Top 27 Vitamin A Rich Foods (Veg & Non Veg) & Benefits
Which are Vitamin A Rich Foods?
Are there any vegetarian Vitamin A Rich Foods?
These are some common question come to your mind when you hear about Vitamin A and it’s benefit. Vitamins, as the name suggests, they are vital amines. A vitamin is an organic compound and an essential nutrient that we require in limited amounts. Since our body cannot synthesize vitamin by itself, we need to take it from various plant and animal sources.
Vitamin A includes the compounds retinol, retinal and four known carotenoids. It is essential to keep our retina healthy and promotes good vision. Vitamin A helps in forming our teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin. It also helps in their maintenance throughout our life. It may also be needed for reproduction and breastfeeding. Today I will tell you about 15 Vitamin A rich foods that will cure your vitamin A deficiency.
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which is stored in the liver. There are mainly two types of vitamin A found :
- Preformed vitamin A
- Provitamin A
Preformed vitamin A is found in animal sources like meat, fish, poultry and dairy foods, and provitamin A is found in fruits and vegetables. The most famous provitamin A is beta-carotene.
Why is Vitamin A Essential?
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals are believed to contribute to certain chronic diseases and play a role in the aging processes. Vitamin A is also available in dietary supplements. It most often comes in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate (preformed vitamin A), beta-carotene (provitamin A) or a combination of preformed and pro-vitamin A. You can follow the WHO guidelines on vitamin a supplementation, but it is advisable to consult a doctor before (2).
Daily Requirement of Vitamin A
The recommended amount of vitamin A is 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women. Given below is the chart for the requirement of various vitamins and minerals for the human body.
The vitamin requirement changes according to our age and sex. As you can see in the first chart, an adult female need 3300 IU of vitamin A. Getting this amount is easy when you start adding vitamin A rich foods in your diet. The chart also explains the amount of vitamin C, D, Thiamin, protein, Iron, Sodium required by our body. Study the chart carefully and try to meet the requirement through a balanced diet. Make sure you are not taking an excess of these vitamins.
The below chart explains the requirement for a male as per his age. 2600 IU is the vitamin A required by an adult male to carry out normal body functions.
Sources of Vitamin A
Unlike vitamin D there are various sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in both natural and animal sources. The rich sources of vitamin A are fish, carrot, dairy products, eggs and green vegetables. So if you are vegetarian you have enough variety of vegetables to chose from to get sufficient vitamin A.
Vitamin A Rich Foods
Carrots are among the richest sources of beta-carotene. Since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin it is beneficial to eat it with fats like ghee or butter or oil so that our body is able to assimilate it better. Carrots are also rich in fiber and thus helps in losing excess weight. You can replace tea with carrot juice in your diet. Carrots are one of the best vitamin A rich foods.
2. Sweet potato:
Sweet Potatoes are low in calories and has a good amount of beta-carotene. It is delicious as well. There are many delicious recipes made from sweet potatoes, it can serve as good breakfast or during lunch. Sweet potato is one of the foods high in vitamin A.
It is mostly used to garnish delicious delicacies but many people may be unaware of its nutritional benefits. It contains fat-soluble vitamin A. These different varieties of kale are one of the best sources of vitamin A.
4. Green Leafy vegetables:
Green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin A and E. They are low in calories and high in nutrition. You can eat green veggies as salad or curry. Remember to not overcook leafy vegetables, it can drain them away from necessary nutrients. Green veggies are one of the best vitamin A rich foods and help to maintain good retinol level which is good for your eyes (1).
5. Dried Apricots:
Dried apricots are full of anti-oxidants and vitamin A. You can replace any of your unhealthy snacks with this healthy snack or eat it as first thing in the morning. It is easily available and can be easily stored.
Broccoli is a good source of vitamins especially vitamin A and E. It is a storehouse of nutrients. You can include it in your lunch. Remember to cook broccoli well before consuming it to assimilate its nutrients well.
Butter or clarified butter is a good source of preformed vitamin A, especially for vegetarians. If you want to lose weight, don’t forget to include clarified butter or ghee in your diet. It is very precious for your overall health. But do not consume butter in excess quantity by reading about the vitamin A benefits, butter can increase your cholesterol levels so eat this in regulated quantity.
Here is an informative video from Nature Cure
Eggs are the storehouse of nutrients and I recommend to include it in your daily diet if you are not a pure vegetarian. They are full of proteins, preformed vitamin A, omega 3 fatty acids and much more. You can eat eggs as your post-workout meal or breakfast. Eggs are cheap and easily available across all over the world and it is one of the best vitamin A rich foods. It is also a vitamin E rich food.
Tomatoes are low calorie and nutrient-rich fruit. It contains plenty of vitamin A and E. Lycopene present in tomatoes is responsible for its bright red color. Tomato as first thing in the morning is beneficial in losing and controlling weight.
10. Cod Liver Oil:
Cod liver oil is one of the good sources of vitamin A and supplements present in it are the richest source of vitamins and minerals. It is available in liquid and capsule form. It has a good amount of Vitamin A, D, and omega 3 fatty acids. One tablespoon of cod liver oil can give you required Vitamin A value for the day.
Papaya is famous for its nutritive and medicinal properties. It is rich in vitamin A and anti-oxidants. It has ample amount of beta-carotene, as a result, it one of the best foods for eyes and skin. papaya can also be applied externally to increase glow. Papaya is a vitamin a rich fruit.
12. Red Bell Pepper:
Red Bell Pepper is also known as ‘Sweet Pepper’ because of its sweet taste. Its seeds are also consumed as spices due to its bittersweet taste. It is rich in vitamin A and E both. Eat red bell pepper with some kind of good fats, which will help in proper assimilation of nutrients.
The king of fruits is actually rich in beta-carotene. It is an excellent source of vitamin A during summers. You can enjoy its delicious taste with all the nutritional benefits it offers. Mango is a vitamin a rich fruit.
It is a juicy and tasty fruit with lots of beta-carotene into it. You can enjoy this fruit between any of the two main meals or as first thing in the morning. Peaches are one of the best sources of vitamin A.
15. Whole Milk:
Whole milk contains good fats, protein, calcium and vitamin A, D and E. It is a storehouse of nutrients. A cup of warm milk before bed will ensure a good nights sleep and provide you all the important nutrients.
‘You are my pumpkin-pumpkin, hello honey bunny’ :D. You might have heard this jingle from the tv commercial. Pumpkin is a highly nutritious vegetable. It has 1.7x times the vitamin A required by your body on daily basis. Also, pumpkin can be used to prepare many delicious recipes. Its advisable to eat a pumpkin recipe at least once in two weeks.
Parsley is not only used in enhancing the flavor but its power pack nutrition levels help you get enough vitamin A. It can be used as a sprinkle on any of the regular food items you eat.
18. Chicken Liver:
My non-vegetarian friends love chicken liver. Apart from good taste, the chicken liver is full in various nutrition. It has a good amount of vitamin A which can take care of your daily requirement of this vital nutrient. You can prepare various tasty dishes with chicken liver.
If you were spectacles, you might have got an advice from your friends to eat fish. The main reason behind this is this seafood is full of vitamin A and other nutrients. This is a widely available food items and can be blended with various spices to prepare tasty dishes.
20. Mustard Greens:
‘Makai di roti aur Sarso ka saag’ is my favorite. In North India, the mustard green is used to prepare many delicious food items. The mustard green is full of various nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, Antioxidants etc. 100gm of mustard green contains around 6300IU of vitamin A which is a good amount to get rid of the vitamin A deficiency.
21. Dried Basil:
Dried basil is a rich source of vitamin A and antioxidants. You might have heard it is very helpful in preventing a lung or oral cavity cancer. Dried basil has different taste and can be added to various dishes to enhance the flavor.
22. Green Peas:
Who doesn’t like mutter panner ?. This delicious dish brings a lot of health benefits too because of the mutter or green peas. Green peas are rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B and vitamin C. Also there are many dishes prepared from green peas. You can dry the green peas and store them to use throughout the year.
Grapefruit is full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, phosphorous, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin B etc. If you drink a glassful of grapefruit juice you will get the required vitamin A for the normal functioning of the body.
Cantaloupe is high in nutrition. This helps you to get various nutrients that are helpful for the healthy growth of your body.
25. Turnip Greens:
You can consume turnip green after steaming. These are very low in fat and full of vitamin A. Try to add turnip green in your diet once in two weeks.
This red-green fruit is my favorite. I love the summer season because this fruit is available at that time. Watermelon has a lot of vitamin A and it very tasty fruit. You can make juice or smoothie from watermelon.
27. Iceberg Lettuce:
Lettuce is full of vitamin A. You can add lettuce to salad to make it more nutritious.
Vitamin A Deficiency Symptoms
It is not that easy to find out if you have the vitamin A deficiency. The deficiency symproms are common between those caused by vitamin A deficiency or any other disorder. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for your eyes. If you are vitamin A deficient you can suffer from low vision at night, skin problems, respiratory infections etc. Vitamin a deficiency is not common but if you are suffering from any of these vitamin A deficiency symptoms consult your doctor immediately.
Vitamin A Benefits
One of the most important vitamin for your body is Vitamin A and its deficiency can cause many serious problems. If you have normal vitamin A levels you will have improved vision, good skin, strong immunity, slow aging benefit etc. Read my post on vitamin A benefits to know about more such benefits.
Tips to Include More Vitamin A in Your Diet
It is easy to include vitamin A in your diet if you are an adult. You can read about vitamin A rich foods and start including those in your diet. For children, it is little difficult because they are very choosy about their diet. You can start including various vitamin A rich foods like eggs, carrots, tomatoes in your diet if you are diagnosed with vitamin A deficiency. If you love dairy products like paneer, cheese etc try adding them to your diet.
Some tips are as below,
- Add your favorite vitamin A rich foods to your diet.
- Don’t overcook the food as it might lead to loss of the vitamin from food.
- You can turn to vitamin A supplements if your vitamin A levels are too low.
- Don’t overeat any of the food or supplements as this might result in overdose and result in side-effects.
History of Vitamin A
In 1912, a biochemist Dr. Hopkins found out that milk has some other nutrient apart from protein, carbs, and fats, which is essential for growth in rats. After further study, it was discovered and termed as vitamin A.
Side Effects of Vitamin A
When people hear about the benefits of vitamin A they start consuming it in a large quantity. But getting vitamin A in more quantity not only harms your body for a short period, it can have long-lasting side effects. If you are taking vitamin A supplements it is better to stick to the prescribed dosage.
The common side effects of overconsumption of vitamin A are
- A headache
- Double vision
- Peeling of skin
If you are on supplements and find these symptoms consult your doctor immediately. As vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, if you take an excess dosage can harm you a lot. It will also not get out of your body if you take it in excess quantity.
Frequently Asked Question on Vitamin A Rich Foods
Q: What foods are high in Vitamin A?
Ans: Some of the foods high in vitamin A are
- Sweet Potatoes
Q: Which foods contain Vitamin A?
Ans: The foods containing vitamin A are
- Sweet Potatoes
Q: What is the main source of Vitamin A?
Ans: The main sources of vitamin A are natural as well as animal sources. Here are listed some good sources of vitamin A
- Cod liver oil
- Sweet Potatoes
Q: What is the first sign of Vitamin A deficiency?
Ans: Deficiency of vitamin A is evident if you have an effect on your eyes like night blindness, xerophthalmia etc. If you have signs like skin rashes, peeling of skin etc. , you shall consult a doctor if you have vitamin A deficiency.
Q: What happens if you don’t get enough Vitamin A?
Ans: Vitamin A deficiency might turn in to various problems like anemia by lowering your iron levels. Dry skin, hair loss, impaired vision are some of the other effects resulting because of low levels ov vitamin A.
Q: What is the most common vitamin deficiency?
Ans: The most common vitamin deficiency is Iron deficiency. People nowadays don’t give attention to diet, it can result in various health problems.
These are the top vitamin A foods you need to consume regularly. Comment below to let me know if you like today’s post.