Top 10 Foods Highest in Alpha-Carotene

Top 10 Foods Highest in Alpha-Carotene

Alpha-Carotene is a precursor to creating vitamin A in the body, and while important, is far less common than beta-carotene.

Like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene is fat-soluble and therefore needs to be consumed with fat to be absorbed.

For every 24mcg of alpha-carotene you consume, you create 1mcg of vitamin A retinol activity equivalents (RAE). (1) The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 900mcg of retinol activity equivalents (RAEs). While it would be unlikely to attain all your vitamin A from alpha-carotene, we calculate the daily intake target of alpha-carotene to be 24 times the amount of vitamin A (per the conversion to retinol equivalents). Thus the recommended dietary allowance for alpha-carotene is 900mcg x 24 or 21600mcg per day.

Again, you do not actually have to worry about meeting the RDA as beta-carotene, and vitamin A both contribute to the RDA, and the calculated RDA is intended as a guide to compare foods.

Foods high in alpha-carotene include orange vegetables like pumpkin, carrots, and winter squash. Other alpha-carotene food sources include tangerines, tomatoes, collards, napa cabbage, sweet potatoes, avocados, and bananas. Below are the top 10 foods highest in alpha-carotene, for more, see the nutrient ranking of foods high in alpha-carotene.

List of Foods High in Alpha Carotene

Pumpkins1 Pumpkin
Alpha-carotene
per Cup Cooked
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
6652mcg
(31% DV)
2715mcg
(13% DV)
27150mcg
(126% DV)
Carrots2 Carrots
Alpha-carotene
per Cup Cooked
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
5891mcg
(27% DV)
3776mcg
(17% DV)
21577mcg
(100% DV)
Half a Butternut Squash3 Butternut Squash
Alpha-carotene
per Cup Cooked
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
2317mcg
(11% DV)
1130mcg
(5% DV)
5650mcg
(26% DV)
Tangerines4 Tangerines
Alpha-carotene
per Cup
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
197mcg
(1% DV)
101mcg
(0% DV)
381mcg
(2% DV)
Tomatoes5 Tomatoes
Alpha-carotene
per Cup Cooked
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
150mcg
(1% DV)
101mcg
(0% DV)
1122mcg
(5% DV)
Collard Green Leaves6 Collard Greens
Alpha-carotene
per Cup Cooked
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
129mcg
(1% DV)
68mcg
(0% DV)
412mcg
(2% DV)
Napa Cabbage7 Napa Cabbage
Alpha-carotene
per Cup Cooked
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
53mcg
(0% DV)
49mcg
(0% DV)
817mcg
(4% DV)
Sweet Potato8 Sweet Potato
Alpha-carotene
per Cup Baked
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
49mcg
(0% DV)
43mcg
(0% DV)
96mcg
(0% DV)
Half an avocado9 Avocados
Alpha-carotene
per Avocado
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
48mcg
(0% DV)
24mcg
(0% DV)
30mcg
(0% DV)
Bananas10 Bananas
Alpha-carotene
per Cup Sliced
Alpha-carotene
per 100g
Alpha-carotene
per 200 Calories
38mcg
(0% DV)
25mcg
(0% DV)
56mcg
(0% DV)

See All 200 Foods High in Alpha Carotene

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.


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

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central