Vitamin A is considered a very important intake, especially when it comes to eye health and vision. Foods rich in Vitamin A are easily available for consumption. Here's the list of top 10 foods rich in Vitamin A.
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. Our body is able to store it in necessary amounts. However, it cannot produce vitamin A on its own. That is why; Vitamin A should be a part of our diet to make it healthy and well rounded. Now, vitamin A is a micronutrient. This means that you need it in small amounts for your body to carry out various important functions. Taking vitamin supplements will nourish your body with all the vitamins that it needs. However, including Vitamin A rich foods in your diet is the best way to obtain this important nutrient.
What are the benefits of Vitamin A?
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Vitamin A aids several important functions in the body such as:
- The formation and maintenance of healthy teeth, skin, skeletal tissue and mucous membrane.
- It produces pigments in the retina of our eyes. That is why it is also called retinol.
- It promotes good vision, especially in low light conditions.
- It is also necessary for reproduction and for women who are breast feeding.
- Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and can protect cells from free radical damage.
When you think of better vision, the first thing that comes to your mind is carrots. This is because carrots are one of the best sources of vitamin A. One medium sized carrot can give you double the amount of Vitamin A that is recommended for daily consumption. Carrots are a part of different cuisines, especially Asian. While cooked carrots are great, it is best to consume carrot in its raw form. Add a few slices to a salad or have a glass of juiced carrot to get your daily dose of vitamin A. Carrots also contain Vitamin C, B, and K. They also nourish our body with minerals such as fiber and magnesium.
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2. Iceberg lettuce:
When it comes to healthy eating and a good diet, the most favored greens are the dark green leafy vegetables. However, it is the lighter colored greens such as iceberg lettuce that are loaded with Vitamin A. Adding lettuce to salads and sandwiches can give you a good boost of Vitamin A. The best part about lettuce is that one whole cup of lettuce contains less than 10 calories. Besides that, it is loaded with other vitamins and minerals too. You can get 7% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A from a single cup of iceberg lettuce. That said, other green leafy vegetables are also reliable sources of Vitamin A. Some of the most popular choices are spinach, mustard greens, fenugreek, and kale. The more raw greens you can consume, the better it is for your body.
Sweet potatoes, one of the main vitamin A sources, were popularized by early American settlers. They are also known for their wonderful taste and their rich nutrient content. One medium sized sweet potato can load the body with about 438% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. They are also low in calories with one medium sized sweet potato containing just 103 calories. You can steam them and enjoy them with a few spices. They can be baked into wedges and wafers and are a healthier alternative to regular potato. They also make great, scrumptious soups.
A plate of grilled fish can load you with Vitamin A along with several other nutrients. Studies have revealed that adding a small amount of fish to your diet can improve your health to a large extent. For vegetarians, cod liver supplements are the richest source of vitamin A. With just one spoon of cod liver oil, you can get the daily recommended value of vitamin A. In addition to that fish and cod liver oil is packed with other nutrients such as Vitamin D, Vitamin A along with omega 3 fatty acids.
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5. Red pepper:
A few red peppers in your food can provide you with a good source of vitamin A. Red pepper, like all brightly colored fruits and vegetables is a food containing vitamin A. With just one tablespoon of chopped red peppers, you can obtain about 42% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A. Red pepper is also full of carotenoids. It is a powerful antioxidant that promotes good health. You can toss it into a salad or just add a small amount of stir fried red pepper to regular food to enhance the taste.
This is one of the most widely used ingredients in cuisines across the world. It is a very rich source of antioxidants. It one of the most easily available Vitamin A containing food. It contains an enzyme called Lycopene which is known to reduce the growth of cancer, particularly prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer. A mineral called chromium that is abundant in tomatoes can help keep your sugar levels in control. It is also a good option for those with diabetes.
A glass of milk every day can do wonders for your health. It is not only rich in calcium but is also loaded with several vitamins. It is a better idea to consume whole milk in comparison to skim milk because it is rich in taste and is also loaded with nutrients. One glass of whole milk is one of the best vitamin A food items. It is also loaded with vitamin D, magnesium, and protein. If calories are a concern for you and you are trying to lose weight, you can either switch to skimmed milk or consume whole milk in moderation.
Some chopped parsley and herbs can make all your food taste better. You can add it to grilled meat, salads and even a simple toast. While making your foods taste better, you also get a dollop of Vitamin A with these herbs. Other herbs that you can include in small amounts in your diet are thyme, coriander, and basil. You can even use dried herbs if you are unable to source fresh herbs. 100 grams of dried herbs can give you 15% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin A.
Not everyone favors mutton or chicken liver. However, they are loaded with vitamin A. Even a small quantity of liver in your diet can improve your health by leaps and bounds. A good source of Vitamin A is turkey liver. With just 100 grams of turkey liver, you can get a whopping 1507% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A.
This is a very commonly used condiment in Indian, Spanish and South American Cuisine. Irrespective of the kind of food that you like to eat, this fiery spice can improve your health significantly. Just one table spoon of paprika can give you 69% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. In addition to that, it also loads your body with other nutrients like calcium, potassium and Vitamin C.
- We know already that Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. Therefore, consuming just these foods without enough fats can make it redundant. Good sources of fats like olive oil or coconut oil, when added to your food will help your body absorb vitamin A better.
- Pairing Vitamin A and Vitamin D helps the body make use of Vitamin A. It also prevents any toxicity due to Vitamin A. Choosing foods like cod liver or fish that give you both vitamin A and vitamin D is a good idea. In addition to that, you need to get at least 20 minutes of midday sun exposure every day. If that is not possible, taking a vitamin D supplement will help your body absorb vitamin A more efficiently.
- One of the biggest epidemics today is a deficiency of Vitamin A. There are several symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency such as mood disorders, poor immunity, infertility, hormone imbalance, thyroid disorders and skin problems like acne and eczema.
- Vitamin A should only be consumed within the recommended value. If not, you could also suffer from Vitamin A toxicity. This is mostly seen in people who take vitamin A supplements. That is why you need to make sure that you consult a doctor before you take any supplements. Staying clear of any fortified products and unnecessary multi-vitamins is recommended.
- For adults, the daily recommended value for vitamin A is 900 micrograms for men and 700 micrograms for women. This value changes as per your health conditions and also your body condition such as pregnancy or if you are lactating. It also changes as per age. You need to consult a doctor to make sure that you get the right amount.