- About vitamin A
- Beef liver
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
- Red bell peppers
- Cod liver oil
- Things to remember
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient everybody needs. Here is a detailed post featuring 17 foods high in vitamin A.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is present in varying amounts in almost all vegetables and fruits.
It is a potent antioxidant that plays a vital role in keeping the skin, eyes and neurological functions healthy.
It also reduces inflammation by fighting free radicals.
Elimination of free radicals helps decrease the oxidative stress, which naturally slows down aging and gives you a fresh, youthful look.
Vitamin A also plays vital roles in gene regulation, supporting the immune system, building bones, and cell differentiation.
It also promotes reproductive functions and vision.
There are two main forms of vitamin A: retinol (the active vitamin A) and beta-carotene (provitamin A).
Active vitamin A is obtained from animal sources and it is called retinol.
The body can use it directly.
Beta carotene is obtained from a plant source.
After ingestion, beta carotene is converted into retinol.
The active form of vitamin A performs various functions in your body.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A for adults is 900 micrograms daily (3,000 IU) for men and 700 micrograms daily (2,300 IU) for women.
Inefficient intake of vitamin A can lead to its deficiency. Common health conditions that can cause vitamin A deficiency are gluten sensitivity, leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
Birth defects, low bone density, and liver problems are common side effects of excess vitamin A intake. Due to this reason, doctors recommend eating vitamin A rich diet instead of supplements in people with mild vitamin A deficiency (3).
Below are 17 foods that are rich in vitamin A:
Forget about vitamin A supplements. Pick up a chunky orange carrot and get a punch of vitamin A and loads of other nutrients.
One cup of chopped carrots contains more than 4 times the required daily amount of vitamin A.
One cup (50 grams) of chopped carrots provides 21383 UI (428% of the RDA) of vitamin A.
This abundance of vitamin A helps prevent degenerative eye diseases and boosts the immune system.
Carrots are also high in vitamin C, which promotes the formation of collagen and helps keep your skin youthful.
In addition to vitamins A and C, carrots are also high in vitamin K (21% of RDA) in 50 grams of chopped carrots.
A study done at Harvard University concluded that people who eat 5 or more carrots in a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than people who eat one carrot a month or less (4).
Carrots are good for your eyes; everyone knows that. But do you know that they are also great for your teeth?
The minerals in carrots prevent damage to your teeth.
The crunchy texture of carrots help stimulate saliva and to prevent plaque buildup. The increase in saliva helps balance out the acid forming bacteria that cause cavities (5).
Carrots are easily accessible in all parts of the world. You can include them in your diet as a snack, side dish, main dish or even as a dessert. Here is an easy sweet glaze recipe to add an extra kick to carrots if you don’t want to eat plain carrots.
Beef liver is full of various health promoting nutrients and proteins.
Beef liver is especially rich in nutrients that promote brain health.
1-ounce (30 grams) of beef liver contains almost double the amount of RDA for vitamin A.
There is 8881 IU of vitamin A in just one ounce (30 grams) of beef liver.
This translates to 178% of the RDA for vitamin A.
Beef liver contains the active form of vitamin A (e.g. retinol), which the body uses directly (6).
One ounce of beef liver is also very high in vitamin B12. It provides 329% of the RDA for vitamin B12 and is essential for proper development and function of your brain (7).
Niacin (25% of the RDA per ounce), riboflavin (56% of the RDA per ounce), and pantothenic acid (20% of the RDA per ounce) are also present in the beef liver. Riboflavin helps metabolize food and maintain skin health.
A single ounce of beef liver provides you with 200 % of the RDA for copper. Copper is vital for the various function of the body because it acts as the coenzyme for numerous reactions taking place in the body.
Eating poorly cooked beef liver can cause diarrhea. And eating too much beef liver (more than 90 grams a day) can cause vitamin A toxicity (low bone density, vision problems and muscular coordination issues) (8).
Adding beef liver to your diet is easy. You can try this recipe.
Kale is a super food. This green leafy vegetable is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Nowadays kale is easily available all year long and around the world.
If you can’t get your hands on fresh kale, you can find some in the frozen section of many supermarkets.
100 g of kale contains more than 3 times the RDA for vitamin A. This means that 100g of kale contains 15376 UI (308% of the RDA) of vitamin A.
Kale also contains high amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium.
These minerals help the body to function properly. Manganese has a protective role against type 2 diabetes and heart disease (9).
Kale contains over 45 different flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin. These have various antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and protect the body against free radicals (10).
Boiling kale leads to leaching out of nutrients.
So, it’s better to consume kale in raw from.
You can add kale to your smoothies.
Roasted kale has an excellent taste.
Spread kale leaves on a metal tray.
Now drizzle some oil and add a little salt.
Cook at 400°F (200°C) for 10 minutes.
Eat this as a snack or serve as a side dish with any protein (like fish or chicken).
Sweet potatoes are delicious and nutritious. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
One medium (114g) sweet potato provides more than 4 times the RDA for vitamin A (11).
Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins C and B6.
Vitamin B6 helps reduce the levels of homocysteine in the body.
High levels of homocysteine have been linked to degenerative heart diseases because it causes hardening of arteries (12).
Sweet potatoes are also an abundant source of potassium, manganese, copper and phosphorus.
Raw sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A
Sweet potatoes as the name suggests are naturally sweet-tasting.
But their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream.
This ensures a balanced and regular source of energy.
This is without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain. This also makes sweet potatoes good for diabetics.
Research recommends that people with a history of kidney stones should avoid consuming too many sweet potatoes. Because they contain oxalate, which is a factor to the formation of calcium-oxalate kidney stone (13).
There are various ways to add sweet potatoes to your diet like; sweet potato salad, baked sweet potato or best of all sweet potato fries.
Apricots are a juicy little fruit that packs a nutritious punch. Fresh apricots are mostly available in the summer, but they can be found all year around nowadays.
Even if you can’t get your hands on fresh apricots, you can easily get dried or canned apricots at any supermarket. Apricots are full of phytonutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.
One apricot (35g) contains 13% of the RDA for vitamin A.
Vitamin A in apricots helps prevent degenerative macular diseases (14).
Apricots are also rich in dietary fiber, which may help lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart diseases.
You can enjoy apricots as a fruit snack, add them to a smoothie or just mix them up with some Greek yogurt.
Cantaloupes are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Cantaloupes are a sweet juicy fruit. That makes them both delicious and nutritious.
One cup of cantaloupe cubes (160g) contains about 108% of the RDA for vitamin A.
Cantaloupes have a high level of beta-carotenes. Once ingested, the beta-carotene in cantaloupes either converts into vitamin A or acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants help fight free radicals that attack cells within the body.
In addition to vitamin A, cantaloupes are also a rich source vitamin C (98% of the RDA in a single cup (177g) of cantaloupe) and folic acid (8% of the RDA in one cup) (17).
Cantaloupes are a popular summer fruit because they are 90 % water.
They help prevent dehydration and supply the body with an abundance of electrolytes.
The phytonutrients in cantaloupes impart an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
They help reduce the oxidative stress on the body and give you younger look (18).
Mangos are called the king of fruits. They are juicy, sweet, and are simply amazing. They are full of vitamins, minerals, fibers and antioxidants.
One cup of mango slices (165g) provides up to 25% of the RDA for vitamin A.
It is also fairly high in vitamins C, B6 and E.
Vitamin C along with vitamin A help boost the immune system and prevent signs of premature aging. Vitamin E helps balance the sex hormones in the body and vitamin B6 helps with proper functioning of the brain.
Vitamin E helps balance the sex hormones in the body and vitamin B6 helps with proper functioning of the brain.
Quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid, and methyl gallate are some of the antioxidants present in mangos.
These antioxidants help reduce the oxidative stress on the body.
Mangos contain potassium which plays a vital role in electrolyte balance, contraction of the heart, and to control blood pressure.
The dietary fibers present in mangos help with digestion and prevention of constipation.
Mangos contain a large amount of sugar. Eating mangos cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. So, diabetics should avoid eating too many mangoes.
Urushiol is a chemical that is present in poison ivy and poison sumac. Unfortunately, it is also present in mango peels as well. This can lead to an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals (23).
You can add mangoes to your diet in many ways. You can eat them as a snack, make a smoothie, add them to the main course or make a dessert out of them.
Not only peas are packed with nutrients but when cooked right, they are delicious as well.
100 g of peas contain 16 % of the RDA for vitamin A. 100 g of peas provide 24 % of the RDA for vitamin C, 32 % of the RDA for vitamin K and 16 % of the RDA for folate. Vitamin C helps prevent many chronic and degenerative diseases. Vitamin K helps to keep the clotting mechanism running smoothly.
In addition to vitamin A, peas are a rich source of vitamins C, K and folic acid.
Peas are also a good source of copper, iron, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and magnesium. All these minerals play various vital roles within the body and keep it working in harmony.
Flavinoids, carotenoid, phenolic acids, and polyphenols are antioxidants present in peas. These antioxidants have an anti-aging effect and they also boost the immune system. These antioxidants remove the free radicals from the body, which may reduce the risk of certain cancers and chronic diseases (23, 24).
Unfortunately, peas are quite high in purines, which - when broken down by the body - turn into uric acid.
Peas and onions is an easy and delicious recipe. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add the chopped onions and sauté they turn light brown. Add the peas and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the stock has reduced to almost half, turn off the heat. Serve it while it’s hot.
Eggs are the perfect choice for breakfast, brunch, lunch and even dinner.
They may seem like something small but are packed with lots of nutrients.
One large egg (50g) contains 5 % of the RDA for vitamin A.
In addition to vitamin A, eggs also contain vitamin D (4% of the RDA), vitamin B12 (11% of the RDA) and riboflavin (14% of the RDA).
Vitamin D helps strengthen the bones.
Vitamin B12 is vital for the production of red blood cells.
Riboflavin helps the body break down food into usable energy (26).
Eggs provide you with low-calorie protein. Eating eggs helps ward off hunger for hours without consuming a lot of calories.
Thus, eggs are the perfect breakfast food.
Eggs are chock-full of minerals like iron, zinc, and phosphorus.
Iron is important for the production of red blood cells.
Zinc gives the immune system a boost and phosphorus maintains the health of teeth and bones.
Eggs are rich in vitamin A and other nutrients
Choline is another nutrient present in eggs. It is used for building cell membranes and also has a role in the production of signaling molecules in the brain (27).
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants present in eggs.
They tend to build up in the retina of the eye.
Studies suggest that consuming sufficient amounts of these nutrients can significantly lower the risk of two very common eye disorders; cataracts and macular degeneration (28).
Eating raw eggs puts you at a risk for salmonella. So, it’s better to eat properly cooked eggs.
Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables out there. It gives you vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.
It contains lots of vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals and antioxidants.
100 g of broccoli contains 12% of the RDA for vitamin A. Vitamin A helps boost the immune system, protects the eyes from degenerative changes and promotes the health of all the mucosal linings in the body.
Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C (149% of the RDA in 100g) and vitamin K (127% of the RDA). Vitamin C helps with the formation of collagen within the body, giving you a youthful look.
Vitamin C helps with the formation of collagen within the body, giving you a youthful look.
Kaempferol and isothiocyanates are phytonutrients present in broccoli.
They have some anti-inflammatory properties.
Broccoli contains isothiocyanates (including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol).
According to the NIH (National Cancer Institute), these chemicals boost detoxifying enzymes and they also act as antioxidants (29).
Therefore, reducing oxidative stress on the body and reducing the risk of certain cancers. They may also influence the levels of estrogen, which may help reduce the risk of breast cancer (30).
According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that the sprouts of broccoli may be effective in detoxifying the body.
Phytochemicals such as glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin aid all steps of the body detoxification process (starting from activation to neutralization and elimination of contaminants from the body) (31).
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recommends that people taking blood-thinning medications should watch their broccoli consumption.
Broccoli contains vitamin K, which may interfere with certain blood-thinning medication.
So you should avoid it if you take any blood-thinning medication and always ask your doctor for approval first before you start eating larger amounts of broccoli.
Here is an easy recipe to try:
Add butter (1/4 cup), water (1/4 cup), lemon juice (1 lemon), cayenne pepper (1/4teaspoon), salt (to taste) and pepper (to taste) in a pan.
Bring this mix to a simmer over medium heat.
Now add the broccoli to the pan.
Mix together, cover with a lid and cook for 10- 15 minutes.
Serve while hot or refrigerate and serve cold.
Butternut squash is a delicious nutritive vegetable that can be cooked in various ways. It contains a bundle of various vitamins that boost your health.
One cup of cubed (205g) butternut squash provides 457 % of the RDA for vitamin A. In addition, 52 % of the RDA for vitamin C, 13% of the RDA for vitamin E and B6, 10 % of the RDA for niacin and folate can be obtained from just one cup of butternut squash.
It is also rich in vitamin C (52% of the RDA), vitamins E, B6, niacin and folate.
All these vitamins help your body function in various ways. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Vitamin E helps with the regulation of sex hormones and vitamin B6 is vital for the functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Vitamin E helps with the regulation of sex hormones and vitamin B6 is vital for the functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin E helps with the regulation of sex hormones and vitamin B6 is vital for proper functionality of the nervous system.
Butternut squash further contains lots of minerals, including potassium, copper, calcium and magnesium.
These minerals are responsible for the health of your teeth, skin, bones and proper execution of various chemical reactions taking place within your body.
Potassium also helps keep your blood pressure in a healthy range (32).
Butternut squash can be served in various ways like baked, boiled or sautéed. Here is a recipe for making simple butternut squash.
Peppermint is a herb that has been used for medicinal purposes for a long time. It has a refreshing taste and a cooling effect.
One ounce (28g) of peppermint contains 24% of the RDA for vitamin A. It also provides 15% of the RDA for vitamin C and 8% of the RDA for folate (33).
It is also high in vitamin C (15% of the RDA) and folate (8% of the RDA) (33).
Peppermint can be used for the treatment of indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), coughs and headaches.
Fresh peppermint leaves are high in vitamin A
Turkish researchers gave 90 people with IBS a peppermint oil capsule or placebo 3 times a day for 8 weeks. 1 out of 3 people in the peppermint group experienced a significant reduction in abdominal pain (34).
Menthol is the main chemical component in peppermint.
It is a very effective decongestant and it is also an expectorant and may be a helpful natural remedy for various respiratory infections, including sinus infections and colds.
Expectorants loosen and bring up mucus from the lungs.
Peaches are a delicious juicy fruit that was first cultivated in China. They are considered a symbol of friendship and immortality in China. Peaches are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
They are considered a symbol of friendship and immortality in China and are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
One large peach (175g) provides 11% of the RDA for vitamin A (34).
It is also rich in vitamin C (19% of the RDA) and potassium (10% of the RDA).
Peaches are stress-relievers that help reduce anxiety.
In Hungary, peaches are often called the ‘Fruit of Calmness’.
Peaches are thought to be an aphrodisiac.
Eating peaches help cleanse toxins from your colon, kidneys, stomach and liver as they tend to be high in fiber.
Peaches have anti-inflammatory properties.
Dieticians recommend that those suffering from gout or rheumatism should try peaches on a regular basis.
The high vitamin A content in peaches also helps treat rheumatism.
Bell peppers help add crunch and color to your salads. They are also a classic topping for pizza.
Bell peppers are mild and they help add another layer of texture and taste to any dish.
One cup of chopped bell peppers (149g) provides 93% of the RDA for vitamin A. Thus proving they are a great food for keeping your eyes healthy and your immune system working at its best.
Bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. These vitamins help to keep the body functioning properly.
Red peppers also contain the high levels of lycopene, which is a strong antioxidant. It helps to prevent many cancers including prostate and lung cancer.
Bell peppers help burn calories.
Recent research has shown that red bell peppers can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate.
Capsaicin is what makes peppers hot and causes us to sweat.
There is no capsaicin present in red bell pepper.
But they do have a mild thermogenic action that increases our metabolism without increasing our heart rate and blood pressure like the hot peppers do (35).
Lettuce is called the perfect weight loss vegetable as it has no fat. is extremely low in calories and high in water.
It is available all year around.
One cup of shredded lettuce (72g) contains 7% of the RDA for vitamin A.
It is also rich in vitamin K (22% of the RDA), vitamín C, folic acid, vitamin B6 and many other vitamins (36).
Lettuce has a low glycemic index. This means it does not cause large spikes in blood sugar.
This makes lettuce a good food for diabetics and people trying to reduce weight.
Lettuce may help deal with insomnia.
Lactucarium is the white fluid that you see when you cut or break lettuce leaves.
It has a relaxing and sleep-inducing action on the body similar to opium. But lactucarium has none of the side effects.
Eat a little lettuce or drink lettuce juice before bed if you are having trouble sleeping (37).
Thanks to its crunchy texture and refreshing taste, lettuce makes a great addition to any salad. Add some to your burgers to give it another layer of flavor.
If you are trying to lose weight, try this recipe for a chicken lettuce wrap.
Butter contains lots of nutrients including minerals, vitamins, and proteins.
One ounce (28g) of butter contains 14% of the RDA for vitamin A (38).
Other nutrients found in butter include vitamins E, D and K.
Butter is a rich source of short and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), including butyric acid.
MCTs support your immune system and boost metabolism. They are converted immediately into energy (fuel) for your body muscles and organs.
Research also suggests that MCTs might even promote weight loss (39).
Another important nutrient found in butter is arachidonic acid (ARA).
Human and animal studies suggest that ARA is critical for infant growth, brain development and health (40).
Gadus morhua fish liver is the primary source of cod liver oil.
Cod liver oil is also available as a dietary supplement (usually in form of capsules or as liquid).
A single tablespoon (14g) of cod liver oil provides you with up to 270 % of the RDA for vitamin A.
Cod liver oil capsules are rich in vitamins A and D, as well as in omega-3 fatty acids
Cod liver oil is also rich in vitamin D (338% of the RDA in one tablespoon) and omega-3 fatty acids (mainly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)).
Omega-3 fatty acids have natural anti-inflammatory properties and the capability to reduce prostaglandin production.
Vitamin A is essential for your health.
It boosts the immune system, helps prevent degenerative eye diseases and plays a vital role in keeping the mucosal linings in the oral cavity, the gut and the rest of the body healthy and intact.
The richest food sources of vitamin A are vegetables and fruits but it can also be found in certain meats.
Too little or too much of anything is always bad.
Vitamin A deficiency can lead to vision problems (like night blindness), premature skin damage, respiratory infections and poor bone health. Just as
Excess of vitamin A is dangerous in pregnancy as it may cause birth defects, low bone density and liver problems. So, try to avoid vitamin A supplements and try to get sufficient amount vitamin A from your diet.
So, try to avoid vitamin A supplements and just get sufficient amounts of vitamin A from your diet.
Also, do not take vitamin A supplements while breastfeeding as excessive amounts of this vitamin may harm your child.
Just try to make the right food choices. It is always the best you can do for you and your children.
|Written by:||Michal Vilímovský (EN)|
|Education:||Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic|
See numbered references in the article.
|Published:||March 22, 2017 8:20 PM|
|Next scheduled update:||March 22, 2019 8:20 PM|