The main role of food is to keep the body and mind healthy and in the best shape possible and to protect it from various diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases.
Research over the decades has continuously shown that fruits and veggies play an enormous part in lowering the risk of many chronic diseases.
This is owed to the countless different components found in fruits and veggies, carotenoids being one of the most prominent.
There are many types of carotenoids and each of them has its own beneficial physiological effects in the body.
A recent study has examined the role of carotenoid-rich foods on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases on healthy subjects.
Carotenoids are red, yellow, and orange pigments found in fruits and veggies.
Even though there are more than 600 types of carotenoids, the normal human diet allows for the consumption of only six types - lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, α-carotene, β-carotene, and lycopene.
They are known for having strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Humans can’t synthesize carotenoids in their bodies, so they must get them through diet.
Even though each carotenoid is linked to different health benefits, active consumption of diverse carotenoid-rich foods is better than focusing on specific ones.
Previous epidemiological studies have shown that a higher intake of fruits and veggies lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases by decreasing blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and improving insulin sensitivity. 
However, a large part of healthy people aren’t aware of the importance of timely prevention, so information on when to start eating more carotenoid-rich foods is needed.
The study included 1350 healthy adults classified by sex and by age group (young 20–39 years, middle-aged 40–59 years, and old ≥60 years).
They underwent different health examinations, including measurement of the levels of carotenoids in their blood as well as cardiovascular disease markers.
The goal was to examine the role of carotenoids present in vegetables in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in healthy populations.
Here’s what was found:
Regular intake of a variety of fruits and veggies is a good method for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Even though more research is needed to prove this, the results of this study could serve as a lifestyle guide for prevention.
Resource: Matsumoto, M.; Waki, N.; Suganuma, H.; Takahashi, I.; Kurauchi, S.; Sawada, K.; Tokuda, I.; Misawa, M.; Ando, M.; Itoh, K.; Ihara, K.; Nakaji, S. Association between Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Diseases and the Blood Concentration of Carotenoids among the General Population without Apparent Illness. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2310. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082310