Vitamin A is certainly most praised for its critical role in supporting vision and eye health, but it has other important roles in the body as well. For example, vitamin A also reduces inflammation, keeps skin cells healthy, helps prevent cancer, boosts immune system function, protects bones, and is essential for normal reproductive functions. Like vitamins D, E, and K, vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, so absorption is enhanced when foods rich in vitamin A are eaten along with fats and oils.
There are two types of vitamin A found in foods. Preformed vitamin A is found in some animal foods such as liver and fish while carotenoids, such as beta-carotene which imparts the characteristic orange hue to carrots and sweet potatoes, are found in plant foods. Carotenoids convert to the active form of vitamin A in the body. The daily value for vitamin A for most men is 900 mcg, and this need can usually be met by eating a variety of foods rich in either form of vitamin A. Include some of your favorites in your diet to keep your eyes, skin, immune system, and hormones working optimally.
Carrots are definitely one of the most popular root vegetables. As a root vegetable, this versatile sweet plant stores the plant’s nutrients, so carrots are rich in minerals like potassium, as well as vitamins A, C, and K. One medium carrot contains about 45% of the daily value of vitamin A, while one cup of Cooked carrots contain 1,329 mcg, roughly 1.5 times the daily value.
Preformed vitamin A is rich in some animal products, with fresh tuna being one of the best sources. A six-ounce filet contains 1,287 micrograms, which is 143% of the Daily Value. Tuna is also high in vitamin E, protein, selenium, magnesium, biotin and vitamin B12 among other essential nutrients. Other fish and shellfish that are high in vitamin A include eel, oysters, and mackerel.
You will enjoy many health benefits from eating sweet potatoes, many of which are due to their high content of beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes can support your eyesight and immune system, and because of the complex carbohydrates and prebiotic fibers, they may also help balance blood sugar and reduce insulin secretion. One medium sweet potato will give you roughly 125% of the daily value for vitamin A, along with plenty of vitamin C and some potassium.
The nutritional content of sweet peppers varies based on the color. Red and orange bell peppers are particularly nutritious due to their antioxidant content. Red pepper is one of the foods that are high in vitamin C. For example, one cup of red pepper provides 190 mg (212% RDI) of vitamin C while for comparison, a cup of orange slices contains 96 mg. Furthermore, a medium sweet red pepper provides approximately 2 mg of vitamin E (14% DV) and 198 mcg (22 DV) of vitamin E. In contrast, green pepper contains a negligible amount of vitamin A.
Butternut squash and other winter squash such as acorn squash, hubbard squash, and kabocha squash, as well as pumpkin, are rich in vitamin A. The bright orange color of this sweet and meaty fruit is due to beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body. One cup of canned squash contains twice the daily value of vitamin A, and a cup of cooked squash contains 127% of the daily value, providing 1,144 micrograms.
There seem to be very few healthy food lists these days that don’t contain broccoli. From fiber to vitamin C, and vitamin K to vitamin A to biotin, this cruciferous plant is a disease-fighting superfood. Broccoli is also relatively high in vitamin A, at 120 micrograms per cup.
Liver is certainly one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin A, along with nutrients like vitamin D, iron and vitamin B12, an important vitamin for energy production. One slice of beef liver contains 700% of the daily value of vitamin A. Lamb liver is much less, but still more than twice the daily value. Liver sausage, cod liver oil, and foie gras pie are also rich in vitamin A.
Since many of the foods with the highest vitamin A content are oranges, it may come as no surprise that watermelon cantaloupe is rich in vitamin A. This juicy, meaty fruit contains about a third of the daily value of vitamin A per cup. Mangoes, another bright orange fruit, have a similar level and are also an excellent source of vitamin E, which is vital for skin, hair, and cardiovascular health.
Dark leafy greens are among the best sources of vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin important for normal blood clotting. Kale, spinach, collard greens, kale, green beets, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens are full of iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin A. One cup of cooked kale contains 885 micrograms (98% DV) of vitamin A. , spinach, kale, kale, and mustard greens are all alike. Drizzle vegetables with healthy oil or enjoy them with nuts or seeds to pair them with fats that help absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
We used to start your day with half a grapefruit that is so common in nutrition, we’d better embrace that practice again. Not only is this tart fruit full of immune-supporting vitamin C, but it is also a good source of vitamin A. One cup contains about 15% of the daily value. As with paprika, color is also important here. Pink grapefruit contains about 30 times more vitamin A than white grapefruit.
While dark leafy greens will give you a stronger dose of vitamin A, lettuce is also a good choice. There are about 200 micrograms of vitamin A per cup of lettuce, with higher levels in lettuce leaves with red pigments. Because lettuce contains very few calories, per calorie, it is one of the best sources of Vitamin A, with 570% of the Daily Value per 200 calories.