Beta-carotene is a type of carotenoid that gives vegetables and fruits their deep color, with the best sources being orange, yellow, and leafy green vegetables and fruits. This is an essential compound is why I’m making this list of beta carotene foods.

When ingested, the body converts beta carotene to vitamin A. This is an essential nutrient needed for a healthy mucus membrane, strong immune system, healthy skin, improved vision, and good eyesight. This makes beta carotene a pro-vitamin A carotenoid because it has to be converted into the active form of vitamin A.

Vitamin A can also be obtained as a supplement. However, too much of it can be harmful. By consuming dietary beta carotene, the body can convert the much vitamin A it needs, making it easy to regulate vitamin A levels in the body.

Here are the top 10 beta carotene foods to include in your diet!

Black-eyed Peas

black eyed peas in white bowl

Black-eyed peas are a great source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene and fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

People eating black-eyed peas have a lower rate of contracting high blood pressure and heart disease. They also have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

You can easily incorporate black-eyed peas into soups, salads, stews, and salads.

Bok Choy

Bok choy on a white background

Also known as the Chinese cabbage, bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable native to China but can be found worldwide.

It’s a popular ingredient in Asian recipes, including salads, fillings for spring roll, dumplings, steamed buns, stir-fries, and soups.

Bok choy is known for its crunchy and delicious taste but also for its nutritional benefits.

It’s rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s especially rich in beta carotene and vitamin A with a cup serving to provide more than 50 percent of your daily requirement.

Bok choy may promote skin health, promote bone health, and support the immune system.

You can incorporate bok choy into your diet with Chinese recipes such as stir-fries, soups, salads, or use it grilled or as a garnish.

Grape Leaves

stuffed grape leaves

Did you know that grape leaves are edible? That’s right. You can buy a bag of grape leaves possibly from farmers markets, or pluck them from your vineyard.

They supply the body with several nutrients, including beta-carotene. For instance, taking 100 grams of the leaves will provide your body with 16.1 milligrams of beta-carotene.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce on wooden cutting board

Romaine lettuce is a green leafy and crispy vegetable packed with tons of essential nutrients.

It’s crunchy and loved for its great savor to salads and sandwiches. Besides, the leaves have plenty of vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and beta carotene.

A cup of shredded romaine lettuce contains 2456 mcg of beta carotene, or 23 percent of the daily requirement.

They are also high in fiber but low in calories, which promotes fullness and aids weight loss.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are sweet and starchy vegetables available globally.

They come in different varieties, including purple, orange, yellow, and white.

They are highly nutritious with high levels of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Sweet potatoes are also incredibly high in vitamin A and beta carotene, with a cup of baked/boiled sweet potato with skin offering up to 769 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement and 203017 mcg of beta carotene.

Carrots

carrots on wooden cutting boad

Carrots are the most famous source of vitamin A and dietary beta-carotene, with raw carrots containing the highest concentration compared to any other food.

A cup of sliced cooked carrots provides 12997.9 mcg of beta carotene or 120 percent of the daily requirement.

 Studies show that beta carotene is better absorbed when eaten cooked carrots compared to raw.

Adding olive oil has also been shown to increase carotenoid bioavailability since it’s a fat-soluble vitamin.

Microgreens

micro green growing in a container

Microgreens have become popular among foodies and chefs in the recent past, as they form excellent garnish on soups and salads.

They are also appealing to the eye and rich in nutrients, including beta-carotene.

Microgreens contain more beta-carotene than carrots, with 100 grams of microgreens providing12 milligrams of beta carotene compared to 8 milligrams in 100 grams of boiled carrots.

They also contain other forms of carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin.

Red Bell Pepper

multi-bell preppers

Red bell peppers are another good source of beta carotene, with a cup of boiled red bell pepper strips providing 2058 mcg, or 19 percent of the daily requirement.

The peppers are also rich in folate, Vitamin C, and vitamin B6, which help the body fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress that may cause cell damage.

In fact, red bell peppers contain 11 times more beta carotene, 8 times more vitamin A, A, and 1.5 times more vitamin C than green bell peppers.

Red peppers also contain Quercetin, an essential antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects that can help prevent heart disease, control blood glucose levels, and kill cancer cells.

Raw peppers can be added to almost everything from dips to salads and pasta dishes. You can also grill or toss them in stir-fries.

Spinach

Spinach in a black skillet

Spinach is another leafy green vegetable that is rich in nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and beta carotene.

Half a cup of boiled spinach offers 1130 mcg of beta carotene, or 105 percent of the daily recommendations.

Other leafy greens rich in beta carotene include:

  • Mustard greens
  • Kale
  • Beet greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Collard greens

Easiest ways to eat more spinach include:

  • Blending in shakes and smoothies
  • Add to salads
  • Make stir-fries
  • Stir into soups or add to stews
  • How much beta carotene do you need

Butternut Squash

butternut squash on a wooden background being scoope with a spoon

Butternut is an excellent hydrator, with one serving providing approximately 87 percent of water.

It’s good for boosting immunity and improving digestion.

Like other orange-colored vegetables and fruits, butternut squash is high in beta carotene with a cup of boiled butternut containing 9369 mcg, or 87 percent of the daily recommendation.

Final Thoughts on Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is an essential nutrient that offers antioxidant benefits.

It’s also converted into vitamin A, which is needed for different functions, including improving vision and eye health, keeping the skin and the mucous membrane healthy, and promoting healthy skin.

The best sources of beta carotene include bright-colored vegetables and fruits such as carrots, sweet potato, bok choy, spinach, romaine lettuce, butternut squash, red bell peppers, grape leaves, and black-eyed peas.

Although vitamin A can also be obtained as a supplement, too much of it can cause health problems. By consuming whole foods instead, the body can regulate how much beta carotene will be converted into vitamin A and thus no extras that may pose a health risk.

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