There is scientific information indicating that orange-colored foods like carrots may well be the key to long life. The data comes from one of the largest studies of the health of the American population called "NHANES," which stands for "National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey."
The #1 Way to Cheat Death is...Eating Carrots?
No, we're not kidding! There actually is scientific information indicating that orange-colored foods like carrots may well be the key to long life. You see, one of the largest studies of the health of the American population is called "NHANES," which stands for "National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey." This program has been conducted by the US government ever since the 1960s, and it collects information about the health and diet of thousands of Americans each year.
Researchers mine this data to examine all kinds of topics, from the prevalence of diseases in various subgroups to the health benefits of banning leaded gasoline and more.
One of the most interesting findings to come out of NHANES was published in 2011, when researchers analyzing the data discovered a strong inverse correlation between mortality and levels of alpha-carotene in the blood.
Individuals with the highest levels of alpha-carotene were found to be almost 40% less likely to die from any cause!
Alpha-carotene is a carotenoid - one of the yellow, orange, and red pigments found in plants. It's similar to its more famous cousin beta-carotene which we've all heard about for years. But alpha-carotene is known to be more effective than beta-carotene at inhibiting certain forms of cancer. It probably has other health benefits that haven't been studied yet.
The best way to raise your levels of alpha-carotene is by eating fruits and vegetables high in carotenoids, preferably cooked in a little oil. Carotenoids are oil soluble and cooking in oil makes them easier for the body to absorb.
Foods with high levels of alpha-carotene include not just carrots but also pumpkin, butternut squash, tomatoes, tangerines, collard greens, and napa cabbage.
So in addition to eating an apple a day, let's all add a carrot or two!
You can read the entire 2011 study here:
What's your favorite way to eat carrots, winter squash or collards? Let us know! We'll be publishing a roundup of the best recipes soon. You can email us at contactPlantiva@plantiva.com or tag us on our socials!