Friday, 17 April 2015

Beta-Carotene - Get Your Glow On


 
 

I watched a really interesting food programme on Tuesday night 'Britain's Favourite Foods - Are They Good For You' on BBC2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05r8g79/britains-favourite-foods-are-they-good-for-you. It was packed with information on the different health benefits of Britain's favourite foods. Two part's that interested me the most, were one... the study into the benefit's of eating protein (which I shall blog about next week), and two... the experiment they did on eating beta-carotene. Just recently I don't know if it's because it's been winter or because turning 40 has put growing older on my mind, but seriously I have felt like I could do with a bit of brightening up. So I was intrigue to watch, when they set up an experiment on a group of volunteers to increase their consumption of beta-carotene to give their skin a healthier glow. They ate one red pepper and one glass of carrot juice per day (extra to their normal diets) for 6 weeks, they took before and after photographs and all of them had an improved noticeable glow about them. So yesterday I set myself the challenge of 6 weeks to a healthier glow via extra red peppers and carrots! (Living in Essex if it works, I will be one of the few with a glow that's from carrot's not fake tan!)




Image - dirtyandthirty.com


What is Beta-Carotene?


Beta-Carotene is a strongly coloured red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits. The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision. The advantage of dietary beta-carotene is that the body only converts as much as it needs. (Excess vitamin A is toxic. Toxic vitamin A levels can occur if you consume too many supplements). This information is from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252758.php (also check out the link for additional information especially if you are a smoker).

Beta-Carotene is an antioxidant. Studies have shown that antioxidants help people's immune system; they protect against free radicals, and can help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. (Free radicals damage cells through oxidation and this can eventually lead to chronic illnesses).



Good Sources of Beta-Carotene


  • Yellow and green (leafy) vegetables such as spinach, carrots and red peppers.

  • Yellow fruit such as mango, melon and apricots.

 


I always think of myself as eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, but I never actually count. So I think this increasing my consumptions of beta-carotene I am going to be more mindful and actually look at how many overall portions I am eating. I am also going to up my fluid intake as not drinking enough can dull your complexion. I have just purchased a juicer, as I have always preferred to eat my five a day and not waste the skins and pulp, but adding to my diet some juices as well can't be bad!



Apple, Banana and Carrot Juice

1 Apple

1 Banana

2 Large Carrots

 

1. Juice the carrots and apple, then blend in a banana.

2. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 
 

 Just quick update on my swimming challenge for Diabetes Uk

 
 
 

 
Date
 
Louise lengths
 
Rachael lengths
Starting Lengths
1056 – 22miles
26/02/2015
60
34
962
05/03/2015
64 = 124
36 = 70
862
12/03/2015
64 = 188
37 = 107
761
19/03/2015
64 = 252
36 = 143
661
27/03/2015
64 = 316
38 = 181
559
02/04/2015
70 = 386
40 = 221
449
16/04/2015
66 = 452
36 = 257
347