Vitamin A plays a vital role in bone growth, reproduction and immune system health. It also helps the skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively. It is essential to healthy vision, and may slow declining retinal function in people with retinitis pigmentosa.
What is Vitamin A: Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin, and more. Vitamin A– like all antioxidants- is involved in reducing inflammation through fighting free radical damage. Consuming a diet high in antioxidants is a way to naturally slow aging.
Antioxidants like Vitamin A are also responsible for building strong bones, regulating gene regulation, maintaining healthy clear skin, facilitating cell differentiation, and supporting immune function. Some of the best sources of Vitamin A include eggs, milk, liver, carrots, yellow or orange vegetables such as squash, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables.
Foods Rich in Vitamin A: Vitamin A also known as retinol, is only found in animal-sourced foods, such as oily fish, liver, cheese and butter:
Turnip Greens: Getting more leafy greens into your diet is an excellent idea for several reasons: they’re low in calories, high in nutrients, and easy to prepare. Most dark green veggies can be consumed raw, but in the case of turnip greens, cooking or steaming them before eating them will allow more of certain vital nutrients to be absorbed by your body.
Tomatoes: From a botanical standpoint, tomatoes are technically a fruit, though many people consider them to be a vegetable. However you classify them, you should be eating more of them, because they’re low in calories but high in several vitamins and minerals. Just one medium tomato provides you with 20% of your Vitamin A needs for the day. They’re also an excellent source of Vitamin C and lycopene.
Spinach: Add more spinach to your diet each day, and you’ll enjoy a wonderful boost to many aspects of your health. In particular, make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin A by enjoying a one-cup serving of spinach, which health49% of the daily recommended value. spinach also provides your body with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese, iron, and calcium.
Papaya: The tropical papaya fruit is rich in several vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. In particular, it’s a viable source of Vitamin A. Just one small papaya provides 29% of the daily recommended value. The tasty papaya fruit is often eaten raw (minus the skin, seeds, and leaves), but it also makes a great ingredient in fruit salads and smoothies.
Dandelion Greens: If you’re making a healthy salad or smoothie, consider throwing some dandelion greens into the mix. They’re high in calcium, rich in iodine, loaded with antioxidants, and low in calories. If Vitamin A is a concern for your diet, just one cup of these greens provides over 100% of the daily recommended value.
Carrots: When most people think of Vitamin A and eye health, they think of carrots. It’s true that eating plenty of carrots can improve your vision. One medium carrot accounts for over 200% of the average person’s Vitamin A needs for the day. They’re also a great source of Vitamins C, K, and B, plus magnesium and fiber.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes were one of the main sources of food for early American settlers. Today, they’re still widely enjoyed for their delightful taste and rich nutrient contents. One medium sweet potato provides an incredible 438% of the average adult’s Vitamin A needs for the day, all while adding only 103 calories to your diet.
Red Pepper: Add a dash of red pepper to your cooking throughout the day and see what a positive difference it makes, both in the flavor of your meals and in your health overall. A tablespoon of this pleasantly piquant spice houses an impressive 42% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A.
Paprika: Paprika is commonly used in South American, Indian, and Spanish cuisine. But no matter where you’re from and what style of food you prefer, you can enjoy the many health benefits of this fiery red spice by incorporating it into your favorite meals. One tablespoon provides 69% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A. It’s also an impressive source of Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Strengthens Immunity: Vitamin A enhances the body’s immunity against infections by increasing the lymphocytic responses against disease-causing antigens. It keeps the mucus membranes moist to ensure better immunity and also enhances the activity of white blood cells. It not only prevents germs from entering your body but also helps to fight the infections once the germs gain entry into the body, thereby ensuring a double core protection.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Poor Eye Health: A Vitamin A deficiency can lead to a thickening of the cornea and eventually even to blindness. Keratomalacia, a condition that comes from severe deficiency of Vitamin A, is a condition that is bilateral, meaning it usually affects both eyes.
This type of deficiency may be dietary, meaning your daily intake of the vitamin, or metabolic, meaning your body’s ability to absorb it. Early symptoms of Keratomalacia may include night blindness and extreme dryness of the eyes.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Premature Infants: In developed countries, clinical Vitamin A deficiency is rare in infants and occurs only in those with malabsorption disorders. However, preterm infants do not have adequate liver stores of Vitamin A at birth and their plasma concentrations of retinol often remain low throughout the first year of life. Preterm infants with Vitamin A deficiency have an increased risk of eye, chronic lung, and gastrointestinal diseases
Benefits of Vitamin A for Skin Care: Vitamin A helps keep your body free from free radicals and toxins, which might damage your skin. It helps keep the skin soft and supple by ensuring moisture retention, thereby preventing dryness, keratinization, and skin conditions like psoriasis.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Respiratory Infections: Respiratory infections can occur because the body’s immunity is impaired by the lack of vitamin A. The younger the patient, the more severe the effects can be. Growth retardation and infections are common among children, and the mortality rate can reportedly exceed 50% in children with severe vitamin A deficiency.
Benefits of Vitamin A for People with Cystic Fibrosis: Most people with cystic fibrosis have pancreatic insufficiency, increasing their risk of vitamin A deficiency due to difficulty absorbing fat [20,21]. Several cross-sectional studies found that 15%–40% of patients with cystic fibrosis have vitamin A deficiency.
However, improved pancreatic replacement treatments, better nutrition, and caloric supplements have helped most patients with cystic fibrosis become vitamin A sufficient.
Several studies have shown that oral supplementation can correct low serum beta-carotene levels in people with cystic fibrosis, but no controlled studies have examined the effects of vitamin A supplementation on clinical outcomes in patients with cystic fibrosis.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Boosts Bone Health: This essential vitamin strengthens bones and teeth. Vitamin A helps in the formation of dentin, a layer of hard material just below the surface of the teeth, thereby enhancing its strength.
Benefits of Vitamin A for At Risk Pregnancy: For pregnant women, the vitamin A demand is the highest during the last trimester; most often, women suffer from vitamin A deficiencies during this time. A pregnant woman can suffer from night blindness if her vitamin A intake is not sufficient
Benefits of Vitamin A for Prevents Urinary Stones: Vitamin A prevents the formation of urinary calculi due to the formation of calcium phosphate. It also helps keep the lining of the urinary tract in shape, thereby reducing the recurring chance of stones.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Reduces Risk of Acne: Vitamin A helps to cut down excess sebum production, thereby reducing the risk of acne. It also reinforces the protective tissues of the skin, thereby enhancing the overall health and vitality of the skin surface. It is also essential for the proper maintenance of the skin tissues and mucus membranes. It flushes out the toxins from your body and cleanses the system by virtue of its antioxidant properties.
Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency: Vitamin A deficiency is common in developing countries, but is quite rare in the United States. One of the earliest signs of a deficiency is night blindness. Permanent blindness can result if the deficiency is left unchecked. Vitamin A deficiency also allows opportunistic infectious diseases such as measles and pneumonia to become deadly.
Alcoholics may develop vitamin A deficiencies, and should consequently include rich food sources of vitamin A in their diets (while concurrently sharply curtailing or eliminating alcohol consumption). Supplements may not be wise for alcoholics, however, because vitamin A is stored in the liver, and existing liver damage could make them more susceptible to vitamin A toxicity. In such cases, a doctor’s supervision is critical.