Alpha Carotene Foods May Increase Longevity

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Screen shot 2012 12 03 at 12.25.45 PM Alpha Carotene Foods May Increase Longevity

Researchers from the Center for Disease control found that foods that are high in alpha-carotene (AC), may help lower the risk for heart disease and cancer and increase longevity. Supplements are NOT proven to do the same thing, so you have to eat your veggies. Here is a list of the most common, heart-healthy versions of these items from the USDA (units per 100g of food).

  • Frozen carrots 5542
  • Pumpkin 4795
  • Raw carrots 4649
  • Baby carrots 4425
  • Boiled carrots 4109
  • Canned carrots 3470
  • Butternut squash 1130
  • Hubbard squash 820
  • Grape leaves, canned 629
  • Baby food squash 308
  • Green beans frozen 292
  • Fiddle head fern greens 270
  • Collards raw 238
  • Baked beans 147
  • Tomatoes ripe 112
  • Collards boiled 90
  • Cilantro 72
  • Cornmeal 63
  • Red pepper 62
  • Napa cabbage 49
  • Swiss chard 49
  • Banana pepper 39
  • Passion fruit 35
  • Corn, canned 33
  • Peas frozen 33
  • Apples with skin 30
  • Tomato paste 29
  • Avocados 28
  • Cherries raw 28
  • Okra 28
  • Melon cantaloupe 27
  • Pepper green 22
  • Corn frozen 18
  • Hot pepper 18
  • Mangos 17
  • Melon crenshaw 15
  • Pummelos 14
  • Asparagus 12
  • Raspberries 12
  • Bananas 5
  • Strawberries 5
  • Orange juice 2

From: http://www.nal.usda.gov/ fnic/foodcomp/Data/car98/car_ tble.pdf

Here are 3 things we learned:

• Vegetable soups that contain carrots are usually high in AC so if you insist on eating out it may be better to choose vegetable soup more often and hamburgers or deli sand- wiches less often.

• Think carrots in the summer and pumpkin or butternut squash in the winter.

• Not all winter squash is the same - for example, although acorn squash is a powerhouse and contains beta carotene, it is not high in AC. This is also true for sweet potatoes.

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