Your Mother was Right: Eat Your Vegetables


Eating foods such as yams, carrots, pumpkin, can make you a healthier person according to the team of researchers from he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What is more important is they have discovered why it is so significant.

We have all heard of beta-carotene and it often gets the spotlight for being the reason why so these veggies are good for you, however, it is its cousin alpha-carotene that is getting credited for living longer by eating orange or dark green foods.

Both beta-carotene and alpha-carotene are members of the carotenoid antioxidant family and when ingested both are digested and then converted to vitamin A. Researchers have found that alpha-carotene plays a vital role in defending cells' DNA from attack.


Researchers from the CDC conducted a study for 14 years and found those with more alpha-carotene in their blood had lower risks of disease and death. Dr. Chaoyang Li of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta stated "Alpha-carotene may be at least partially responsible for the risk reduction; however, we are unable to rule out the possible links of other antioxidants or other elements in vegetables and fruits to lower mortality risk."

"Alpha-carotene has a lot of overlapping chemical properties with beta-carotene, as well as the same perceived mechanisms of effect," stated Howard Sesso of the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, who reviewed the findings for Reuters Health. "In fact, it's hard to disentangle the two from each other. They tend to travel together."

Researchers state that veggies with alpha-carotene can be found in carrots, squash and sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens like kale, broccoli, spinach and collard greens and that these foods can be an effective way to fight certain cancers.

So perhaps your mother was right when she said eat all your vegetables. The CDC has found that not even a third of adults eat even two servings of fruit each day and only a quarter eat three servings of vegetables. Maybe we should have listened to mom.

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