Most of us know about vitamin A as the essential vitamin to maintain healthy vision. But there is more to this fat soluble vitamin than that as it is also useful for achieving healthy skin and enhanced neurological function. Without enough vitamin A in the body, problems will arise, including night blindness. Deficiency can also cause thickening of the cornea and complete blindness. Those who are alcoholics have a high risk of being deficient in the vitamin because excess toxicity reduces vitamin A in the body. Others who are high at risk also include those with problems absorbing fats who usually have the following health problems:
- Sensitivity to gluten
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Pancreatic disorders
- Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel disease.
Out of all the many vitamins, A is one of the most popular because of its many uses. Aside from the ones mentioned, our body needs this vitamin to regulate our genes, clear our skin, strengthen our bones, and for cell differentiation. Vitamin A is also useful for our immunity, just like vitamin C.
There are two main forms of vitamin A namely beta carotene and the active A vitamin. Beta carotene is found in plants, but our body cannot absorb it as is. It needs to be converted to active vitamin A, so that the body can use it. Men require 900 mcg/day of the vitamin, while women need 700 mcg/day. The daily value of the vitamin is 5,000 IU.
You can take vitamin A supplements to meet the recommended daily allowance for the vitamin, but you can also get it from natural sources. Here are the best foods to eat to get enough of the vitamin:
- Three ounces of beef liver meets almost three times the daily value of the vitamin.
- A cup of raw carrots is equivalent to more than 100% DV.
- One whole sweet potato is also over 100% DV.
- A cup of chopped kale meets more than 100% of the vitamin’s DV.
- A cup of raw spinach meets 56% of vitamin A DV.
- 100 grams of tropical fruits, especially mangoes, can provide 22% DV.
- One apricot is equivalent to 13% vitamin A DV.
- A cup of raw broccoli will help you meet 11% of vitamin A DV.
- A tablespoon of butter contains seven percent of the vitamin.
- One extra large egg can give you six percent of the vitamin.
Vitamin A is essential to our health. But note that there are instances of overdose because it is fat soluble in nature. If you experience hair loss and gastrointestinal and skin problems, make sure you talk to your doctor right away.