Foods Rich in Beta Carotene

Carotenoids are a type of nutrient family. This ‘family’ comprises over 600 different members in the form of fruits, vegetables, and in some cases certain bacterium, algae and funguses like mushrooms. Beta carotene belongs to the carotenoid family. This is a nutrient very essential to the functioning of the human body. It acts a beauty aid, enhancing the complexion as also giving hair a glossy, healthy look. It also helps improve eyesight, increase fertility and boost immunity. Beta carotene is also said to possess anti cancer properties.

Foods with beta carotene are found in nature in abundance.

Some beta carotene rich food sources are as follows:

1. Carrots

Versatile vegetable would be an appropriate title for the carrot. Brightly colored, sweet and fibrous, carrots are the richest known natural source of beta carotene. They contain approximately 680% of the beta carotene required daily by our bodies. They can be eaten raw, as components of a salad, mixed in friedrice, stir fried, even pickled.

2. Oranges

These citrus fruits are rich sources of vitamin C, but also contain a good amount of beta carotene. What’s more, they are really tasty, refreshing, and relished by many. Oranges can be polished off with yogurt, in a fruit salad, jams, ice creams, custards and ice candies.

3. Cantaloupe

Belonging to the melon family, it is a popular fruit in the United States of America. It is a sweet, flavorful and highly concentrated food with beta carotene. A ripe cantaloupe contains about 110% of a person’s dail vitamin A requirement.

4. Kale

Kale is a leafy vegeable rich in beta carotene, along with other nutrients. A bunch of kale contains about 192% of one’s daily beta carotene requirement.

5. Turnip greens

The leaves of the turnip plant are a powerhouse full of vitamins and minerals. In truth, they are more wholesome and nutrient rich than the turnip tuber itself. Along with being a food with beta carotene it also contains the minerals like folate and calcium, and vitamins K and E. They provide about 158% of the daily vitamin A requirement.

4. Spinach

This intensely flavored leafy vegetable is a veritable super food! It contains close to 400% of one’s required beta carotene consumption for a day. Apart from this, it also contains a host of other vitamins and minerals. Spinach is known to possess cancer fighting properties, and is a veggie that can be eaten raw in salads, boiled, steamed or in vegetable preparations.

6. Winter Squashes

Apart from being warm, tasty and comforting in the cold of winter, these squashes are rich foods with beta carotene. Traditional squashes prepared using butternuts, pine nuts, ripe pumpkins and hubbard contain about 120% of beta carotene content required daily.

7. Mustard Greens

The pungent, spicy leaves of the mustard plant are used in cooking to add a peppery zing to the dish. A small cup of boiled or steamed mustard greens can provide about 80% of the body’s beta carotene requirement.

8. Romaine Lettuce

Commonly used as a crunchy as well as nutritious addition to salads and sandwiches, this lettuce adds a lot of zest and flavor to the dish. Also, the textures provided by this vegetable are amazing. Two cups of Romaine lettuce a day can provide about 80% of the required beta carotene conent. It is thus a rich food with beta carotene.

10. Collard Leaves

A cousin to Kale greens, these leaves have an unusual, smoky flavor with blue edged green leaves. They impart an exotic taste to dishes, and contain about 118% beta carotene for daily consumption per cup.

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