Top 10 Foods Highest in Beta Carotene

Photo of Daisy Whitbread Written by Daisy Whitbread
BSc (Hons) MSc DipION
Evidence Based. References sourced from PubMed.
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Top 10 Foods Highest in Beta Carotene

Beta Carotene is a carotenoid compound responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their orange pigment.

Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble vitamin, so eating foods with fat like olive oil or nuts can help absorption. (1)

Foods high in beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, butternut squash, cantaloupe, lettuce, red bell peppers, apricots, broccoli, and peas. There is no official recommended daily allowance (RDA) for beta-carotene, but a figure of 10800mcg per day can be used as a general target.

Below is a list of the 10 best beta-carotene foods. Use the nutrient ranking of over 200 foods high in beta-carotene to sort by 100 gram serving sizes and find even more foods.

Where does the RDA for Beta-Carotene come from?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily requirement for a particular nutrient.

The daily value (%DV) for an vitamin A is 900mcg RAE (retinol equivalents). (2)

For beta-carotene from foods 1mcg RAE (vitamin A) = 12mcg beta-carotene. (3) So the RDA for beta-carotene is equal to the %DV for vitamin A times 12. We use the 900mcg DV to set the RDA for beta-carotene, so it is 900mcg x 12 = 10800mcg.

The 10800mcg can be used for comparison purposes and is not neccesarily a target amount to eat in a day.

Use the ranking tool links below to select foods and create your own food list to share or print.


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Data Sources and References

  1. Roodenburg AJ, Leenen R, van het Hof KH, Weststrate JA, Tijburg LB. Bioavailability of beta-carotene in humans Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5):1187-93. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/71.5.1187. 10799382
  2. U.S.FDA - Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels
  3. Office of dietary supplements - Vitamin A and Carotenoids
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