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 daily vitamin A intake. Carrots are among the richest foods in vitamin A.
How much vitamin A do we need per day?
The recommended daily intake of 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 from animal-based foods, plant-based foods, and dietary supplements isn’t absorbed at the same rate.
Animal foods and supplements contain vitamin A in 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 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. Raw carrots contain 835 mcg RAE per 100g. This dose is 93% of the Daily Value!
Actually, carrots are pretty rich in carotenoids. They contain 8,280 mcg of beta-carotene and 3,480 of alpha-carotene per 100g.
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% of the DV!
Moreover, you could drink carrot juice with orange juice. Vitamins A and C act synergistically, protecting the eyesight and the skin!
Is a carrot a day enough to meet our daily needs of vitamin A?
Eating a carrot every day is the easiest way to boost your vitamin A intake. However, you should eat a wide variety of other foods high in vitamin A as well.
Common plant-based foods high 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 certain animal foods, such as beef liver or fish oil.
Consuming high amounts of vitamin A from plant-based sources is pretty safe, though! Hence, we can safely consume many carrots per day, or drink more than a serving of carrot juice.
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. Carrots have a few calories, while they’re high in fiber and contain some protein. Last, but not least, you can eat carrot leaves! Not only are they edible, but also they have a great nutritional value!