BETA.CAROTENE - Derika Harris 16 March 2011 Basic Human...

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Derika Harris 16 March 2011 Basic Human Nutrition – 2203 Beta-Carotene The term phytochemical breaks down to the two words, “phyto” and “plant.” The Nutrition Now text book by Judith E. Brown defines the word phytochemical as chemical substances in plants, some of which perform important functions in the human body. They give plants color and flavor, participate in processes that enable plants to grow, and protect plants against insects and diseases. There is proof that if a person’s diet contains great amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, their risk of cancer and other diseases as well will be decreased drastically. One of the most beneficial phytochemicals is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments called carotenoids. It acts as an antioxidant; prevents damage to cell membranes and the contents of cells by repairing damaged caused by free radicals. Nearly 50% of the Vitamin A needed in the American diet is provided by beta-carotene. Just like other phytochemicals, beta-carotene is provided through fruits and vegetables as well. 5 servings of fruits and vegetables is equal to 6-8 mg of beta-
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BETA.CAROTENE - Derika Harris 16 March 2011 Basic Human...

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