Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble vitamins and it’s a nutrient that our body cannot manufacture and therefore has to be included in our diet. Vitamins are basically needed in small amounts to help our body function and health.
Types Of Vitamin AThere are two types of Vitamin A. One is preformed vitamin A (Retinol) which is basically found in animal products, fortified foods and vitamin supplements. Another one is Pro vitamin A (Carotenoids) such as lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are derived from plant products. Great Sherene Robinson, executive nutritionist, Cloudnine Group Of Hospitals, Chennai sheds light on all sources of vitamin A and how to include it in our diet.
Benefits of Vitamin A
- Maintains integrity and function of all the surface tissues like the skin, the lining of the respiratory tract, the gut, the bladder and the inner ear and eye.
- The antioxidants present in vitamin A protect our body from certain types of cancer.
- It helps in the production of white blood cells.
- It helps in developing a healthy immune system
- It helps in producing mucous to the skin cell tissues which acts as a barrier to infection.
- Vitamin A is critical for vision and it also prevents Age-related macular degeneration.
- It supports eye health.
- Vitamin A helps in sperm and egg development, in reproduction, and also helps in placental health, fetal tissue development and fetal growth.
Vitamin A plays a huge role in our skin, eyes, immunity and it helps in proper growth and development.
Let’s Look At The Predominant Sources Of Vitamin AAnimal Sources
- Liver (Beef, Goat, Chicken)
- Fish oil
- Fish Liver
- Egg yolk
- Dairy products like milk, cheese and butter
These are found in active form i.e. retinol and they are directly absorbed.
Plant SourcesSeveral seasonal fruits and vegetables are said to be rich in vitamin A. These are found as carotenoids which will be converted by the body into retinol during digestion which then can be utilized. Vitamin A requires some fat in the diet which will aid in absorption. Vitamin A malabsorption can happen when there is celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, alcoholism, cirrhosis and cystic fibrosis. Below are some of the common plant-based sources of vitamin A.
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell peppers
- Summer squash
- Yellow maize
- Agathi leaves
Vitamin A DeficiencyMild deficiency can cause fatigue, infertility and susceptibility to infection. But serious deficiency can cause night blindness, dry skin and hair, irregular patches on the white of the eye, severe dryness of the eye.
How To Incorporate Them Into Our Diet?Few ideas for dishes loaded with Vitamin A are as follows:
- Spinach, watermelon, melon salad
- Yellow pumpkin + Amarnath sambar
- Carrot, cucumber, broccoli and capsicum salad
- Yogurt with cut slices of mango, papaya and some apricots
- Mexican corn salad
- Methi carrot paratha
Including any dose of vitamin A daily can prevent our susceptibility to infections and also help us build a healthy immune system. So have you started including your portion of yellow or orange or green to the plate?
How To Meet Your Vitamin A RequirementIt is not a difficult task to meet your body's vitamin A needs. This can simply be achieved by maintaining a balance and by including healthy greens, seasonal fruits and colourful vegetables into your meals. Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, it needs to be eaten with some fats for it to be efficiently absorbed into our blood. So add a dash of olive oil or healthy fat in your salad or a small touch of ghee or butter to your palak dishes for aiding vitamin A to reach your system.
FAQs About Vitamin A
Q: Can are the risks of Vitamin A deficiency?Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness and increases the risk of viral infection in individuals. It can also give you headaches, frequent fatigue, blurred vision and several mild-severe complications.
Q: What are the risks of consuming too much Vitamin A?Over-consumption of anything can have consequences. Hence, it is advised that one should always do everything in moderation. Excessive intake of vitamin A can give you a serious case of nausea and vomiting.
Also Read: Best Vitamins For Hair Growth
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Be the first one to comment.