The Best Natural Sources Of Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, which is one of the essential vitamins that help to keep skin looking young and healthy for a long time. As a powerful antioxidant, beta-carotene protects cells against the damaging effect of free radicals and it also prevents skin ageing, especially that induced by overexposure to the sun.

It’s easy to get beta-carotene from a range of common fruit and vegetables that are yellow, orange or red, including carrots which beta-carotene is actually named after. Leafy vegetables are also a good source of beta-carotene. Some of these sources of beta-carotene are also used in natural cosmetics, including the goji berry which is packed with a number of carotenoids, a group of antioxidants.

Dried herbs are perhaps a more surprising source of beta-carotene. Basil is the richest, with 5,584 micrograms per 100g, followed by dried parsley, which has 5,380 micrograms per 100g, then dried marjoram, which has 4,806 micrograms per 100g. Dried oregano contains 4,112 micrograms of beta-carotene per 100g and ground sage has 3,485 micrograms per 100g.

Apart from maintaining the youthful look of the face, beta-carotene is often accompanied with vitamin C, which makes the herbs and food abundant in the two vitamins very good for skin irritations, such as acne and various spots and blemishes. It also enhances the effect of sunscreen. However a word of caution is needed, eating too much beta-carotene rich foods that contain more than 20 milligrams (the amount found in three carrots, for example) could give the skin an orange tint.