Today's recipe, a Moroccan Meatball Soup with Sweet Potato features two of the most vivid orange vegetables out there: sweet potatoes and carrots. Besides adding a bright color to this soup, their orange hue is also what packs a serious nutritional punch.
Beta-carotene, the carotenoid that gives orange vegetables their color, has a few major benefits.
- Brain health. One German study found that beta-carotene. along with vitamin C, may help prevent dementia.
- Cancer protection. Women with higher levels of carotenoids have a reduced risk of breast cancer, a study from Harvard Medical School finds.
- Great eyesight. The old carrots-for-good-vision thing isn't just an old wives tale: A diet high in beta-carotene has been linked to a lower risk of macular degeneration.
- Glowing skin. Believe it or not, eating beta-carotene rich foods can actually improve your skin tone according to a study from Bristol University.
A quick cooking tip: Carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they're best absorbed with a bit of healthy fat, like olive oil. Which is great news, considering that's how they taste best, too!