Mango vs Papaya: Which is Higher in Beta-Carotene? 

Mango and papaya both provide beta-carotene and many other nutrients for you. Mango contributes 1060 mcg of beta-carotene, while papaya only offers 397 mcg in a one-cup serving of fresh pieces.  

What is beta-carotene? 

Beta-carotene is a pigment that is found in plant foods, and your body converts it to vitamin A as you need it. It is the reason for some red, orange, or yellow plant foods’ vibrant color. Several fruits contribute beta-carotene for you. 

Beta-carotene is fat-soluble and is stored in your body subcutaneously (underneath your skin) until you need it. While beta-carotene serves as an antioxidant to protect the cells throughout your body, vitamin A does so much more for you. 

Vital functions of vitamin A include skin health, fighting disease, and guarding the lining of the digestive tract. Vitamin A helps prevent infection and is essential for vision and fighting eye disease.  

mango vs papaya which is higher in beta carotene infographic


Nutrient comparison of mango and papaya 

Fiber is found in mangos to help you with digestion and keep you regular. A one-cup serving of mango gives you 13% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 80% vitamin C, 18% folate, 11% potassium, 5% magnesium, and 2% calcium. 

Papayas are a good source of fiber. A one-cup serving of papaya provides 10% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 117% vitamin C, 14% folate, 10% potassium, 9% magnesium, and 2% calcium. 

Eating mango and papaya 

Mango and papaya can be enjoyed on their own as a snack. If you like, you can sprinkle tajin seasoning (which is a blend of chili powder, salt, and lime) to jazz up the flavor. 

Being tropical, they add a delicious dimension to a fruit smoothie. You can also enjoy them with a spoonful of almonds or with yogurt to satisfy your hunger.  

What does mango taste like? 

Mango has a mild tart flavor and smooth texture. The skin was tough, so we peeled it, and then it slipped through our fingers as we began to cut it. A large pit was in the center, and with all our cutting, we never saw it; we only felt it as we trimmed around it.  

We trimmed so closely that we managed to get slivers of the pit onto some of our mango slices. 

We kept experimenting and as we peeled and cut another mango, we again cut around the pit that is identifiable because it is harder than the part of the fruit we eat and it doesn’t let go.  

After we trimmed the edible fruit from the pit, we cut a slit at the top of the pit and with our fingers, peeled both sides down and found one large seed.  

For fun, we are going to plant the seed in a flowerpot to see if we can grow a tree. 

After getting all we could, we cut it into small bites. One average size mango filled a one measuring cup. 

What does papaya taste like? 

The flavor and texture of our papayas were unexpectedly bland. There was no tartness and they weren’t especially sweet. Papaya is smooth like mango, but not slippery when cutting. The skin was easy to slice into, so we didn’t need to peel it before cutting it up.  

We cut it open, scooped and tossed out the many black seeds that were surrounded by a clear and thick gel-like substance. We sliced it into strips and filleted away the skin. Cutting it into cubes was easy.  

Papayas come in various sizes. We chose a large papaya that can easily make one to two cups of diced fruit. 

Benefits of eating mango  

Nourishing mangos help fend off and fight infection. They protect you from chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Mangos benefit you by supporting your bone and muscle strength and giving you nutrients for overall good health.  

They are especially rich in beta-carotene, which supports the health of your skin and eyes.  

Benefits of eating papaya  

Like mangos, papayas offer a range of nutrients that support your health and well-being.  

They don’t contain as much beta-carotene as mango, but they have more vitamin C and magnesium.  

Vitamin C is important to form collagen which is an essential ingredient for healthy bones, skin, and tendons. Plus, vitamin C helps to keep your immune system strong.  

Magnesium contributes to healthy nerve function and blood pressure.  

Both mango and papaya give you filling fiber and the nutrients, including water, to produce energy to help you feel alert during the day.  

Eating foods with beta-carotene or vitamin A vs taking a supplement 

It is possible to take too much of a vitamin A supplement, especially if it is not in the beta-carotene form. Taking a supplement that uses beta-carotene versus vitamin A is a safe way to help you prevent toxicity. 

If you are concerned about getting enough vitamin A, eating foods rich in beta-carotene is the way to go! It is virtually impossible to get too much beta-carotene from plant foods.  

Eating mango and papaya are a safe enjoyable way to get beta-carotene.  

Some other foods rich in beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, carrots, pumpkin, apricots, tomato juice, yellow squash, and sweet red peppers.  

Most milk and butter are fortified with vitamin A. Beef liver boasts the highest natural source of this nutrient. 

Since we know that beta-carotene is the source of vitamin A in plant foods, we look at micrograms (mcg) of retinol activity equivalents or RAEs to know how much is in each one. 


Mango and papaya are tropical fruits that lend a helping hand in keeping our skin, bones, eyes, heart, and digestive tract at their best. Neither has added sugars so they are good for you to eat.  

Either of these can be easily added to your fruit intake and they taste so much better than taking a supplement. If you enjoyed reading about mango vs papaya, be sure to check out our *free* course, 5 Staples for Quick Meals to Keep Your Bones Strong.   

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Stephanie Turkel is a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Texas. She has 30 plus years of experience in the nutrition field. She now takes her gained knowledge and shares it with you to explain science articles into easy-to-understand information.

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Grace Rivers, RDN, CDCES

Grace is a registered dietitian nutritionist residing in Texas. She has over 30 years of experience in nutrition. Grace loves translating science articles into easy-to-understand information for you.


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