Eat beta-carotene every day to prevent cardio-cerebral vascular disease

Beta carotene

Eating carrots every day can reduce the incidence of β carotene cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases by 50%.

Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, etc.) rank first in the death of Chinese residents due to diseases, accounting for more than 40% of the cause of death ①.

Beta carotene Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease has four high characteristics: high incidence, high disability rate, high mortality rate, high recurrence rate, more complications.

Dyslipidemia is the main reason for the continuous increase of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

In daily life, long-term unhealthy diet will cause metabolic disorders, hyperlipidemia, hypermucemia, and increase the level of free radicals. Free radicals attack low-density lipoprotein in the blood vessel wall, causing it to lose electrons and become oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and macrophages attach to the blood vessel wall to form atherosclerotic plaque during the process of phagocytosis of oxidized low-density lipoprotein. Plaque leads to narrowing of the vascular lumen, blockage of blood flow and thrombosis, or lack of blood supply leading to ischemic tissue necrosis.

Traditional Chinese medicine believes that improper diet damages the spleen and stomach, which will help dampness produce heat, heat consume body fluid, and lead to the imbalance of heart and spleen gasification. In addition, spleen and stomach injury can also gather dampness and produce phlegm, blocking Qi and blood, resulting in blood coagulation and chest impediment. Qi stagnation, blood stasis and phlegm turbidness are the main characteristics. Although the disease location is in the heart and brain, it is closely related to the dysfunction of liver, kidney and spleen.

Prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease key two: one is to stop the mouth, the second is to step on the leg.

Keep your mouth shut is a scientific diet. The Chinese Lipid Management Guidelines (2023) issued by the Joint Expert Committee on the revision of Chinese Lipid Management Guidelines proposed that the intake of saturated fatty acids and trans fats should be limited, and the intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grain potatoes, dietary fiber and fish should be increased.

Some studies believe that through drug intervention, for every 1mmo1/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, the relative risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease can be reduced by 20% to 23%.

So how can we lower LDL cholesterol through diet, in addition to taking drugs for the disease?

Modern studies have found that lowering LDL cholesterol is preferred by carotene. In particular, beta-carotene, which has a strong antioxidant effect, can destroy the activity of free radicals in the body and remove excess free radicals in the body, thereby reducing lipid peroxide damage and easing the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Carrots contain 9,800 micrograms of beta-carotene per 100 grams, which is very advantageous.

A British study of 333 men with coronary heart disease symptoms followed for six years found that patients who adhered to the daily intake of beta-carotene had 50% of the incidence of major cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Researchers believe that beta-carotene antioxidants have the function of preventing the formation of harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

In addition, plant sterols can reduce the absorption of cholesterol by inhibiting esterification and transport excretion. 100 grams of carrot contains 19.29 mg of phytosterol ④.

There is also cellulose, which increases the deoxycholic acid in cholic acid, thereby reducing the absorption of cholesterol. Fiber also helps slow the absorption of glucose in the gut, thereby reducing the increase in blood sugar. There are 1.1 grams of fiber in 100 grams of carrots.

The effective substances contained in carrot can also protect the intestinal microecology, enhance gastrointestinal peristalsis, promote digestion and excretion, which is conducive to cholesterol metabolism.

Speaking of this, we should know that the prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease should eat more carrots.

Eating carrots every day can reduce the incidence of cancer by more than 20%.

Cancer, simply put, is a variety of reasons for genetic abnormalities to produce abnormal cells, these cells have an infinite proliferation nature and form a deadly threat.

According to the “Cancer” released by WHO on February 3, 2022, the causes of cancer include physical carcinogens (such as ultraviolet light, ionizing radiation), chemical carcinogens (such as asbestos, tobacco smoke components, alcohol, aflatoxin, arsenic), and biological carcinogens (such as infections caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites).

Cancer risk factors include tobacco use, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and air pollution. This sentence is summed up in eight words: cancer from the mouth, lack of exercise.

Traditional Chinese medicine believes that cancer is in the case of insufficient healthy qi, or foreign evil invasion and damage, or qi stagnation, blood stasis, phlegm and damp beat for a long time, accumulated stagnation. The older the age, the more weak the spleen and kidney, the more prone to cancer.

How to inhibit the infinite proliferation of abnormal cells is closely related to the regulation of the immune system.

Because smart cancer cells can hide their properties from immune attack, interfere with immune recognition through genetic mutations, and increase immune tolerance through new differentiation, thus achieving infinite proliferation, immunotherapy for cancer is also critical.

Unlike micro-treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy in Western medicine, TCM emphasizes holistic treatment. Chinese medicine attaches importance to the regulation of positive qi, tonifying kidney and spleen, clearing heat and detoxification, promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis, softening and dispersing, to achieve the overall conditioning of the immune system, endocrine system and metabolic system, so as to control the proliferation of cancer cells.

From the point of view of medicine and food homology and cancer prevention, carrot enters the lung and spleen meridian, because the taste is sweet and the quality is heavy, so it can be broad in the lower qi and remove the evil of the stomach. “Compendium of Materia Medica” records that “carrot qi tonifying in the chest, diaphragm and stomach, safe five viscera, healthy food, beneficial and non-destructive.” Medical Usuriao also believes that carrot “moistens kidney life, Zhuang Yuan Yang, warms the lower part, and removes cold and dampness”. “Daily Materia Medica” believes that “broad middle and lower qi, dissipating stomach evil stagnation.”

Modern research has found that a large number of beta-carotene, vitamin C and other components in carrots are essential substances to maintain the integrity of the intercellular matrix structure, which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Since the damage of cells and tissues by oxygen free radicals is one of the carcinogenic factors, the antioxidant and immune enhancement effects of β-carotene are particularly important. Carrots contain saccharomyces that break down starch, which can break down carcinogens in food nitrosamines, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. A large amount of lignin in carrot cellulose can increase the viability of macrophages by 2-3 times. According to this, there are studies that: beta-carotene can reduce the incidence of lung cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer and other cancers by 1/2 to 2/3, especially in the prevention and treatment of lung cancer has a unique effect ④.

A recent study by the Human Nutrition and Exercise Research Center at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom also found that polyacetylene contained in carrots has a strong impact on cancer, and eating carrots every day can reduce the risk of cancer by 20%.

From the modern statistics of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease to cancer, the biggest problem can be classified as one point, that is, the disease comes from the mouth.

So the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and cancer, we must also grasp the scientific diet. Especially eat carrots often.

Since carrots have so many benefits, how much and how to eat them is more scientific?

According to the “Reference Intake of Dietary Nutrients for Chinese Residents” issued by the Chinese Nutrition Society, the intake of vitamin A at different ages is different, and the gap is large, which can be checked by yourself.

Let’s take the specific data for pregnant women as an example. According to the 2011 WHO Guidelines on Vitamin A Supplementation for Pregnant Women, the recommended intake of vitamin A for pregnant women is 800 mg retinol equivalent per day.

Because beta-carotene can be broken down into vitamin A. It is generally believed that according to the absorption rate of vitamin A, the amount of beta-carotene needed to be ingested is 6 times, that is, 1 microgram of vitamin A=1 microgram of retinol =6 micrograms of beta-carotene. So to absorb 800 mg of vitamin A, you need to consume 4,800 mg of beta-carotene.

At present, it is known that there are many foods containing beta-carotene in vegetables, in addition to carrots, broccoli, rape, spinach, celery and so on. Eat a variety of vegetables, you need to eat 1 to 2 carrots a day.

In addition, modern research has also found that steamed carrots can retain glucosinolate. This substance can interact with certain proteins to repair damaged DNA and promote the death of altered cells, thereby helping the body fight chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. In addition, studies have found that 100 grams of cooked carrots contain 9800 micrograms of beta-carotene, while the same weight of raw carrots contain only 4130 micrograms.

Therefore, the scientific way to eat carrots is: 1 to 2 carrots a day, steamed to eat, which is conducive to health, but also to prevent cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and cancer, with one stone.

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Refer to

① China Cardiovascular Health and Disease Report 2021, National Cardiovascular Disease Center.

②Baigent C, Blackwell L, Emberson J, et al. Efficacy and safety of more intensive lowering of LDL cholesterol:  a meta‐analysis of data from 170, 000 participants in 26randomised trials[J]. Lancet, 2010, 376(9753):1670‐1681. DOI:  10.1016 / S0140 ‐ ‐ 5 6736 (10) 61350.

“Beta-carotene can treat Atherosclerosis” /Fackelmann KA//Science News.-1990,138(20),-308.

Ruan Wan-zhen, Nutritional Composition and Health Function of Carrot, Chinese Food and Nutrition, No.6, 2007.

The British news network reported on December 19, 2023, “A new study says that eating 5 servings of carrots a week can reduce the risk of cancer by 20%.”