What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is naturally present in both plant and animal foods. Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that is important for healthy vision, may lower your risk of certain cancers, supports a healthy immune system, supports bone health, and promotes healthy growth and reproduction. Vitamin A also has antioxidant properties.
How much Vitamin A do you need?
The amount of Vitamin A you need is different for everyone and based on your age/sex. Below are the daily average recommended amounts of Vitamin A; Micrograms (mcg)
Children & Adolescents
Sources of Vitamin A
There are 2 main sources of Vitamin A: plant sources and animal sources.
In plant sources, Vitamin A is in the form of carotenoids. Carotenoids are the pigments that give plants their green color and fruits and vegetables their red and orange color. Good plant sources include:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Leafy green vegetables
In animal sources, Vitamin A is in the form of retinol. Retinol is a type of retinol that is made from Vitamin A. Animal sources of Vitamin A include:
- Egg yolk
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, butter)
What happens if you don’t get enough Vitamin A?
Vitamin A supports many systems in the body, therefore, not getting enough can take a toll on your health.
Consistently not getting enough Vitamin A in your diet can cause night blindness, increased risk of infections, skin irritations, reproductive issues, and delayed growth.
Vitamin A is essential for many processes in the body.
It aids in healthy vision, a strong immune system, growth, cell division, and reproduction.
The best way to ensure that you are getting enough Vitamin A in your diet is to consume Vitamin A rich foods such as green, orange, and red fruits and vegetables, liver, fish, egg yolks, and dairy products.