You might have heard the name of vitamin A whenever someone talks about vision.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin like D, E, and K and plays an important role in vision, skin health, immune function, and reproduction.
In diet sufficient vitamin A is required to fulfill daily intake.
Deficiency of this vitamin is rare in the developed world but in developing countries it is prevalent.
The lack of this vitamin can cause night blindness in children and pregnant women. Other side effects are weak immunity, hair loss, poor eye health, and damaged skin.
Vitamin A Recommended Daily Intake
Based on its origin, it is classified into two types
- Preformed Vitamin A: This type is found in animal sources in the form of retinol. It is present in beef liver, cod liver oil, milk, butter, cheese, eggs.
- Pro-vitamin A: It is found in a plant in the form of carotenoid, more specifically beta-carotene. Beta carotene is converted to retinol in the body to make vitamin A. They are present in carrots, spinach, mango, pepper, apricot, etc.
It doesn’t matter which type is ingested, retinol is converted to the active form of Vitamin A retinal and retinoic acid.
The dietary allowance of this vitamin varies in different age groups.
|Recommended Allowance (mcg)||Age Group
|Recommended Allowance (mcg)|
|0 – 6 months||400||0 – 6 months||400|
|7 – 12 months||500||7 – 12 months||500|
|1 – 3 years||300||1 – 3 years||300|
|4 – 8 years||400||4 – 8 years||400|
|9 – 13 years||600||9 – 13 years||600|
|14 – 18 years||900||14 – 18 years||700 (Normal)
|19 – 50 years||900||19 – 50 years||700 (Normal)
|51+ years||900||51+ years||700|
Vitamin A Sources
Animal livers, especially beef livers, are nutrient-dense food.
Very small amounts of them will fulfill dietary dosage of many nutrients including iron, vitamin B-6, cobalamin, vitamin C and A.
Since it is stored in livers of humans and animals, this vitamin is found in abundance in the animal liver. 3 ounces of beef liver will give you 6,421 mcg (713% daily value) of vitamin A.
There are some side effects too, one of these includes a high level of cholesterol in the liver.
There is also a possibility of liver damage by consuming too much of this vitamin. Hypervitaminosis A results by the toxicity of this vitamin.
The most abundant nutrient in carrots is vitamin A.
If you are looking for a healthy snacks option then carrots are good candidates. Plus you don’t have to worry about consuming too many calories as carrots are low caloric food.
Half a cup of carrot contains 459 (51% of daily value) mcg of this vitamin.
Carrots are also rich in potassium and fibers which can which are good for reducing blood pressure and improving bowel movement.
Cod Liver Oil
A single tablespoon of cod liver oil provides 4080 mcg (272 % daily value) of this vitamin.
The omega 3 in the cod liver can be helpful in protecting the heart and fighting against depression.
Spinach became one of the most popular food in the Popeye era. It might not give you bulky muscles but the vitamins and minerals are plentiful
Calcium, iron, folate, and vitamin A are some of the nutrients that you will get from eating spinach.
Half cup of boiled spinach will give you 573 mcg (64 % of daily value) of vit. A.
So, either add them in your pasta or blend them in your smoothies, you will reap health benefits. Just make sure it doesn’t get stuck in your teeth.
Some people might not have taste for this nutritious food but it is a staple part of the diet in many parts of the world.
Like regular potatoes, you can also add baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato fries in your meal.
The vitamin A content in whole baked sweet potato with skin is 1403 mcg (156 % of daily value).
The calorie content is high in sweet potato. Even though the starch amount is low as compared to regular potatoes eating too many sweet potatoes can lead to weight gain.
It is hard to imagine that a pie could be beneficial in any way. Well, it might be hard to believe but pumpkin pie is actually a good source of vitamin A.
One slice of this treat will give 488 mcg (54% of daily value) of this vitamin.
So, enjoy your dessert without feeling guilty but eat it in moderation. Pumpkins might be good but too much sugar from pie could be disastrous.
Mangoes are a yummy treat to add in your food. This fruit is sweet, delicious, and packed with nutrients like vit. C and A.
One mango gives 112 mcg (12% of daily value) of vit. A. You can sweeten your oatmeal with mangoes or just enjoy it on its own.
Just beware that mangoes are high in carb, so if you are on a low carb diet you might want to skip them.
Atlantic, pickled herring gives 219 mcg (24% of daily value) of vit. A in 3 ounces.
They are also rich in vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids. So, it is good news for seafood lovers.
Cantaloupe melon can boost your immunity and provide you with nutrients.
It contains 135 mcg (15% of daily value) of vitamin A in half a cup.
Enjoy it raw, make a smoothie, or top it in a salad, they are good and rich addition in your diet.
Dried fruits, like apricot, might not be a favorite for many but they have their own benefits.
If you like them you can easily enjoy them as a snack.
10 halves of dried apricot will provide 64 mcg (7% of daily value) of vit. A.
They might be a yummy treat for some but owing to its high sugar content it is wise to avoid eating too much.
For good vision and healthy eyes, it is necessary to eat enough Vitamin A food.
Deficiency is rare in the developed world but still exists in developing countries.
Too much dosage can be harmful, so keep the dose in moderation.