Carrots are among the richest foods in vitamin A. Just a medium carrot provides more than half of the daily recommended dose of 900 mcg!
Recommended daily intake
The recommended daily dose for vitamin A is 900 mcg RAE and 700 mcg RAE for men and women, respectively.
Only pregnant and lactating women need higher doses.
RAE stands for Retinol Activity Equivalents. Actually, vitamin A isn’t absorbed at the same rate from animal source foods, plant-based foods, and dietary supplements.
Animal source foods and supplements contain a form of retinol. Retinol is easily metabolized by the body. The recommended daily dose refers to retinol.
On the other hand, plant-based foods rich in vitamin A, such as carrots, contain carotenoids. But carotenoids aren’t metabolized as easily by the body.
In fact, 1 mcg RAE is equivalent to 1 mcg retinol (animal source foods or supplements), or 12 mcg dietary beta-carotene (plant-based foods)!
How much vitamin A in carrots?
Certainly, carrots are among the richest foods in vitamin A. 100g of raw carrots contain 835 mcg RAE, or 93% of the daily recommended intake!
Actually, carrots are pretty rich in carotenoids. 100g contain 8,280 mcg of beta-carotene and 3,480 of alpha-carotene.
Practically, a medium carrot has about 500 mcg RAE of vitamin A, or 56% of the recommended daily intake!
Furthermore, you could drink carrot juice to really boost your vitamin A intake. A cup of carrot juice has about 2,260 mcg RAE of vitamin A, or 250% DV (Daily Value)!
Is a carrot a day enough for vitamin A?
Eating a carrot every day is the easiest way to boost your vitamin A intake. Vitamin A is necessary for good vision, glowing skin, healthy heart, and strong immune system.
You should eat a wide variety of other foods rich in vitamin A as well. Common plant-based foods rich in beta-carotene, and other carotenoids, are sweet potatoes, turnip greens, dandelion greens, beet greens, spinach, kale, lettuce, red peppers, mango, papaya, pumpkin, and winter squash.
Can you get too much vitamin A from carrots?
In fact, high dosages of vitamin A can be dangerous and cause serious adverse effects. But, vitamin A toxicity may occur only from high doses from dietary supplements or animal source foods, such as beef liver or fish oil.
Consuming high amounts of vitamin A from plant-based sources is pretty safe! Hence, we can safely consume as many as carrots we desire.
Does cooking destroy vitamin A in carrots?
Vitamin A is vulnerable to cooking methods. It’s estimated that about 45% of beta-carotene in carrots is lost during cooking. In fact, boiling and steaming of carrots destroys more beta-carotene, as compared to blanching or microwaving.[3,4]
Thus, you could eat at least one raw carrot a day, in order, to boost your vitamin A intake. Moreover, eating carrots as a snack is good for weight loss.