Beta-carotene is a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments called carotenoids. These pigments provide approximately 50% of the Vitamin A needed for a healthy diet. This important nutrient can be found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Why is Beta Carotene Good for You?
Beta-carotene is used to decrease symptoms of asthma brought on by exercise, to prevent certain cancers, heart disease, cataracts and age related macular degeneration(AMD); and to treat AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease and skin disorders including psoriasis and vitiligo.
Beta-carotene is also in used in malnourished (underfed) women to reduce the chance of death and night blindness during pregnancy, as well as diarrhoea and fever after giving birth.
Some people who sunburn easily, including those with an inherited disease called erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), use beta-carotene to reduce the risk of sunburn.
For the above reasons it’s important to ensure you a have sufficient Beta carotene in your diet. The soup below is a great source while being delicious.
Beta Carotene Soup
2 tablespoon Olive oil
4 Carrots washed and chopped into rings
1 small Butternut peeled and cubed
Thumb sized piece of Ginger – peeled finely chopped
3 small Oranges – peeled (pips removed if possible)
Peel of half of 1 Orange
1 teaspoon powdered Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon powdered Nutmeg
750ml Vegetable Stock or a Vegan Stock Cube and 750ml water.
Fresh or dried Chilli flakes if you like heat.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
In a thick based pot – add olive oil and ginger and sauté on a low heat until ginger is lightly caramelised.
Then add the carrots, butternut, oranges, orange peel and powdered spice (plus chilli if you are using this) and sauté for a few minutes.
When vegetable begin to caramelise, add the vegetable stock or water and stock cube. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the vegetable is tender. Remove pot from heat. And blend into a thick soup. If the consistency is too thick for you, you can add water, soya milk or cream to thin down.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve this nutritious hot soup with a sprinkle of roasted nuts and seeds, croutons or a splash of non-diary cream. Its healthy, delicious and so simple to make.