Vitamin A is one of the most beneficial vitamins for children and adults as well. This vitamin is vital for proper growth and development, good vision and prevention of infections. Keeping the levels of vitamin A at optimal levels can greatly reduce the risk of infections which can be fatal and also prevent blindness in children.
Vitamin A can be found in two main forms:
- Retinol (pre-formed vitamin A)
- Carotenoids (provitamin A)
In the following part of the article we are going to take a look at these two groups and see – What are the best sources of vitamin A in each group?
Sources of Retinol (pre-formed vitamin A)
The best sources of Retinol are animal products or we can say “foods of animal origin”. The vitamin A from these sources is absorbed much easier than vitamin A from other sources.
Probably the best sources of vitamin A in this group are:
- Fortified margarine and dairy products
- Cheddar cheese
This also includes breast milk which is extremely important for the development of the newborn baby and ensures its growth and development.
Sources of Carotenoids (provitamin A)
This group of vitamin A includes plant sources or “foods of plant origin”. Our body has to convert them to vitamin A or retinol or otherwise they can’t be used. The conversion is performed in the upper intestines.
It is interesting that you can say which fruit or vegetable contains more vitamin A, just by looking at its color. Fruits (non-citrus) that have yellow and orange color and leafy vegetables with dark green color are usually richer in vitamin A than fruits and vegetables which are of a lighter color.
Let’s see which fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin A.
Vegetables rich in vitamin A
- Sweet potatoes
Fruits rich in vitamin A
Facts about Vitamin A
- Although vitamin A is very good for children and their proper growth and development it is very important not to take too much vitamin A during pregnancy.
- Liver is a great source of vitamin A but should be used with care. 75 grams a month will be the recommended quantity of liver per month.
- Vitamin A is a bit specific because it needs fats in order to be properly used by our body.
- Vitamin A from animal sources is a fat soluble vitamin. This means that it gets stored in the body and if we take it in high amounts we are at risk of vitamin A toxicity which can lead to severe health complications.
- Vitamin A from plant sources is a water soluble vitamin. You may already know that water soluble vitamins can’t be stored in the body so the risk of toxicity is lower.
How can I get more vitamin A from food?
Now you know that it is not that difficult to take your daily dose of vitamin A from food. If you think about what you eat and enrich your diet with foods rich in vitamin A you will help your body function properly and in the best possible way. So next time you are at the grocery store, take a look at the color of the fruit and vegetables you buy and remember – The brighter, the better.