Vitamin A provides an array of health benefits.
Vitamin A provides a host of health benefits, says Vanessa Spiller, a certified nutritionist based in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
The vitamin is good for your immune system, eyes, heart, lungs and kidneys. Vitamin A also supports the reproductive systems of men and women, research suggests.
Men should consume 900 micrograms of vitamin A per day, while women should get 700 micrograms on a daily basis, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fortunately, plenty of healthy foods contain vitamin A. “The best way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin A is by eating the right foods,” says Spiller, who’s a coach with EMP180°, which provides weight-loss plans and customized coaching for people seeking to shed pounds and reach their health goals.
To get vitamin A, eat colorful foods.
Vitamin A is plentiful in carotenoids, pigments that provide color to red, yellow and orange-hued fruits and vegetables, says Maggie Michalczyk, a registered dietitian based in Chicago. Consume foods with a variety of colors to ensure you get enough vitamin A.
Here are nine foods that are good sources of vitamin A:
Providing vitamin A is just one of a raft of health benefits asparagus offers. The versatile vegetable provides nutrients associated with warding off chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease. Asparagus is good for digestive and cardiovascular health.
Asparagus contains these nutrients:
— Vitamin A.
— Vitamin C.
— Vitamin K.
One cup of butternut squash provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamin A for men and women. It also provides fiber and potassium, Michalczyk says. “Try roasted butternut squash as a side dish or add cubed squash to a salad,” she says. It’s also a terrific addition to soups. You can buy butternut squash frozen in cubes at many supermarkets.
Everyone knows that carrots are good for your eyesight. The orange root vegetable contains beta carotene and is therefore a great source of vitamin A, Spiller says. One 3.5-ounce serving of cooked carrots exceeds the daily recommended amount of vitamin A for men and women. Carrots also contain vitamin K, potassium and some B vitamins, which are important for energy. Eating carrots is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, lower blood cholesterol, weight loss and healthy vision, research suggests.
“Carrots are also a good source of soluble fiber, which is great for digestion,” Spiller says.
While kale may not be considered as trendy as other healthy vegetables, it’s a great source of vitamin A. “Like sweet potato, kale is rich in beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A,” Spiller says. “For kale that is more tender and less bitter, be sure to massage it first.”
This flavorful fruit contains a high amount of vitamin A. It also provides significant amounts of vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
For a tasty, versatile vegetable that’s a great source of vitamin A, try red peppers, Spiller says. “Because they’ve spent more time on the vine, they’re more nutritious than their green, orange and yellow counterparts,” she says. One cup of chopped, raw red bell pepper contains 234 micrograms of vitamin A, well above the daily recommended amount for men and women.
In addition to being a great source of vitamin A, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins and potassium, Michalczyk says. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, which are associated with protecting your body against cancer. “The vitamin A in sweet potatoes promotes healthy vision and immune function,” she says. “Sweet potatoes are super-versatile to cook with and easy to add to your diet in fun ways.”
If you want to load up on vitamin A and other nutrients, try tomatoes, which are rich in a form of vitamin A in addition to vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K and folate. While many people consider tomatoes to be a vegetable, they are actually a fruit. “In addition to being loaded with a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals, tomatoes are also packed with a potent antioxidant called lycopene, which studies have shown has very strong cancer-fighting properties,” Michalczyk says. Tomatoes are associated with good skin and heart health.
While they’re often associated with Halloween, pumpkins are great to eat all year, Michalczyk says. “Pumpkin puree is a wonderful source of vitamin A and is packed with other nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, vitamin E and iron,” she says. “Pumpkins are a great source of antioxidants that may offer benefits against cancer and heart disease.” Add pumpkin puree to baked goods or soups and chilis to boost your immune system and promote good eye and skin health.
To recap, here are 9 foods high in vitamin A:
— Butternut squash.
— Red peppers.
— Sweet potatoes.
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