It is a well known fact that vitamin A is necessary for good vision and skin and cellular health. It also regulates the immune system, keeping it strong and protects from viral and bacterial infections. Vitamin A supports cell growth and differentiation, bone metabolism and antioxidant activity in the body.
The average adult needs about 900mg per day (for men) and 700 mg (for women). This fat soluble vitamin can be consumed as a supplement or derived from food. Some of the best known food sources of vitamin A are:
Food Sources Of Vitamin A
Orange, Red And Yellow Vegetables
Carrots are the first thing that come to mind but they are only second to the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes contain around 1096 mcg (micrograms) of RAE (retinol activity equivalents). Carrots have approximately 1090 mcg RAE therefore half-a-cup of cooked carrots will provide 680 mg (approx.) of vitamin A.
Canned pumpkin is known to contain as much as 1007 mcg RAE of vitamin A. Winter and butternut squash, tomatoes, pumpkins and sweet red peppers are other vitamin A food sources that you can include in your diet.
Green leafy vegetables like collard greens, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, Romaine & red leaf lettuce, mustard and turnip greens are rich in vitamin A. Asparagus, peas, brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans and Chinese cabbage (bok choy) contain good levels of beta carotene.
Pink and red grapefruit are healthy sources of vitamin A. You also stand to gain your daily dose of vitamin C and lycopene from them. A wedge of cantaloupe (muskmelon) can provide you with approximately 143 mcg of vitamin A.
Indulge in mangoes as the yellow pulp contains vitamin A. Dried or fresh, apricots though small in size contain a fair amount of beta carotene. You will need a little less than a handful of dried apricots for your daily allowance of vitamin A.
The richest food source of vitamin A is liver. And the highest levels of the same are found in turkey and veal liver. 75 grams of turkey liver can give you nearly 16900 mcg of vitamin A while the same amount of cooked veal liver contains approximately 15, 010 mcg RAE. Cooked liver of beef, lamb, pork and chicken contain the vitamin as well.
It is important to note that meat sources have very high vitamin A content. Eating liver very frequently can cause health complications therefore it is best consumed in small portions occasionally, say once in 2-3 weeks.
You can get a fair amount of vitamin A by drinking goat or cow’s milk. Other dairy foods which contain small amounts of the vitamin are eggs, cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
Some brands sell special milk, enriched with vitamins and minerals, similar to fortified breakfast cereals. This milk is generally enriched with vitamin A supplements.
Including fish and shellfish in your diet can provide you with a host of health benefits. In particular, choose oily-fleshed fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, halibut, cod, herring, bluefish, kipper, anchovies, carp, swordfish and some types of eel. Shellfish like crab, oysters, clams, lobster, shrimp and even seaweed contain small quantities of vitamin A.
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