Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and it is important for many processes in your organism, so eating foods high in vitamin A is essential for your overall health.
There are different types of vitamin A – vitamin A1 (retinol) is only found in foods of animal origin like liver, fish, and cheese.
Another type of vitamin A is provitamin A – carotenoids which your body uses to produce Vitamin A. These carotenoids are beta-carotene and alpha-carotene and they are known as provitamin A. Provitamin A is found in plants.
Vitamin A participates in the synthesis of the eye pigment rhodopsin and prevents different eye diseases.
Also, vitamin A fights with infections. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc is the best combination for combating early signs of infection.
Vitamin A nourishes your skin so it’s part of most cosmetic products.
Furthermore, vitamin A prevents hair loss problems, night blindness, and skin diseases.
Vitamin A plays an essential role in maintaining reproductive health.
In addition, it acts as an antioxidant, it helps balance female hormones and it regulates sugar levels in your blood.
What are the consequences of vitamin A deficiency?
Vitamin A deficiency can cause weakened immune system.
Different skin diseases are related to a vitamin A deficiency, too. Acne is one of the problems which occur due to vitamin A deficiency. Also, lack of this vitamin is related to psoriasis. Daily intake of vitamin A can improve this condition significantly.
The most common disease related to vitamin A deficiency is night blindness.
Vitamin A deficiency in children can cause major problems such as developmental delays or forming bad teeth and bones.
It is essential to intake this vitamin during pregnancy – deficiency can cause fetus deformation.
20 Foods High In Vitamin A (animal-sourced and plant-sourced):
10 animal-sourced foods high in vitamin A (retinol)
RDA (recommend daily allowance) is 700 mcg for women and 900 mcg for men.
1. Beef liver
713% RDA per serving (one slice)
2. Lamb liver
236% RDA per serving (29g)
3. Cod liver oil
150% RDA (one teaspoon)
25% RDA per serving
5. Goat cheese
13% RDA per serving
11% RDA per serving (tablespoon)
10% RDA per serving
8% RDA per serving
9. Boiled egg
8% RDA (one egg)
10. Blue cheese
6% RDA (28g)
10 plant sourced foods high in vitamin A (provitamin A)
It has been proven that about 45% of people carry a genetic mutation that notably reduces their ability to convert provitamin A into vitamin A, so the shown values below may be considerably lower.
1. Sweet potato (cooked)
204% RDA per serving (1 cup)
2. Carrot (cooked)
44% RDA (medium size)
3. Red bell pepper (raw)
29% RDA (one large pepper)
4. Spinach (raw)
16% RDA (1 cup)
5. Lettuce (raw)
14% RDA (large leaf)
20% RDA (one medium size)
9% RDA (one slice)
4% RDA (one large)
3% RDA (one medium)
3% RDA (one medium)
How to meet vitamin A requirements?
The RDA (recommend daily allowance) is 700 mcg for women and 900 mcg for men. The RDA for children is 300-600 mcg.
There are different foods which are high in vitamin A. Including these foods in your daily nutrition you will ensure the necessary amount of this vitamin in your body.
As I said, vitamin A is fat soluble vitamin so in taking this vitamin with fat ensures efficient absorption into the bloodstream. Meat high in vitamin A also has fat, but if you are getting vitamin A mostly from fruits or vegetables, don’t forget to add a little bit of oil to your salads and meals to improve the vitamin A absorption.
Fish, meat, liver, eggs are high vitamin A foods. Dairy products are also a good source, but they are not as rich in vitamin A as the previously mentioned foods.
Vegans, besides eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A could also use supplements of vitamin A to enrich their diet.
But, be careful because excessive intake of this vitamin may cause hypervitaminosis – which can also cause some health problems like headache, nausea, sleepiness, hair fall, skin changes.
How to make a vitamin A high meal at home?
1. Vitamin A salad
- Red bell pepper
- Spinach leaves
- Fresh ginger slice
Cut the pepper and carrots in cubes, mix them with the spinach, ginger, and slices of tomato. Add a tablespoon of olive oil at the end.
2. Mango juice
Make a juice of 3 medium size mangoes. Peel the mangoes, remove the stone and put them in the blender.
Make a juice of 2 medium size mangoes and a slice of watermelon (just flesh).