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.

View more nutrients with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

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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