Move over beta-carotene. The antioxidant alpha-carotene is the star of a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that says eating lots of orange and dark-green veggies will lead to a longer life.
Researchers believe that antioxidants in the vegetables protect DNA from damage, which led to 39 percent fewer deaths and less disease risk for the participants during the duration of the 14-year study.
Other studies have shown that alpha-carotene is 10 times more effective than beta-carotene in staving off certain types of brain, liver, and skin cancer -- although both antioxidants usually show up in foods together.
Here's a list of produce that is high in alpha-carotene: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, winter squash, broccoli, green beans, peas, spinach, turnip greens, collards, leaf lettuce, asparagus, and bok choy.