• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Six Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin A

Vitamin A or retinol is an essential micronutrient that naturally occurs in particular plant and animal-based food items. It is necessary for the proper maintenance and function of tissues of major organs like the eyes, skin, respiratory tract, and abdomen. Thus, for maintaining good vision, healthy skin, and optimal immune system function, adequate vitamin A intake is vital.

Your body cannot produce vitamin A on its own, and so it needs to be present in your diet. Children and adults are often prone to a risk of vitamin a deficiency. Not many people, particularly in developing countries, care about the nutritional profile of their meals. Consequently, a deficiency of vitamin a  commonly occurs, and it usually manifests as poor eyesight and stunted growth in them. To minimize the risks of vitamin a deficiency diseases, it is essential to consume a balanced diet and include various vitamin A rich food sources.

What Are the Food Sources of Vitamin A?

Vitamin A rich foods

Caption: Vitamin A rich foods, Credits: Pixabay


Vitamin A that is available in various food items can be classified into two categories.

  1. Preformed vitamin A is available in animal-based foods like poultry, milk, fish, and dairy products.

  2. Proformed vitamin A that is available in plant-based foods as carotenoids. Examples, carrots, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, etc.

In animal sources, vitamin A appears in the form of retinol. It is also called the active vitamin A. this type of vitamin A can be easily consumed from animal sources like fish, liver, egg yolk, and dairy products. In plant sources, vitamin A or carotenoids need to be converted during digestion into retinol. It is only after being converted to retinol that vitamin A from plant sources can be absorbed and utilized by the body.

Six Best Sources of Vitamin A Rich Foods

Suppose you have experienced symptoms of vitamin a deficiency in yourself or any of your family members. In that case, you should start including the following sources of vitamin A in your diet.

  1. Carrots

  2. Sweet potato

  3. Cantaloupe

  4. Spinach and lettuce

  5. Cod liver oil

  6. Dairy products

Carrots

Carrots

Caption: A bunch of carrots, Credits: Pixabay


Just half a cup of carrots will give you 459 mcg of vitamin A in your diet. It is approximately 148% of the daily value of vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes and Potatoes

potatoes

Caption: Whole and cut sweet potatoes, Credits: Pixabay


A baked sweet potato gives 1403 mcg of vitamin A. The beta carotene present in this plant source of vitamin A effectively protects you against prostate and colon cancer.

Cantaloupe

cantaloupe

Caption: Pieces of cantaloupe, Credits: Pixabay


Cantaloupe melon gives 135 mcg of vitamin A in just a half-cup. It is enough to boost your immune system and decrease the risk of developing any infections and diseases.

Spinach and Lettuce

Spinach and lettuce Vitamin A Rich Foods

Caption: Spinach and lettuce, Credits: Pixabay


A half-cup of boiled spinach will give you 573 mcg of vitamin A, and a half cup of lettuce will provide 436 mcg of vitamin A. These green leafy vegetables are the best vitamin a deficiency treatment that can be done without the aid of a doctor.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil capsules

Caption: Cod liver oil capsules, Credits: Pixabay


It is the most potent source of preformed vitamin A. you can get around 4080 mcg of vitamin A in just a single teaspoon of this oil. As it’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, it will enhance the absorption of vitamin A in your body.

Dairy Products

Vitamin A Rich Dairy Products

Caption: Variety of dairy products, Credits: Pixabay


100 grams of any dairy product like milk, cheese, or butter will provide around 203 IU of vitamin A to you. Dairy products are readily available and can protect you against developing a host of vitamin a deficiency diseases.

How Much Vitamin A Should You Consume

The average daily intake of vitamin A for an adult male is 900 mcg. For a woman, it is 700 mcg. This amount of vitamin A can be easily consumed by taking a healthy and balanced diet. But for those who suffer from health conditions that prevent the absorption of vitamin A, it is best to take a vitamin A supplement. Keep in mind that supplements should be taken under strict medical supervision.

Hence, we observe that vitamin A deficiencies like weak immunity, impaired vision, respiratory problems can be easily prevented by including a wide variety of vitamin A food sources in your diet. The above-mentioned food sources are easily accessible and can significantly benefit both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

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