A yellow, orange or red substance found mostly in plants, including yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (such as carrots and sweet potatoes), as well as in dark green, leafy vegetables (such as spinach and kale) and some grains. The body changes some carotenoids into vitamin A.

Carotenoids include beta carotene, lutein and lycopene.

Carotenoids are a type of phytochemical that have antioxidant effects. Researchers are studying the role of carotenoids in preventing cancer.