Diets rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene may protect against radiation-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress in the lungs. Subjects suffering from asthma had lower circulating carotenoid levels; adding a few servings of fruits and vegetables to the diet reduced asthma exacerbation rate by half. Antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C taken from diet could also help prevent bacterial vaginosis. To get the most nutrients from carotenoid-rich vegetables, cooking matters: the best way to cook sweet potatoes would be to boil them with their skin, which is ten times as rich in antioxidants as the flesh.
Topic summary contributed by Laura.