We all know that vitamin A, a fat soluble vitamin is crucial for keeping our vision healthy. Its deficiency can lead to night blindness and other eye related disease. But not just for keeping our vision healthy, vitamin A is required by the body for promoting bone growth, for boosting immune function, for fighting disease and for maintaining skin health, and a healthy urinary, respiratory and reproductive system. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant contains nutrients retinoid found in animal food sources and carotenoids, obtained from plant food sources. The best dietary sources of vitamin A are mainly those with bright yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables. Excessive consumption of alcohol can reduce the level of vitamin A in the body.
Here Are Top 10 Dietary Sources Of Vitamin A, According To Usda’s Dietary Guidelines:
The crunchy, highly nutritious carrots are considered perfect health food . Carrots are excellent source of vitamin A in the form of antioxidant beta-carotene. Besides vitamin A, they contain several vitamins and mineral like, biotin, vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin K. The abundance of vitamin A promotes good vision, aids in cell growth and immune function. The carotene antioxidant contained in them has been found to reduce the risk of cancer. Just by eating a cup of chopped carrot you can get 334 percent t of daily requirement of vitamin A. Being low in calorie, it is also rightly considered as a good food option for weight loss.
2. Sweet Potato:
Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrition . They contain 400% of your daily requirement of vitamin A in just one medium sized spud. They are also loaded with fiber and potassium. They contain more natural sugar than regular potato but are nutrient dense with fewer calories. Increasing the consumption of sweet potatoes can help to promote healthy skin, healthy vision and also lower the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Since sweet potatoes are high in bet-carotene, higher intake of it has been shown to improve eye health and prevent age related macular degeneration as well.
Pumpkin is a highly nutrient –dense food but low in calories . It is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is a vegetable that contains highest level of vitamin A. 100 grams of pumpkin can provides about 170% of daily requirement of vitamin A. It is good to eat pumpkin during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis. Consuming just one cup of cooked pumpkin will not only fulfill the 100% need of vitamin A, but will also help you get host of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, copper, riboflavin, iron, magnesium and foliate. Pumpkin can be incorporated into your daily meals in the form of desserts, salads, soups and many other creative ways. Research suggests that consuming vitamin A rich food is not only good for your eyesight and skin but it may also protect against oral cavity and lung cancer.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables:
Dark green leafy vegetables are one of healthiest foods we should incorporate in our diet . So load up your diet on spinach, mustard greens, kale and lettuce. Lettuce is richest source of vitamin A and also contains other essential minerals and vitamins. Similarly just one cup spinach fulfills 49% of the daily requirement of vitamin A and kale provides 200% of the daily requirement of vitamin A.
Chicken, mutton, beef and turkey livers are loaded with vitamin A and other vitamins and minerals . They can be added to your diet by steaming, frying or cooking with herbs and eaten as snacks or in dinner. Livers are recommended for curing anemia as well.
6. Dried Basil:
Dried basil is an excellent source of vitamin A, an antioxidant essential for vision and for maintenance of skin health and mucus membranes . It has been used for centuries to treat various ailments including lung and oral cavity cancers. Dried basil can be added to dishes for getting vitamin A and also for enhancing the test of the dishes.
7. Parsley And Other Herbs:
Sprinkling herbs such as parsley, coriander, thyme on the cooked dishes not only add flavor but they are also loaded with nutrients, particularly vitamin A . So do not forget to sprinkle them on your dishes in the form of garnishing and add them to your salads.
Tomatoes are great versatile fruit, widely used in cuisines all over the world in varied forms . They are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and low in calories. Just one tomato can provide 20% of vitamin A requirement of the day. High concentration of vitamin A in tomatoes can help to improve vision and aids in keeping the skin soft. They are also high in vitamin C and lycopene which has been reported to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Eating tomatoes will also help to keep your blood sugar level in check as it contains mineral chromium.
9. Red Bell Pepper:
The vibrant red and yellow colored bell peppers are loaded with carotenoids that have antioxidant properties . They do not just looking stunning on your plate but also have great nutritional value. Bell peppers are quite low in calories. And just one cup can provide the daily requirement of vitamin A and C. red bell peppers particularly contain bet-carotene that can provide you with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits whether you toss them in salad or team them up with other veggies.
10. Butternut Squash:
The yellow-orange butternut squash is incredibly high in beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A and also contains impressive list of vitamins and minerals . Just one cup butternut squash can provide 400% of daily requirement of vitamin A.it also tastes delicious. The beta-carotene in this butternut squash promotes immune responses and increase body’s ability to fight disease.
Antioxidant beta-carotene protects cells from free radical damage. Free radicals contribute to disease and illness and also play a significant role in aging process. Food sources of carotenoids may reduce the risk of cancer. It is the best way to get the daily requirement of vitamin A from food sources rather than supplement. Because over consumption of A vitamin can lead to loss of appetite, jaundice, nausea, irritability and hair loss.