In this article, we will discuss the foods that are high in vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin that our body requires for proper growth and development, healthy vision, increased immune function, and cell recognition. It promotes healthy functioning and development of the eyes, skin, soft tissues, mucus membranes, skeleton, teeth, and immune system. Vitamin A is also vital to fight against many diseases and maintain the reproductive system.
Our body requires many nutrients for functioning properly and the best source for them is through natural foods. Similarly, the best way to ensure your body is getting enough Vitamin A is to add the right foods to your diet. Vitamin A can be found in various vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and dairy products. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant, which is useful to protect your cells from damage due to free radicals. Beta- carotene gets converted into vitamin A by our body (1).
We have listed for you 15 foods that can help you increase the Vitamin A levels in your body.
Here are the 15 foods that are high in vitamin A.
1. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is yellow-orange fruit which is a rich source of beta- carotene. This compound gets converted into Vitamin A in your body. Butternut squash is also as delicious as it is nutritious and it also has a nice nutty and sweet flavor. Experts state that you can get 400% of the daily needed Vitamin A from one cup butternut squash. Along with Vitamin A, the fruit also provides fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium which are all great for our health.
2. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are crunchy and spicy flavored green leaves which are widely used in the northern parts of India where it is known as ‘Sarson ka saag’. It is also referred to as leaf mustard in other countries. Mustard greens are believed to have maximum nutrition compared to any other green leafy vegetables. It provides about 118% of the daily needed Vitamin A. The greens also have high quantities of protein, manganese, calcium, fiber, Vitamin C, E, K, folate, carotenes, and many antioxidants.
3. Whole Milk
Whole milk is not only tastier than skimmed milk, but it is also a healthier option. Unlike popular belief, the rich and creamy whole milk has more nutritional value than the other varieties of milk. One cup of whole milk contains a good amount of 112 micrograms of vitamin A. It is also loaded with other nutrients like calcium, protein, magnesium, Vitamins A and D. Whole milk drinkers, according to studies, have a lower risk of heart problems than those who drink low-fat milk.
4. Dried Basil
Dried basil which is rich in Vitamin A has a very versatile taste and flavor. You can add them to any foods to get Vitamin A and for taste enhancement. You will get about 15% of the daily needed amount of Vitamin A from 100-grams of dried basil. This will also help prevent deadly illness such as lung and oral cavity cancers.
Sweet green peas are an excellent addition to your healthy dietary supplement. One half cup pea provides 34% of the required value of Vitamin A and just 62 calories. They also come with a good amount of Vitamins C, K, and B. They are also rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which can be credited to most of their health benefits. It helps you control your blood sugar levels and also lower risks of chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart issues.
Tomatoes are juicy and tangy fruit (YES, FRUIT!), that has a very rich nutritional value. Tomatoes are so versatile that they can be easily added to your regular diet and the fact they contain low calories and many essential vitamins and minerals is a plus. You can get 20% of the daily Vitamin A requirement from just one tomato. They are also rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, which is associated with improved heart health, cancer prevention, and sunburn protection.
Spinach is a healthy addition to your daily diet as one-cup spinach can provide 49% of the daily needed value of Vitamin A. It is also the richest source of Vitamin C and K, iron, manganese and calcium. Consuming spinach regularly may reduce oxidative stress, benefits eye health, lower blood pressure levels, and help prevent cancer.
8. Dried Marjoram
Marjoram plant is a common cooking spice. Dried Marjoram is used for its unique flavors and many health benefits. It is a rich source of vitamin A. You can get 161% of the needed Vitamin A for the day from just 100-gram of dried marjoram. Due to its rich nutritional value, marjoram has also been used as herbal medicine. You can use it to garnish your dishes, marinate meats and also drink its tea.
Kale is a popular garnish which tastes delicious as well as provides many nutrients. It is a rich source of Vitamin A as just from one cup you get 200% of the daily requirement of this vitamin. Kale is significantly high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body can turn into vitamin A. You can easily add kale to your diet on salads and many other dishes as well as snack on kale chips.
When you think of Vitamin A and eye health it is carrots that often come to mind. Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which is where you get the vitamin A from. Just one carrot will give you 200% of the daily requirement of vitamin A. Carrots are also loaded with vitamins B, C, K, magnesium, and fiber. It promotes good vision along with growth, development, and immune function.
11. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato is nutritious, high in fiber and delicious root vegetable. You get 438% of the daily needed Vitamin A and 103 calories from one sweet potato. They can be eaten boiled, steamed, fried, or baked.
12. Red Bell Pepper
Red Bell peppers are a mildly sweet and delicious vegetable that is crispy in texture. You can consume them raw or cooked by adding them to salads, pasta dishes, and dips. The smoky, sweet taste of cooked bell peppers enhances the taste of other dishes. Red bell peppers are a rich source of beta carotene which your body converts into vitamin A. They are also a rich source of antioxidants such as lycopene, Vitamin A and C. They improve eye health and also lower risk of several chronic diseases.
13. Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is the richest source of omega 3 fatty acids along with vitamins and minerals. One tablespoon of cod liver oil provides you 90% of the required Vitamin A value for the day and 126 calories. You can easily find cod liver oil liquid and capsule form, but make sure they come from a reputable source and also take your doctor’s advice.
Cantaloupes are bright yellow-orange fruit with juicy flesh and a sweet smell. One wedge of Cantaloupe will get you 120% of the required Vitamin A for the day. It is also low in calories and fat. They have numerous essential vitamins and nutrients that can treat and prevent various diseases and promote good health. The delicious flavor of the cantaloupe enhances fruit salad, snacks, and desserts.
15. Turnip Greens
Turnip greens are highly rich in vitamin a which provides 231% of the daily need. They are very low in calories, high in nutrients, and are easy to cook which makes them an important addition to your diet for good health. You need to cook or steam the turnip greens for consumption. This also boosts their nutritive value to get absorbed in your body.
A healthy body and mind are highly essential for us to live through our stress-filled lives and for that, we should ensure that we provide our body with all the important nutrients and minerals. Vitamin A is one such important antioxidant nutrient that is essential for good health. Including the above-listed food in your regular diet is the first step you should take in order to ensure proper Vitamin A levels. You will also need to develop and adopt a disciplined lifestyle. Only the right food may not do much unless you ensure you exercise regularly, take care of skin and hair, and stay away from bad habits like smoking.