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Foods High in Carotenes

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    Q: What are some other foods that are high in carotenes? Should I be worried about absorption in cooked vs. raw vegetables?

    Here is a list of some healthy foods that are high in carotenes:

    • Carrots
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Spinach
    • Kale
    • Collard greens
    • Tomatoes
    • Pumpkin
    • Apricots
    • Cantaloupe
    • Broccoli

    While all of these vegetables are delicious and healthy eaten raw, by steaming them, you can improve the availability of their carotenoids.

    For example, once a tomato is cooked at a high temperature, your body will absorb more of the lycopene (a carotenoid) in it.

    Lightly steaming broccoli, carrots, and spinach with a small amount of water improves your body's ability to absorb the carotenoids in those foods.

    Carotenoids are fat soluble, so you also can increase their absorption by eating them along with a small amount of heart-healthy oil, nuts, seeds, or avocados.

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