Vitamin A, which was discovered in 1913, is important for the maintenance of healthy skin, bones, tissues, teeth and eye. Vitamin A is also necessary for color vision. It is also called “anti-infective” vitamin because it assists the immune system of the body.
Vitamin A exists in the body in the form of Retinol and carotenes in the body. Retinol is absorbed by consuming animal food sources. It aids vision, particularly in low-light. Retinol being unstable is found in the retina as retinyl ester in tissues. Carotenes, alpha, beta and gamma and xanthophylls beta cryptoxanthin are converted to retinal with the help of enzymes.
We can consume and maintain the Retinol content by consuming foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables which are orange, yellow and red in color, as they are high in carotenoid.
The presence of Vitamin A in the body is of immense importance as it is a very useful mineral which protects the body from several health related issues. It ensures good vision, healthy skin, keeps the cells and tissues healthy as well. Not only that, it also aids in immunity, and is of paramount of importance during pregnancy and embryonic development. It also helps in the metabolism of bones and acts as an antioxidant. Aids in Haematopoiesis as well.
1. Liver: Animal liver has a high content of vitamins and minerals. Most animal liver provides around 1000%+ RDA of Vitamin A.
2. Red pepper, paprika, chili powder and cayenne: These have a high content of Vitamin A. 100 gram of paprika contain 41610 IU. Red pepper and chili powder have around 2081 IU per 100g.
3. Sweet potatoes: Being rich in carotenoid, sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A. They provide 19218 IU per 100g. The Vitamin A increases when it is mashed.
4. Carrots: Carrots with their bright orange colour are rich sources of Vitamin A. 100g of carrots provide 16706 IU.
5. Leafy greens: Green leafy vegetables are a rich storehouse of minerals and vitamins. Not only are they rich in this vitamin but also calcium. Kale contains the highest amount of 15376 IU per 100g serving. Turnip Greens contain 232% RDA, Mustard Greens contain around 210% RDA, Spinach contains 188% RDA, Dandelion Greens have 203% RDA, and Collards have 133% RDA.
6. Butternut squash: 100 grams of butternut squash contain almost 11155 IU.
7. Dried Herbs: Dried herbs contain all vitamins. Parsley contains the highest, almost 10184 IU per 100g serving. Dried basil contains 188% RDA, Oregano has 138% RDA and Dill has 154% RDA.
8. Lettuce: The Vitamin A content in lettuce depends on the variety. Dark red and green lettuce provides 7492 IU per 100g serving. If the lettuce is shredded, it provides 2098 IU per cup or 1274 IU per leaf. Iceberg lettuce provides 75 IU per leaf.
9. Dried Apricots: 3604 IU is provided by 100 grams of dried apricot.