Vitamin A has long been renowned in nutritional circles for its benefits to human skin and ocular health and more. It is a great resource, easily accessed by most and well worth the effort of ensuring it makes its way into your diet. Meat and dairy are both well-stocked sources, which makes a dearth unlikely in most western parts of the world.

Vegans and others can look to veggie sources, easily getting their A on by consuming about 6 cups of orange and green veggies and a couple more of the dark green variety over a given week. Because A is fat soluble and stored in the body it is possible to overdo, so those that supplement may wish to exercise caution.

Some great A sources include sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli and carrots, and liver, with a note that it is possible to overdo the liver, as with supplements.

Key Takeaways:

  • Some of the health benefits of Vitamin A include a youthful skin, good eyesight and healthy hair.
  • The sources of Vitamin A are two-fold. Some are plant-based antioxidants that have to be converted to Vitamin A and the others are ready-to-use animal foods.
  • Vitamin A deficiency is rare in America because Americans consume lots of meat and dairy which are high in Vitamin A

1. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato“This one tops my list,” says Brissette. A medium sweet spud with the skin on packs a whopping 560 percent of your daily value (DV) of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber than white and yellow potatoes, which helps keep you regular, lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and boosts your immune system by promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria. They’re also lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes, so they don’t raise and drop your blood sugar as much, keeping your hunger in check and helping you manage your weight.

Because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, you’ll absorb it better if you pair your potato with just five grams of healthy fat like olive oil, butter, or avocado oil, says Brissette. Try one of these delish sweet potato recipes.

2. Spinach

Spinach“People only think of red and orange veggies as having beta-carotene, but some leafy greens are rich in it as well,” says Brissette. Half a cup of cooked spinach, for example, has 229 percent of your DV of vitamin A. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and vitamins C, E, K, and B along with fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Brissette likes keeping frozen spinach cubes on hand to throw into pasta sauce, smoothies, and soups to bump up the veggie content.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli on a wooden cutting boardThe other dark leafy green that’s high in vitamin A, broccoli serves up 24 percent of your DV in 1/2 cup boiled, plus it’s packed with many of the same antioxidants and nutrients as spinach. Brissette buys broccoli frozen or fresh and chops it into tiny pieces to add to frittatas, omelets, and scrambles. Or she’ll top it on rice in her rice cooker or Instant Pot to bulk up the veggies and bring down the calories.

4. Carrots

Carrots“We probably think about carrots for improving eyesight because of World War II nutrition posters that encouraged people to eat carrots so they could see in the dark,” says Brissette. Another great source of beta-carotene, half a cup of raw carrots has 184 percent of your DV of vitamin A. And don’t worry about the sugar. “They’re packed with fiber, and you’d have to eat a lot of carrots for that to be an issue,” she adds.

While baby carrots are a super convenient and healthy snack dipped in hummus, try shredding whole carrots and adding to salads or tossing diced ones to tomato sauce to cut the acidity and add a sweet flavor without adding sugar.

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