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.
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