Vitamin A is an essential part of one’s daily diet. It helps improve your eyesight, in addition to maintaining neurological function, healthy skin and hormonal health. This group of antioxidant compounds can be of two types:
- Retinol is the type of vitamin A that is derived from animal sources. The body can directly consume this ‘pre-formed’ vitamin.
- Provitamin carotenoids are obtained from fruits and vegetables. This type of vitamin A is first converted into retinol right after digestion and then used by the body.
Benefits of Vitamin A
Amongst several known benefits of the vitamin, here are a few:
- Known to treat weak eyesight, the regular consumption of vitamin A enhances night vision, and reduces the risk of night blindness. It provides you with the extra care and protection that your delicate eyes require.
- Research has shown that it can help improve one’s bone and teeth strength.
- Including foods with plenty of vitamin A in your diet helps prevents the development of muscular dystrophy. Thus, it promotes muscle growth.
- Consuming the vitamin every day is said to increase lymphocytic responses that fight disease-causing antigens, thus boosting one’s immune system
Vitamin A Deficiency
More common in developing countries, the deficiency of vitamin A can lead to blindness, retinal damage and corneal ulcers. In addition to that, low consumption of the vitamin can also lead to increased risk of viral infections and respiratory illnesses. Conversely, consuming the vitamin in excess can also lead to liver disease, loss of appetite and nausea.
Vitamin A Rich Foods
It is a fat-soluble vitamin and should ideally be consumed with fats. It is best obtained from a balanced diet. Fortunately, the vitamin can be found in various types of food including fruits and vegetables, and dairy products. Here is a list of foods that are rich in Vitamin A:
The vitamin A in carrots is in the form of beta-carotene, a healthy antioxidant. Eating plenty of carrots regularly can greatly improve your vision. One medium raw carrot contains 10190 international units of the vitamin, which is a little more than twice the daily requirement of an average adult.
Along with being low on calories and delicious in taste, sweet potatoes are known to be rich in nutrients. They are also amongst the best sources of vitamin A, accounting for over 400% of the daily human requirement. Include sweet potatoes in your daily diet in order to vastly improve your vitamin intake.
Apart from being rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, milk also contains sufficient amounts of vitamin A. A single cup of milk provides 395 international units of the vitamin. Low-fat milk is a good alternative to regular milk for anybody looking to lose weight.
Seafood like tuna, oyster, salmon, and mackerel are really good sources of vitamin A. A 100 gram serving of tuna can provide 50% of the body’s daily requirement. Also rich in omega 3 fatty acids, seafood can help improve retinal health and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Two servings of seafood on a weekly basis is ideal.
Tomatoes are amongst the most common ingredients in Indian cuisine. Fortunately, they are amongst the best sources of antioxidants and vitamins. A medium sized tomato can account for 20% of the body’s daily vitamin A requirement. Along with that, they are also rich in vitamin C and lycopene as well.
Green Leafy Vegetables:
Eating a lot of vegetables is beneficial in many ways. They are low in calories and packed with nutrients, while also being relatively easy to prepare. Green vegetables like methi leaves, lettuce, spinach, and kale are excellent sources of vitamin A. They are also great sources of several nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein, and manganese.
A single 70 g serving of peas provides for more than the body’s daily vitamin requirement, with just 65 calories. Along with vitamin A, peas are rich in vitamin C, K, and B too.
Mango is a much-loved delicious fruit that is packed with nutrients and can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. A medium sized mango provides about 73% of the body’s daily requirement.
Consuming the above 8 foods on a regular basis can only improve the vitamin A content in the body. As discussed earlier, the right amount of the vitamin can only be good for the body. Make the right choices for your health today.