Two forms of vitamin A are available in the human diet: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is found in foods from animal sources, including dairy products, fish, and meat. By far the most important provitamin A carotenoid is beta-carotene; other provitamin A carotenoids are alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Both provitamin A and preformed vitamin A must be metabolized intracellularly to retinal and retinoic acid, the active forms of vitamin A, to support the vitamin’s important biological functions.
Sources of Vitamin A
1. Sweet Potato
sweet potatoes are one of nature’s treasured source of beta-carotene. According to recent studies, adding sweet potatoes to your diet can raise levels of vitamin A in the blood.
2. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
All dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamin A, rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that fight inflammation and boost health.
3. Dried Apricots
Dried apricots are loaded with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, the potent antioxidants for promoting vision and eye health.
4. Egg yolks
An egg a day can keep vitamin deficiency at bay. Adding egg to your daily regimen can prevent blindness and other vitamin deficiencies.
Mangoes the fruit relished by one and all, are a great source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Include mangoes in your diet for good health.
6. Dietary supplements
Vitamin A is available in multivitamins and as a stand-alone supplement, often in the form of retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate. A portion of the vitamin A in some supplements is in the form of beta-carotene and the remainder is preformed vitamin A; others contain only preformed vitamin A or only beta-carotene. Multivitamin supplements typically contain 750–3,000 mcg RAE (2,500–10,000 IU) vitamin A, often in the form of both retinol and beta-carotene.
Carrots are rich in beta carotene. Half a cup of raw carrots contains 459nmcg of vitamin A and 51% of the DV. A large carrot contains around 20 calories. This makes for a light and healthful snack, especially when eaten with hummus or guacamole. Carrots are also rich in dietary fiber, which can help prevent constipation and promote better gut health.
Broccoli is another healthful source of vitamin A, with a half-cup providing 60 mcg, which is 7% of a person’s DV. Half a cup of broccoli contains just 15 calories and is also an excellent source of vitamin c and vitamin k. Vitamin K is important for bone metabolism and blood clotting, while vitamin C enhances immune function and has antioxident and anti-inflammatory properties.