When your doctor tells you that you are suffering from Vitamin A deficiency, then he is likely to discuss Retinol and Beta Carotene. Don’t get confused because Retinol and Beta Carotene are the two forms of Vitamin A. Your body can stock up Retinol that comes from meats and seafood but it cannot stock up Beta Carotene. Beta carotene is an essential antioxidant and it also helps guard against cardiovascular diseases and cataracts. Beta carotene form of Vitamin A comes from plants as well as animals and seafood.
On the whole Vitamin A plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system, protecting from visual impairments in low- light such as night blindness, reproduction and in keeping wrinkles away. It also keeps the mucous membrane healthy and Vitamin A supplements are the most common prescription given to those who suffer from frequent infections and certain visual impairments. Vitamin A also helps in preventing the formation of urinary stones and strengthens your teeth and bones. The second layer of the tooth called dentin essentially requires this Vitamin.
The required daily intake of Vitamin A for men is 3000 IU, while women require around 2310 IU. However, this count of 2310 IU shall not be applicable in case of pregnant or lactating women. Pregnant or lactating women should always speak to their medical practitioner regarding their nutritional requirements. The interesting part about Vitamin A is that it needs to be consumed in proper quantity because excess Vitamin A can cause a lot of health impairments like nausea, mood swings, hair fall and even jaundice. So, while you cannot afford to ignore Vitamin A, you also need to watch out and guard yourself form overconsumption. The upper limit for Vitamin A consumption is 10,000 IU.
Top 10 Vitamin A Rich Foods:
A topping of fresh olives sure tastes good on your pizza, and here’s why you should also consider using them in your everyday salad. Olives are packed with vital nutrients such as iron, calcium and Vitamin A. A handful of olives weighing hundred grams can give as much as 340-400 IU of Vitamin A. Always get fresh olives and not the canned or tinned ones because fresh olives are always richer in nutrients and free from toxins and preservatives. Do not try to substitute fresh olives with olive oil because olive oil does not contain Vitamin A.
Romaine Lettuce And Swiss Chard
Greens are always healthy but most of us have a tendency to stay away from all that is natural and healthy. However, green raw salads are very low in calories and packed with vital nutrients. Adding a couple of leaves of the crunchy Romaine lettuce to your salad can give you all the Vitamin A that you require. Just one outer leaf of Romaine lettuce that weighs about 28 grams can give you as much as 2,439 IU of Vitamin A. Every 48 gram leaf of raw Swiss chard contains over 2900 IU of Vitamin A, and the Vitamin A content in the same amount of Swiss chard drastically increases to 6,124 IU when boiled. You can add these lettuces to your salads or stuff them inside your burger or sandwich.
Often heard grandma asking you to eat carrots for better eyesight? Well, that’s a fact because carrots are extremely rich in vitamin A and a small carrot weighing 50 grams contains as much as 16,706 IU of vitamin A. Don’t forget to remember your grandma’s advice when you make your salads and soups.
If you are looking at getting your Vitamin A from tomatoes, then canned ones are a big no because they are simply too low in Vitamin A. A hundred grams of canned tomatoes contain 117 IU of Vitamin A, while a fresh raw plum tomato contains 516 IU. A cup of fresh raw cherry tomatoes weighing around 150 grams contains about 1241 IU of vitamin A. Tomatoes are an easy addition to any salad and they taste good too. Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, lutein along with alpha and beta carotenoids. Human body has the ability to convert alpha carotene and beta carotene into Vitamin A. However, those with thyroid problems may not be able to convert beta carotene into Vitamin A effectively. Avoid eating tomatoes in case you suffer from kidney stones.
Tuna is the most consumed seafood in the US, and tuna sandwich is the most common dish made from it. Belonging to the mackerel family, this fish is rich in nutrients. Tuna also contains omega 3 fatty acids which are considered to be good for heart and protects against several diseases. A hundred grams of this salt water fish contains about 2520 IU vitamin A after it’s cooked.
You can roast them, make casseroles or simply boil them. Sweet potatoes are one of the richest sources of Vitamin A and they make a great snack that you can easily carry in your snack box. Just one boiled medium-sized sweet potato contains 23,767 IU of Vitamin A, while a baked one contains 19,218 IU of Vitamin A. Root vegetables are considered to be one of the most nutritious category of vegetables.
Spinach is a rich source of iron and Vitamin A, and a mere hundred grams of boiled spinach gives you 10,481 IU of vitamin A. Spinach contains higher quantity of Vitamin A when boiled, so the next time you need to pick between raw spinach juice and boiled spinach, you sure know which one is healthier. Measure and take the required amount of spinach to meet the nutritional requirement prescribed for you.
In addition to useful minerals such as iron, potassium and fluoride, fresh peaches are also rich in Vitamin A. A single peach weighing 130 grams contains nearly 424 IU of vitamin A. Always consider fresh fruits if you can get your hands on them because they are free from toxins that come with highly processed foods.
Diced cantaloupes make a great snack and are much healthier than store bought potato chips because cantaloupe is low in fat and high in fibre. Isn’t that what your store-bought diet foods claim to do? Well, cantaloupes are much cheaper than the diet food and also free from preservatives and toxins. A hundred grams of cantaloupe contains 3382 IU of vitamin A.
Boiled peas are great if you need an extra dose of Vitamin A while you are on a weight loss diet. Boiled peas are very low in calories and extremely rich in dietary fibre, protein and Vitamin A. A cup of boiled peas contains just around 135 calories and 1282 IU of Vitamin A.