Another Reason to Eat Your Carrots
A 2009 study showed that the more servings of carotenoid-rich vegetables pre-menopausal women eat every day, the lower their risk of developing breast cancer.
Eating at least two servings of vegetables high in vitamin A, beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin each day reduced the risk of breast cancer by 17 percent in pre-menopausal, but not post-menopausal women.
Carotenoids are powerful anti-oxidants or anti-oxidant precursors. Beta carotene, one of the carotenoids, is found in carrots, kale, and other dark green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is found in liver (blech!). Fortunately, your liver can convert beta carotene into vitamin A, so you don’t necessarily need to eat liver to get it. Alpha carotene, the little talked about sister to beta, is found in the same vegetables as beta. Broccoli, kale, kiwi, squash and spinach are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Lycopene is another carotenoid found in tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes like tomato sauce.
Carotenoids have been shown to interfere with estrogen signaling, moderating the effects of estrogen, which might explain why their cancer-preventing effects would be limited to pre-menopausal women who have higher levels of estrogen.
SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, June 15, 2009.
To help you get more carotenoids in your diet, there’s a scrumptious carrot salad recipe on our website, here