Vitamin A is a very essential vitamin for human body mainly required for vision, boosting of immune function and great skin health. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin. There are two different types of vitamin A available in our diet.
One is the found in animal products such as meat, poultry, dairy foods and poultry and the other type is pro-vitamin A found in plant based foods such as fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.
We must include vitamin A in our daily diet as it helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skin, soft tissue, skeletal, mucus membrane and skin. It is also known as retinol as it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. Retinol is an active form of vitamin A and is found in animal liver, whole milk and few fortified foods.
The essential function of vitamin A is to promote good vision and is also needed for reproduction and breast-feeding. As we require all vitamins for our body to function in the optimum manner, we also need to know how each of them work individually to better our health. Here now let’s a look at how vitamin A helps us.
By including foods rich in vitamin A in your daily diet you could keep the dreaded Cancer at a distance. Several research studies have shown that vitamin A intake could help treat several forms of cancer, thanks to the vitamin’s ability to control the malignant cells.
Vitamin A aids build immunity in children. Study has shown that children with vitamin A deficiency have increased vulnerability to infections like diarrhoea and measles and could also lead to blindness. Vitamin A helps in performing bodily functions and plays a direct role in performing physiological functions.
Above all these, vitamin A prevents signs of ageing as it has antioxidants which not only prevent free radical damage but also help in skin renewal. Last but not the least, vitamin A mainly improves your eyesight and helps in distinguishing between light and dark. Dietary recommendation of intake of vitamin A for adult men (age from 14 and above) is 900 mcg per day and for adult women is 700 mcg per day.
Foods rich in vitamin A: Vitamin A can be sourced from either plant or animals. Some of the animal foods rich in vitamin A are meat, liver, kidney, cod liver oil, halibut fish, eggs, fortified milk, cheese and cream. However all these except the milk are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, winter squash, spinach, squash and kale are rich source of vitamin A. Other sources of beta-carotene (vitamin A) include bright yellow and orange fruits like cantaloupe, apricots, grapefruit etc. It is said that the more intense the colour of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the beta-carotene content. Vegetable sources of beta-carotene are fat free and cholesterol free.
Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin A. They are best ways to consume them by adding them in making various healthy snacks, curries and stews. To could also make wonderful power drink with these vegetables and drink in the morning to energise your body and stay healthy.
Make sure to add more spinach to your diet each day so that you’ll enjoy a wonderful boost to many aspects in your health. In particular, make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin A by enjoying a one-cup serving of spinach, which contains 49% of the daily recommended value. Spinach also provides your body with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese, iron, and calcium.
Carrot: Carrot is a rich source of vitamin A, particularly in the form of beta-carotene giving them their vibrant orange color. Beta-carotene converts into retinol, the most usable form of vitamin A. Retinol protects the membranes surrounding your eyes that absorb light. A cup of raw chopped carrots offers you with about 900 micrograms of vitamin A.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin is considered as one of the richest sources of alpha-carotene, a carotenoid that converts to retinol, a form of vitamin A. Alpha-carotene is considered an anti-aging nutrient and good for skin health. The flesh and seeds of pumpkin are full of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants. 100 gms of serving of pumpkin gives about 170% of your daily vitamin A intake.
Red Pepper: Adding a dash of red pepper to your cooking throughout the day would just make a pleasant difference both in the flavor of your meals and in your health overall. A tablespoon of this pleasantly piquant spice offers an impressive 42% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A.
Sweet Potato: Sweet potato is commonly known as Shakkarkand in Hindi and is enjoyed in making various delectable dishes especially during winters. This vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin A and is said that one sweet potato is enough to give you your daily intake of vitamin A.
Mango: Mango is an unique, exotic, sweet, juicy fruit that most of us love to it. It is excellent fruit and rich source of vitamin A and flavonoids like beta carotene, alpha carotene and beta cryptoxanthin. 100 gms of fresh mango fruit provides about 765 mg or 25% of recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
Vitamin A is an essential part of a healthy diet. It’s especially important in the proper development, functioning, and maintenance of the eyes, skin, and immune system. Fortunately, this important vitamin and antioxidant can be found in abundance in many fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy sources that you probably already include in your diet. Do cook right, plan the right balanced meal and always
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