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These fat-soluble pigments give fruits and vegetables their yllow, orange and red colors. Green leafy vegetables are rich in carotenoids but their pigments are masked by the green color of chlorophyll. Dietary carotenoids provide a significant portion of the body's vitamin A, particularly in a vegetarian diet. Many carotenoids are antioxidants that protect cells against free radicals by neutralizing them before they cause oxidative damage. Carotenoids including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein are potent antioxidants that help protect the body from free radical damage. In addition to being antioxidants, carotenoids also help to rejuventate the body by promoting the growth of healthy cells and inhibiting the growth of unhealthy ones. The beneficial actions of carotenoids are optimal when a variety of carotenoids are consumed together, rather than alone.




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