Definition: Phytochemicals found in red, orange or yellow fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A, which means your body can transform some of them into vitamin A.
Beta-carotene is easily converted to vitamin A, but alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin can also be converted, too -- just not as efficiently.
Other carotenoids cannot be turned into vitamin A, but they still have health benefits because they can trigger antioxidant reactions in your body. These include lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Carotenoids and Antioxidants
- What Are Antioxidants Good For?
- Nutrition Information and Health Benefits of Tomatoes
- Lutein Benefits and Dietary Sources
- Vitamin A Requirements and Dietary Sources