-carotene absorption can be as low as 1-2% from raw vegetables such as carrots. Mild heating, such as steaming, appears to improve the extractability of beta-carotene from vegetables, and also its bioavailability. Mineral losses from cooking are insignificant.

 

diagram of a human digestive system

 

Lycopene in tomatoes has been hypothesized to be responsible for reducing the risk of some cancers and heart disease. The cooking of tomatoes with olive oil is a characteristic combination in the Mediterranean diet. Previous studies have shown that the absorption of lycopene is greater from cooked tomatoes.

The Ayurvedic Perspective:

There is not just one dietary approach that would be ideal for everyone. In order to correctly determine our optimal requirements we need to examine many factors. We have to take into account the individuals constitution (prakruti), the nature of their imbalance and symptoms (vikruti), the seasonal and climatic influences, stage of life, occupation, etc.

In general, those of a pitta, or pitta/kapha constitution, can do very well on some raw food in their diet, especially in the late spring and summer. But if someone has a severe vata imbalance, characterized by insomnia, excessive worry and anxiety, sense of being overwhelmed, spaceyness, dryness, gas, bloating, constipation, or amenorrhea, they may need nourishing, warm, moist, easily digestible cooked food as part of their healing journey.

Someone with a kapha imbalance can easily develop sinus problems, asthma, or allergies on a raw food diet.

My recommendation for those who chose to follow a raw food diet is to apply some of the ancient Ayurvedic wisdom to help avoid potential problems and help you stay well. Ayurveda recognizes our unique individual differences.

Balancing a Raw Food Diet With Ayurveda:

By using these simple Ayurvedic principles, any diet can be made more balancing:

* Daily warm oil massage (using unrefined, organic sesame oil), Ayurvedic-style, can be very helpful.

* Herbs with a calming action, including the commonly available chamomile tea. (Many other herbs are available, see an Ayurvedic health practitioner for recommendations.)

* Some raw-foodies report that running, cycling, swimming, or other aerobic exercise elevates their body temperature and also improves their digestion and the quality of sleep.

* Spices: ginger, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, coriander, fennel, etc. will improve digestion and metabolism. Pungent greens, like mustard, watercress, arugula, are alternatives to pungent spices.

* Tonic herbs: the Ayurvedic herbal blend triphala, strengthens the entire digestive system, and is extremely beneficial for the colon.

* Avoid cold food and liquids. Allow refrigerated items to return to room temperature before consuming.

 

ARS ginger

 

* Sipping hot water with meals, and in between meals, can help provide warmth to the body. The addition of a small piece of fresh ginger root (about 1/2 inch piece) to hot water will help considerably to increase agni (the digestive fire) and improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Adding fresh ginger or a little bit of flax seed oil or olive oil to a vegetable juice will increase the nutrient absorption, increase agni and not aggravate vata as much.

* Using a food blender, or consuming vegetable juices will decrease dryness.

* Adding fresh lime or lemon juice to foods also increases agni due to its sour taste.

* Using organic extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil or flax seed oil on salads and other dry foods will help diminish their vata provoking quality and provide necessary fatty acids to the diet.

* Chewing a thin slice of ginger sprinkled with salt before a meal will get the digestive juices flowing.

*Chewing fennel seeds after a meal will prevent gas or bloating.

* Relaxing for at least 10 minutes after a meal without getting up and rushing immediately will promote digestion and counteract fatigue after eating.

When it comes to deciding what foods to eat use common sense, eat according to your constitution, eat mostly cooked foods when the weather is cold, when it is foggy or in the evenings. Salads are best eaten at lunchtime (when the digestive fire is strongest), in summer, or when the weather is hot. I am always amazed when I go back to Europe, how healthy and grounded my friends are, even though their diet is not really 100% nutritionally correct (lots of wine, bread, pastries). How is that possible? I think the answer is that they sit down with their friends or families and take time in preparing and enjoying their meals. Here in California a lot of people are just sipping some green protein shake and hurry off to their yoga class. Now when you lovingly prepare your food, and really look forward to eating it, and enjoy every bite, guess what happens? All the digestive juices are flowing at the right time and the body will extract all the nutrients it needs. Food that is gulped down quickly, just because one thinks it is healthy, but is not really enjoyed will actually be harmful to your health!! It does not get digested well and wreaks havoc throughout your system.

So take time in preparing fresh meals, enjoy your food in good company and relax after eating! Happiness is the best digestive aid!

Vitamin C : One of the essential nutrients that is required for optimum growth and development.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is necessary for the maintaining the supportive tissues of the body  including cartilage, bones, teeth and connective tissue. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that acts as an enzymatic cofactor in the synthesis of collagen, which holds cells information and helps to fight infections.

Functions of Vitamin C
As has been mentioned already, vitamin is the cofactor of the enzymes required in the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is the fibrous scleroprotein of the connective tissues like, tendons, bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels. This vitamin plays a crucial role in wound healing and the production of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine and serotonin. It is required for the formation of carnitine, which in turn is essential for transportation of fats to the mitochondria. It aids the liver to metabolize cholesterol to bile acids and thereby, prevent the formation of gallstones.


Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for healthy skin, as it aids in the synthesis of collagen. It also facilitates the metabolism of fat by helping to produce carnitine. By preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, vitamin C can reduce the risk for atherosclerosis, where the arteries become narrow, due to accumulation of fatty deposits inside the arterial wall. By assisting the liver to metabolize cholesterol, it can help to maintain the healthy blood cholesterol level in the body. Apart from these, vitamin C can prevent the formation of carcinogens like, nitrosamine in foods and in the gastrointestinal tract, which can prove helpful in reducing the risk of several types of cancer.

Due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C can protect the body from free radicals, and prevent a number of health problems including, heart disease, stroke and heart attack. When the level of free radicals in the body exceed the level of antioxidants, then the condition is termed as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can in turn, increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Deficiency of Vitamin C
Deficiency of vitamin C is known to cause scurvy disease, which is characterized by easy bleeding and bruising, especially of the gums, skin and mucous membrane, loosened teeth, diarrhea, pale skin, sunken eyes, joint pain and swelling, muscle pain and loss of collagen in bones, blood vessels and other connective tissues

Food Sources of Vitamin C


All citrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C. 

Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Fruits Vegetables
Apple Artichoke
Apricot Asparagus
Asian pear Avocado
Babaco Basil
Banana Beets
Barbados Cherry Broccoli
Bilberry Brussels sprouts
Blackberry Cabbages
Blackcurrant Carrots
Blueberry Cauliflower
Breadfruit Celery
Cantaloupe Chicory root
Carambola Cloves
Casimiroa Cucumber
Cherimoya Green beans
Clementine Green paprika
Crabapple Green peas
Custard apple Kale Feijoa
Fig Mushroom
Grapefruit Onion
Grapes Parsley
Guava, tropical Peas
Jujube fruit Pickels
Kakadu Plum Radishes
Kiwifruit Sauerkraut
Lemonade Spinach
Longan Sweet potato
Loquat Turnip
Lychee Zucchini

Some More Fruits

  • Mango
  • Medlar
  • Melon, honeydew
  • Opuntia cactus
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Quince
  • Raspberry
  • Redcurrant
  • Rosehip
  • Sapodilla
  • Strawberry
  • Tamarillo, red
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon

Fruits and Vegetables: List Of Low Carbohydrates and Calories of your Favorite Fruits and Vegetable.

Fruits and vegetables are always good when included in a diet. Whether you believe in vegetarianism or not, make sure that you include some of these low carb vegetables and fruit in your daily diet. Stay fit and healthy.

Vegetables are part of a healthy diet but not all vegetables are equal. Some

contain significantly more calories and carbs than others do.

Choose your vegetables wisely. If you are able to afford them, please choose organic foods whenever possible

Unless otherwise stated, the vegetable food counts (carbohydrates and calories) are for average size portions of 3½ ounces, which is 100g.

Where the vegetables are listed as boiled or baked, this means plain boiled or baked with nothing yet added such as butter or oil. Unless otherwise stated, the food counts are for fresh (not canned) vegetables.

Low carbohydrate vegetables are non-starchy and low in carbs. A low carb vegetable diet is the perfect way to stay lean and fit, as these vegetables have all the necessary fiber, minerals and vitamins required by the body. Though the exact carb count depends on the serving size, these low carb vegetables should be a daily part of your diet, no matter what the quantity. Let us list a few low carb vegetables and fruits. When looking at some of the carb counts, know that fiber is not counted as carbohydrates.

Low Carb Vegetables

An average vegetable portion of 100g equals 3½ ounces Calories per portion stated Carbohydrates per portion stated
Aubergine (eggplant), raw, 100g 15 2.2
Alfalfa sprouts, raw, 100g 24 0.4
Artichoke-Jerusalem, boiled, 100g 41 10.6
Asparagus, boiled, 100g 22 4
Asparagus, canned, drained, 100g 19 3
Bamboo shoots, canned, 100g 11 0.7
Beansprouts mung, raw, 100g 31 4
Beetroot, raw, 100g 36 4.6
Beetroot, boiled, 100g 46 9.5
Beetroot, pickled, drained, 100g 28 5.6
Broccoli, green, boiled, 100g 24 1.3
Broccoli, green, raw, 100g 33 1.8
Broccoli, purple, boiled, 100g 19 1.3
Broccoli, purple, raw, 100g 35 2.6
BrusselsSprouts, boiled, 100g 35 3.1
Cabbage spring, boiled, 100g 7 0.6
Cabbage Chinese, raw, 100g 12 1.4
Cabbage red, raw, 100g 21 3.7
CabbageSavoy, raw, 100g 27 3.9
Cabbage, white, raw, 100g 27 5
Capsicum Pepper, green, raw 100g 15 2.6
Capsicum Pepper, red, raw 100g 32 6.4
Carrots, old, boiled, 100g 24 4.9
Carrots, young, raw, 100g 30 6
Cassava chips, 100g 354 92
Cassava, steamed, 100g 142 37
Cauliflower, boiled, 100g 28 2.3
Celeriac, raw, 100g 18 2.3
Celery, raw, 100g 7 0.9
Corn, baby sweetcorn, boiled, 100g 24 2.7
Corn kernels, canned, 100g 123 27
Corn kernels, raw 100g 93 17
Corn-on-cob, boiled, plain, 100g 66 11.6
Courgette (Zucchini), raw, 100g 18 1.8
Curly Kale, raw, 100g 35 1.4
Cucumber, unpeeled, raw 100g 10 1.5
Chicory, raw, 100g 14 1
Eggplant (aubergine), raw, 100g 15 2.2
Endive (Escarole), 100g 11 2.8
Fennel, raw, 100g 12 1.8
Garlic, fresh, raw, 100g 98 16
Leeks, raw, 100g 22 2.9
Lettuce leaf, butterhead, raw, 100 12 1.2
Lettuce, cos, romaine, raw, 100g 16 1.7
Lettuce, Iceberg, raw, 100g 13 1.9
Marrow, boiled, 100g 9 1.6
Mushrooms, common, raw, 100g 22 3.4
Potatoes, new, boiled, 100g 75 18
Potatoes, old, raw, 100g 86 20
Okra, raw, 100g 31 3
Onions, raw, 100g 64 7.9
Parsnip, raw, 100g 64 12.5
Peas, frozen, raw, 100g 66 9.3
Peas, fresh, raw, 100g 83 11.3
Pumpkin, raw, 100g 13 2.2
Radish, red, raw, 100g 12 2
Spinach, raw, 100g 25 1.6
Squash, butternut, baked, 100g 32 7.4
Squash spaghetti, baked, 100g 75 18
Zucchini (Courgette), raw, 100g 18 1.8
Sweet potato, baked, 100g 115 28
Tomatoes, canned, & liquid, 100g 16 3
Tomatoes cherry, raw, 100g 18 3
Tomatoes, ordinary, raw, 100g 17 3
Water chestnuts, canned, 100g 28 7
Watercress, raw, 100g 22 0.4
Yam, baked, 100g 153 37.5
Zucchini (Courgette), raw, 100g 18 1.8

Apart from these low carb diet vegetables, the following vegetables are also very fiber and mineral rich, without carrying a lot of carbohydrates.

  • Collards
  • Mustard Greens
  • Herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary and thyme
  • Sea vegetables like nori
  • Okra
  • Avocados
  • Green beans and wax beans
  • Scallions or green onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Artichokes
  • Carrots
  • Turnip
  • Fresh ginger and garlic

Fruits are part of a healthy diet. However, some fruits contain significantly more carbs than others do.   If you are following a low carbohydrate diet and want to include fruits, choose the best low carbs fruits. Additionally, if you want to maximize the health benefits and help our planet, eat organically grown low carb fruits whenever possible.

It’s best to avoid sweetened, canned, or dried fruit. Most dried fruit has sugar added during processing.

Dried fruits are not part of a weight loss diet. Even berries such as blueberries and cranberries have added sugar when bought as dried.

The calories in fruit count are then approximately the same as dried raisins. If you shop around, it is possible to buy sugar-free dried fruit.  This chart gives the number of calories and carbohydrates in fresh fruit.

Fruits, whole grains, oatmeal and vegetables contain complex carbohydrates. If you want to reduce or maintain your weight, a low carb diet can definitely help you. The diet may help solve all weight related problems like heart disease and diabetes. Lots of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables should be included in the diet as they supply the necessary nutrients to your body. Deficiency of nutrients can lead to various health complications and fatigue, which can affect your work and health. Low carb foods having a low glycemic index help protect your heart from damage due to fats. Dietitians usually recommend low carb diet to diabetics.

Low Carb Fruits

Per single fruit or the portion stated Calories per fruit or the portion stated Carbohydrates per fruit or the portion stated
Apple (with the peel) 81 21
Apricot 17 4
Avocado 306 12
Banana 105 27
Blackberries (½ cup) 37 9
Blackcurrants (½ cup) 36 9
Blueberries fresh (½ cup) 41 10
Cherries (½ cup) 52 12
Cranberries fresh raw (½ cup), 23 6
Currants Red fresh (½ cup) 31 8
Dates dried/sugar (½ cup) 280 62
Date 1 fresh/unsweetened 7 2
Fig (medium) 37 10
Gooseberries fresh (½ cup) 34 8
Grapes (10 medium seedless) 36 9
Grapefruit (1 medium half) 46 12
Guava (½ cup) 42 10
Kiwi (medium) 46 11
Lemon (with peel) 22 12
Lime (with peel) 18 10
Lychees 1 oz. 19 5
Mango fresh 135 35
Melon Canteloupe (1 half) 94 22
Melon Honeydew (1 tenth) 46 12
Nectarine (medium) 67 16
Olives green (pitted) 1 oz. 33 0.4
Olives black (pitted) 1 oz. 96 2.5
Orange 65 16
Papaya (½ cup cubed) 27 7
Passion Fruit (medium) 18 4
Paw Paw 34 7
Peach 37 10
Pear (medium) 98 25
Pineapple fresh (½ cup cubed) 39 10
Plum 36 9
Prune (1 dried & pitted) 20 5
Raisins (dried ½ cup) 110 29
Raspberry (½ cup) 31 7
Rhubarb (½ cup cubed) 14 3
Satsuma 37 9
Strawberries (½ cup) 23 5
Tangerine 37 9
Tomato (large) 26 6
Tomato Cherry 3 1

Fruits and Vegetables wallpaper no84910

If you want to have a handy list of low carb fruits and vegetables, which you can always keep with you, here is one for you.

Low Carb Foods List – Vegetables and Fruits

Sprouts like bean, alfalfa, etc.
Greens – lettuces, spinach, chard, etc.
Hearty Greens – collards, mustard greens, kale, etc.
Radicchio and endive count as greens
Herbs – parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
Bok Choy
Celery
Radishes
Sea Vegetables
Cabbage/sauerkraut)
Mushrooms
Jicama
Avocado
Cucumbers
Asparagus
Green Beans and Wax Beans
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Peppers like green bell peppers, red bell peppers, jalapeño peppers
Summer Squash
Zucchini
Scallions or green onions
Bamboo Shoots
Leeks
Brussels Sprouts
Snow Peas (pods)
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Tomatillos

Low Carb Foods List – Fruits
Artichokes
Fennel
Onions
Okra
Spaghetti Squash
Celery Root (Celeriac)
Carrots
Turnip
Water Chestnuts
Pumpkin
Lemon or Lime (small amount)
Passion Fruits
Rhubarb
Raspberries
Blackberries
Cranberries
Strawberries
Casaba Melon
Papaya
Watermelon
Peaches
Nectarines
Blueberries
Cantaloupes
Honeydew Melons
Apples
Guavas
Apricots
Grapefruit

I hope you found the above lists of fruits and vegetables helpful. Now that you know about low carb foods, you can design your own low carb diet. These food items will keep you fit and active and you will be able to achieve your goal of weight loss. It is necessary to consult a physician before opting for any diet. Be sure that you don’t have any health problem and see to it that you get all the essential nutrients when on diet.

Fruits And Vegetable : List of Low and High Sugar Fruit and Vegetable.

Mother Nature has the unique ability to create foods that have an entire web of nutritional and healing benefits. In fact, we are still discovering and learning about the compounds found in plant foods that contribute to our wellness and longevity.

A healthy diet begins with fresh vegetables and fruits which play a major role of a balanced diet that includes foods that are low in cholesterol, fat, and needless sugar. Try to add a portion of fruits and vegetables to each meal you eat, if you want to eat healthy.

Talking about fruits and vegetable , they have been natural essential diet of human being since very old times. Besides easily digestible and good source as food, fruits and vegetable are served as medicine, treat ailments, retain and balance the moisture level in the body. They are full with vitamins, minerals, enzymes.

When you are on a diet, especially low carb diet, you should beware of high sugar fruits and vegetable. Sugar is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous substances for the body. You should avoid it at all costs.

Many diets focus on restricting carbohydrates, Hypothyroid help here which may be important if you are in the early stage of a weight loss plan. Nutritionists generally emphasize that eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is still appropriate for most people.

Fruits That Are Low  In Sugar

Apple (sliced)
Apricot (4 oz.)

Avocado :7g
Blackberry
Blueberry
Boysenberry
Cantaloupe : 6.3g

Cranberry : 4g
Cherry (sour, sweet, 10 medium)
Coconut meat (1 oz. or 1 cup shredded/grated, not packed)
Coconut milk
Currant (red, black, white)
Elderberry
Gooseberry : 9g
Grape (10 medium)

Grapefruit, Red : 6.6g
Honeydew melon
Kiwi fruit (1 medium)
Kumquat (1 medium)
Lemon/Lime (2 inch diameter)
Lemon/Lime Juice (1 oz)

Melon, Red Water : 8g
Mulberry

Olive : 3g
Orange (sections, without membrane)

Papaya : 8g

Passion Fruit : 5.8g
Peach (1 med, 4 oz.)

Pear : 11.5g
Persimmon (American, Japanese, 1 medium)
Pineapple (1 oz)
Plum
Raspberry
Strawberry
Tangelo (1 medium)
Tangerine (1 medium)

Tomato : 1.9g
Watermelon

Very High Sugar Fruits

Banana : 20.4g
Fig : 19g
Grapes : 15.5g
Guava : 17g
Kumquat : 16g
Lychee : 18g
Mango : 15g
Persimmon : 18.6g
Pomegranate : 17g

Except where noted, all have less than 10 gm carbs in a half cup serving.

Vegetables That Are Low In Sugar

Alfalfa sprouts
Asparagus
Avocado
Bamboo sprouts
Bean sprouts
Beet greens
Bell pepper (sweet green)
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage — all kinds
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celeriac (celery root, knob celery)
Celery
Collard greens
Cucumber
Dandelion greens
Eggplant
Endive
Escarole
Garlic (1 clove)
Kale
Leek
Lettuce — all kinds
Mung bean sprouts
Mushroom
Mustard greens
Okra
Onion (1 oz.)
Radish
Red-leaf chicory (Arugula)
Romaine (cos)
Shallot
Spaghetti squash
Spinach
Squashes — summer
String bean
Swiss chard
Tomato
Turnip greens
Watercress
Zucchini

 Vegetables That Are High In Sugar
Why are carrots listed in both categories? Carrot juice is high in sugars (about 5 gm), while
cooked carrots are low (about 3 gm).

Beets
Carrots (depends on diet)
Corn
Parsnips
Peas
Plantains
Potatoes in all forms
Winter Squashes (particularly acorn and butternut)

What are phytochemicals?

Phytochemicals are compounds that have been found to protect the body from chronic disease patterns. These conditions are becoming more common, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and neurodegeneration like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Research is finding that a diet rich in phytochemicals protects the body from physical and environmental stressors that lead to chronic disease. Some of these phytochemicals are called polyphenols and phenolic acids and are abundant in fruits and vegetables. (1) Some examples are:

  • Quercitin: Falls under the class of a flavonoid, and sometimes a distinction is made between it and other polyphenols. It has anti-inflammatory properties, is an antioxidant, and also has been found to reduce blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can sometimes indicate the prevalence of poor, unhealthy fats in the diet and too much processed, refined sugar. Quercitin is found in green tea, red onion, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables.
  • Anthocyanin: Common in berries and responsible for their beautiful colors! These include blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, bing cherries, black current, and acai. Anthocyanin actually acts as a sunscreen for plants by absorbing damaging UV light, so it any surprise that in our own bodies, it has been found to be a potent antioxidant? The sun is one source of free radical damage, and anthocyanins can help mitigate the effects of oxidative stress.

 All sugary food is expansive.

  • Fruit sugars are about 50% glucose and 50% fructose.
  • The body’s cells absolutely need glucose to generate energy for the body, especially the brain and central nervous system.
  • The glycemic index (GI) of a food indicates how much a food will affect insulin secretion.
  • Fructose has no effect on insulin secretion. Glucose does.
  • This is why agave nectar, which is up to 90% fructose, has a low glycemic index. Contrary to its popularity, agave nectar is not a healthy sweetener.

Other things to know:

  • Fructose also does not trigger the release of leptin, which gives the feeling of satiety. Glucose does.
  • Fructose stimulates the release of ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite. (2)

The leptin/ghrelin dialogue in fructose and glucose is one reason why many people overeat. People who overeat are typically binging on bread (processed breads are made with high fructose corn syrup), sugar, dairy, and fruits. Even though fruit sugars are about 50/50 glucose and fructose, it is still wise to pay attention to any amount of fructose in the diet.

Want To Eat Healthier, Now What?



Okay, Now What Do I Eat?

As you begin your transition to a more wholesome diet, remember that tastes for foods are learned. You may want to begin slowly, by replacing high-fat dairy products with fat-free versions and eating meat less often. However, making a complete break from animal foods is so rewarding that it’s actually easier for most people.
All your needs for protein, calcium and other vital nutrients are easy to satisfy if you eat enough calories each day from a wide variety of foods. It’s that simple! The only nutrient deserving extra consideration is Vitamin B-12, which, since it is made by bacteria, is not naturally present in plants (or meat). Your B-12 requirements can be easily met by including a cereal or soymilk fortified with B-12, or a B-12 supplement twice a week.
Step 1
Reduce or eliminate red meat, poultry and fish. Replace with health-supporting grain, legume and potato-based dishes. Or, start by giving yourself larger servings of rice, potatoes and vegetables at meals — and ever smaller portions of meat.
Step 2
Increase intake of calcium-rich vegetables — broccoli, kale, collards, mustard and turnip greens, bok choy, black beans, chick peas, calcium-processed tofu, calcium-fortified soymilk, calcium-fortified orange juice and blackstrap molasses. Choose more raw fruits and vegetables: cooking destroys nutrients. Try for 50% of your daily intake as uncooked foods and gradually increase the proportion. Buy organic.
Step 3
Reduce the “luxury” fats. Hydrogenated oils (like margarine) are artificially thickened vegetable oils that can damage your arteries and have been linked to some cancers. Gradually eliminate both butter and margarine from your diet. Reduce your use of cooking oils and oil-based salad dressings. Switch to nonfat (or low-fat) versions of prepared foods (and dairy products, if you still eat them). Read product labels. Replace eggs in baking with two tablespoons of water per egg — or try Ener-G egg substitute.
Step 4
Replace dairy products with non-dairy foods. Delicious milks, cheeses, and frozen desserts based on soy, rice, nuts and seeds are available in health food stores and many grocery stores.
Step 5
Reduce refined carbohydrates (white flour, white sugar, white rice, etc.) By choosing whole grain products and natural sweeteners (fruits, juices, maple syrup, etc.).
It’s easy – There is an endless supply of fabulous vegetarian recipes from many cultures. A wide variety of cookbooks are available in bookstores and health food stores. There are several lines of fast foods — pilafs, falafels, humus, “burgers,” “tofu-helpers,” etc. — for sale across the country. If you can’t find them in your store, ask your grocer to carry them — she or he is always looking for suggestions. Ask your favorite restaurant to serve vegan burgers, past dishes, etc.
Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks and Snacks:

Breakfast

Cereal Lovers - Try hot or cold whole grain cereal or granola with soy milk and fruit. Use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar. Try apple juice on granola –
Bread Lovers – Try whole grain bread, toast, bagels, non-dairy muffins or specialty breads, with raisins or dates and nuts or seeds. Remember, even soy margarines have just as much fat as butter. Try apple butter, pure fruit jams, nut butters, humus or tahini on your bread or bagel.
Egg Lovers – Don’t knock scrambled tofu until you’ve tried it. There are easy mixes put out by several companies, as well as recipes in vegetarian cookbooks. Try sautéing cubed firm tofu with anything you would add to an omelet.
Other breakfasts – Treat yourself to waffles or pancakes made with soy milk — try using ½ banana in place of each egg — and smothered in fresh or hot cooked fruit. Make fruit smoothies with everything you can imagine. Use sweet fruit to make breakfast cobbler or pie and you won’t need to add sugar when baking.
Lunch or Dinner
Sandwiches – Whole grain breads, avocado, grated carrots, sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes and thinly sliced cucumbers make great sandwiches. Try nut butters with pure fruit jams or humus with crisp sliced vegetables. Vegetarian cookbooks have great recipes for spreads. Falafel is delicious.
Salads – Most vegetables can be served raw, chopped small or grated in salads. Cooked beans (garbanzos, kidney, black, lentils, etc.), sprouts, seeds, nuts and avocados are excellent. Try salad dressings with little or no oil and/or flavored vinegars. Stuff your salad into pita bread and add tahini to it.
Pasta – Try all those special pastas made with wholesome grains, vegetables and spices. Experiment with marinara, pesto and tomato basil sauces. Try sautéing garlic, onions, summer squash, red bell peppers and tomatoes in a little olive oil — or in a little sesame oil and tamari (soy sauce).
Burritos or Tacos – Try beans (black beans are great), rice or potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce or crisp shredded cabbage, salsa, soy cheese, etc. Use soft corn or whole wheat tortillas. Find your own favorite combinations. Nachos con todo (with everything) is a great fast meal.
Potatoes - Potatoes can be baked, steamed, mashed or home-fried. Try them with sauces, salsas, mustard, in soups or salads. Treat yourself to mushroom gravy. Remember yams and sweet potatoes.
Veggie or Tofu Burgers – There are many varieties in stores. They are delicious and easy to bake, fry, barbecue or microwave. Tofu hot dogs are almost indistinguishable from the original. Pile on the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, tofu mayo and barbecue sauce.
Vegetables - Try stir-fried or steamed, served with brown rice, millet, barley or potatoes. Ad cubed firm tofu and tamari or mushroom gravy for a feast.
Pizza - Use whole wheat crust, tomato sauce, spices, soy cheese, and all your favorite trimmings. Try almonds, garlic, and fresh tomatoes.
Soups - Beans, lentils, nuts, veggies, grains, potatoes, tofu — anything is good in soup. Simmer your favorite vegetables for a few minutes and add a little miso for a quick treat. There are many brands of instant soups made with wholesome an delicious ingredients — just add boiling water, stir and wait.
Drinks and Snacks
Milks - Soy, rice, nut or seed milks are perfect substitutes for cow and goat milk. Carob, chocolate and vanilla versions are delicious. Watch out — some have added oils that make them just as high in fat as cow milk.
Juices - Many bottled organic juices are available all across the country. Look for local fresh-squeezed brands. Juice your own. Many vegetable juices are just as delicious as fruit juices. Be daring — carrot juice can be habit-forming.
Water and Tea – Add sliced lemons, limes, oranges or tangerines to fresh clean water. Try herbal iced teas and hot teas.
Snacks – Go for crispy foods like popcorn, pretzels, chips, fresh fruit, carrots, nuts, seeds and celery with almond butter. Enjoy cobblers and pies made from sweet fresh fruit, smoothies, non-dairy cookies and muffins, dried fruit, frozen fruit bars and non-dairy frozen desserts like Rice Dream and Tofutti. Avoid preservatives and buy organic.

Vitamin A – The Vital Oil Soluble Vitamin…

Vitamin A (and carotenes) keeps mucous membranes healthy; thus it protects against infections, even in infants.

  • It is extremely important in fighting infections.
  • It prevents night blindness, eye diseases, and weak eyesight.
  • It is important for skin, hair, gastro-intestinal juices and digestion.
  • It prevents premature aging and senility, and increases lifespan.
  • It helps blood capillaries work better and protects against cardiovascular diseases.
  • It affects growth and development, necessary for reproduction, and helps the immune system.
  • It protects against death among children with measles. Carotene provides far more antioxidant effect than vitamin A.
  • It is important in treating skin disorders, dry eyes, cancer, light sensitivity of eyes, and vaginal candidiasis.

Sources:

Vitamin A (retinol) is a pure yellow, fat-soluble crystal. (Its other name, retinol, comes from the fact that it is found in the retina of the eye.) Vitamin A is found in meat, milk, and eggs.

The safer and very nutritious carotenes (also called carotenoids) are pro-vitamin A. They are found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, and are converted by the liver into vitamin A. It is always safe to take carotene in larger amounts, because the liver only converts the amount needed by the body into vitamin A.

Richest Sources: Dark green leafy vegetables.

Other Sources: Green and orange fruits and vegetables, especially carrots, lighter green vegetables, yams, tomatoes, mangos, Hubbard squash, cantaloupe and apricots. Lesser amounts are in legumes, grains, and seeds.

List of Plant Vitamin A Sources
• Apples
• Apricots
• Asparagus
• Basil
• Beetroot
Bell peppers
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Cantaloupe
Carrots
Cayenne pepper
• Chile pepper
• Cucumber
Collard greens
• Grapefruit
• Green beans
• Guava
• Kale
• Lemons
• Lettuce
• Mangoes
• Oatmeal
• Oregano
• Papaya
• Parsley
• Peaches
• Peas
• Plum
• Prunes
• Red peppers
• Spinach
• Squash
Sweet potatoes
• Sweet red peppers
• Tomato
• Turnip
• Watercress
• Watermelon

After reading the plant sources of vitamin A, we will now turn towards the animal vitamin A sources.

List of Animal Vitamin A Sources
• Beef
• Cod fish
• Duck
• Egg
• Fish oils
• Lamb
• Milk
• Pork
• Turkey
• Veal

Beta-carotenes: These are the most active form of carotenes and are most abundant in green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, apricots, and green peppers. The best supplement form of carotenes is non-hydrogenated palm oil (absorbed 4-10 times better than any other type). In addition, palm oil has minimal fat content.

Carotenes are the most widespread group of naturally occurring pigments in nature, and are intensely colored (red and yellow) fat-soluble compounds. Along with chlorophyll, they are used by plants in photosynthesis to make carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and cellulose). Of the more than 600 carotenes, only 30-50 have vitamin A activity. Beta-carotene has the most pro-vitamin A activity, but several other carotenes have greater antioxidant effects. One of the richest sources of carotene is freshly made carrot juice.

Absorption Factors: Conversion of carotenes into vitamin A depends on protein status, thyroid hormones, zinc, and vitamin C, D, E, and choline. Both vitamin A and carotene absorption require essential fatty acids and zinc. When an adequate intake of carotenes is achieved after a meal, no further absorption occurs. Vitamins C, D, E, and choline in the diet, and bile action by the liver is needed for absorption of vitamin A and carotenes. The presence of some fatty acids in the meal (vegetable oil, etc.) increases vitamin A and carotene absorption. Liver disease reduces their utilization by the body.

Deficiency symptoms: Prolonged deficiency can produce frequent colds, retarded growth, lack of appetite, and vigor, eye infections, poor vision, night blindness, frequent infections, bad teeth and gums, scaly and dry skin, weakened sense of smell and hearing.

Toxicity symptoms: Dry and fissured skin, brittle nails, alopecia, gingivitis, chapped lips, anorexia, irritability, fatigue, nausea, intracranial pressure with vomiting, headache, joint pain, stupor, papilledema. Prolonged toxicity results in bone fragility, and thickening of long bones. There are never any toxicity symptoms from taking carotenes.

Broccoli, mango, tomato, etc. are foods high in vitamin A and E. Therefore, if you suffer from eye problems make it a point to include them in your diet. Watermelon, peppers, etc. are foods high in vitamin A and C. For beautiful and supple skin, include immune system vitamins in your diet. At the same time, do not forget to include the foods high in vitamin D in your diet. The foods high in vitamin A are often pink, orange, green in color. Therefore, you will not need the chart of beta carotene rich foods in front of you all the time. For a healthy mind and body, it is best not to exclude any food from your diet.