Table 1. RAE in Plant Foods
Food Size RAE
Carrot juice1 C2,256
Butternut squash1 C1,114
Sweet Potato1 medium, baked1,096
Pumpkin1/2 C canned953
Carrot1/2 C boiled slices665
Carrot1 medium509
Spinach1/2 C cooked472
Cantaloupe1/2 medium (552 g)467
Kale1/2 C cooked442
Broccoli1 C boiled120
Mango1 C pieces89
Apricot1/2 C dried80
Apricot1 raw17
RAE - Retinol activity equivalents

Vitamin A

Pre-formed vitamin A exists only in animal products. However, there are about 50 carotenoids that the body can convert into vitamin A; the most common is beta-carotene. The vitamin A content of foods is now stated as retinol activity equivalents (RAE).

The DRI is 900 RAE for men and 700 RAE for women.

Vitamin A deficiency symptoms begin with night blindness and if it progresses can lead to the more severe eye problems of corneal ulcers, scarring, and blindness (1). Vitamin A deficiency also reduces immunity, and it is important for growth and development in infants and children and in red blood cell formation (1).

Eating vegetables high in carotenoids with some fat has been shown both to increase absorption and the amount synthesized into vitamin A (2).

Some foods toward the bottom of Table 1 are listed simply for informational purposes and not because they should be considered a high vitamin A food.


1. Vitamin A. Linus Pauling Institute. Accessed 1/25/2013. | link

2. Kopec RE, Cooperstone JL, Schweiggert RM, Young GS, Harrison EH, Francis DM, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Avocado Consumption Enhances Human Postprandial Provitamin A Absorption and Conversion from a Novel High-β-Carotene Tomato Sauce and from Carrots. J Nutr. 2014 Aug;144(8):1158-66. | link