Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin found in meat, fish, poultry, dairy and many other animal products. It is also available in some plant-based foods in the form of beta-carotene as well as dietary supplements in the form of retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate.
You need vitamin A to maintain healthy skin, teeth, bones, tissues, mucus membranes, skin and eyesight. Particularly, women need it for reproduction and breast-feeding. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to blindness (especially in children) and increase one’s risk to disease and death from severe infections. In pregnant women, vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness and put mums at risk to maternal mortality.
If you are not getting enough of vitamin A from your daily diet, here are some of the best natural food sources of vitamin A according to USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Sweet Potatoes – A medium sized baked potato contains over 28,000 IU of vitamin. That is 561% of the recommended daily diet!
Carrots – A hundred gram of carrots contains over 16,700 IU of vitamin A, providing 210% of the average adult’s need for the day. Aside from beta-carotene, carrots are also a good source of biotin, vitamin K, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and many other nutrients.
Pumpkin – Cooked, boiled, drained or baked, pumpkin is one of the best foods when it comes to nutrients. It is rich in alpha-carotene that converts to retinol, a form of vitamin of A. Alpha-carotene helps promote vision and immune health as well as aid in skin cell renewal process, therefore, promoting good skin health.
Spinach – Popularized by Popeye, this leafy green is loaded with nutrients important for skin, hair and bone health. A cup of raw spinach contains 2,813 IUs of vitamin A and many other vitamins and minerals, including folate, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.
But, let us say, you do not like vegetables, what are your alternatives?
Whole Milk – A glass of whole milk provides you 395 IUs of vitamin A. It also supplies the calcium, protein, magnesium and healthy fat your body needs.
Mangoes – Who can’t resist this sweet, juicy fruit? As it turned out, mangoes are as nutritious as they are delicious. A cup of sliced mangoes provides you about 36% daily-recommended value of vitamin A.
Beef Liver – Looks like your grandparents was right all along: liver is good for your health. A hundred-gram serving of beef liver provides you 300% of your needed vitamin A for the day.