I was interested to find that only about one third of Americans consume enough vitamin A Daily. I’m definitely biased about the vitamin because I adore the foods that it is rich in. Tomatoes, lettuces, hearty greens like kale and collards, and carrots are among my favorite foods. I am lost in the winter-time without deliciously ripe, juicy tomatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, truffle oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and freshly ground pepper!!
It’s pretty easy to know which foods are high in vitamin A. Carotenoids, a group of vitamin A nutrients, are orange in pigment, giving the vegetables and fruits they exist in their bright orange and red colors. Lettuces and hearty greens are also excellent sources of carotenoids. Here are several examples:
- Sweet Potatoes (1 cup – 250% Daily Recommended Intake (DRI))
- Carrots (1 cup cooked – 147% DRI)
- Spinach (1 cup cooked – 105% DRO; 2 cups raw – 40% DRI)
- Kale (1 cup cooked – 98% DRI)
- Romaine Lettuce (2 cups – 45% DRI)
- Bok Choy (1 cup – 40% DRI)
- Cantaloupe (1 cup – 30%)
- Red Bell Peppers (1 cup fresh – 25% DRI)
- Broccoli (1 cup – 10% DRI)
Vitamin A is also present in some animal foods, such as shrimp, eggs, salmon, tuna, and chicken. These are retinoid, or active forms of the fat-soluble vitamin. Synthetic forms of vitamin A are fortified in cow’s milk, yogurt, and other processed foods. It isn’t necessary to consume animal products for the purpose of obtaining adequate vitamin A, as carotenoids are capable of being converted to the active form in your body.
Be sure to include plenty of the red and orange veggies along with the leafy greens to support your immune system, reduce inflammation, support beautiful skin, strong bones and sharp eyes! Also include some healthy fat and protein with vitamin A rich foods, as these nutrients will support its absorption.