Taking foods that are high in vitamin A instead of using supplements is a more insightful approach. Vitamin A is important to maintain and improve your overall health and fitness. It is an essential micronutrient that cannot be synthesized by your body. You have to obtain it through your diet or prescribed supplements to meet the demands of your body.
The deficiency of vitamin A in the body may result in future health complications so; start taking this valuable nutrient today by consulting with your dietitian.
“Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it needs a good fat source to be absorbed and assimilated in the body.”
Hence, the best way to enhance its absorption and assimilation is by sprinkling oil on vitamin A-rich foods.
Role of Vitamin A in Human Body
The human body stores vitamin A in the liver till it is needed to perform specific functions. Whenever the body demands, vitamin A moves to that specific area by binding with specific proteins.
Vitamin A is essential to carry out major physiological and biochemical processes of the body. The most important functions of these are:
- Proper growth and development
- Good functionality of different organs like liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart
- Sexual health
- Healthy vision
- Good immune system
- Cellular signaling
- Skin health
We have reported here, 13 best foods rich in Vitamin A with a detailed description of their nutritional content as well as daily recommended intake.
List of Foods Rich in Vitamin A
Basically, vitamin A is obtained from two main sources; plants and animals. In each case, vitamin A needs a fat source to get absorbed in the body.
Retinol is found in foods obtained from animals while plant foods contain vitamin A as carotenoids.
In the case of plant sources, your body needs to convert carotenoids into retinol during the digestion process. This conversion is necessary to assimilate or absorb vitamin A in the body.
Animal Foods high in vitamin A
- Beef liver
- Cod liver oil
- Cheese or butter
Plant Foods high in vitamin A
- Dark green vegetables
- Bell peppers
- Sweet potato
- Dried apricots
1. Beef Liver
Just like humans, beef also store its vitamin A in the liver. So, beef liver is the richest source of vitamin A, B2, B12, folate, iron, and protein.
A 3 ounce pan-fried beef liver contains 6582 mcg of vitamin A that is equal to 731% of the recommended DV (daily value).
Liver sausages and lamb liver are also rich sources of vitamin A.
2. Cod Liver Oil
It is an excellent source for preformed vitamin A, D, and omega-3 fatty acids. The use of cod liver oil for getting vitamin A is increasing due to its potential beneficial aspects like anti-inflammatory properties, prevention against eye diseases, immunity booster, and much more.
One teaspoon of cod liver oil supplies the body 1350 mcg of vitamin A.
However, in ancient times, cod liver oil was given to kids due to its role in preventing rickets due to vitamin D deficiency.
However, you have to be much careful in taking the right amount of cod liver oil after consulting with your doctor. Excessive intake may result in hypervitaminosis A that can prove to be detrimental to your health.
3. Fortified Skim Milk
Milk is an amazing nutrient-rich diet for all people belonging to different age groups. It has a variety of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Skim milk is prepared by removing the fat from whole milk. The whole milk is rich in nutrients and vitamins so it is a more healthy and energetic option for kids and adults.
149 mcg of vitamin A is supplied to the body by consuming one cup of skim or fat-free milk.
Research suggests that vitamin A content reduces significantly from 208.83μg/L in whole milk to 35.85μg/L in skim milk. So, there is an intense need of using fortified skim milk in developing countries to avoid diseases linked to vitamin A deficiency.
4. Hard-boiled Egg
A boiled egg is an exceptional source of protein, calcium, vitamin A, B2, B12, D, and iron. A major portion of vitamin A is present in egg yolk.
Research suggests that eggs along with vitamin A help to improve the level of hemoglobin in the body.
One hard-boiled egg provides 74.5 mcg of vitamin A.
Raw carrot is an amazing budget-friendly nutritious food. It is also an ideal food to improve your gut health and make you energetic. It contains a lot of fiber and nutrients so, helps to relieve constipation and high blood sugar level.
Carrots are rich in beta carotenes (precursor of vitamin A), antioxidants, lycopene, vitamin C, K, choline, and potassium.
One cup of grated carrot provides 3.08g of fiber and 918 mcg of vitamin A.
6. Red Bell Peppers
Red bell pepper is a wonderful source of vitamins (A, B6, C), folate, antioxidants, and iron. It is an amazing flavorful food item to boost up your immunity and to reduce the harms of reactive oxygen species.
One cup of chopped red bell pepper provides 144 mcg of vitamin A.
You can use this vegetable in salads, roasted chicken and meat items, or soups to get its maximum health benefits.
This leafy green vegetable is rich in vitamins (A, B2, B6, and C, K), minerals, iron, phosphorus, and antioxidants. A half-cup serving of boiled spinach gives you 573 mcg of vitamin A that is 64% of the DV.
According to research work, spinach is rich in dietary nitrate content that helps to control elevated blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.
Raw broccoli is an amazing food that contains 90% water, 3% proteins, and 7% carbohydrates. It is enriched with vitamins (A, C, E, and K), calcium, iron, thiamin, and antioxidants.
Being low in fat and calories, broccoli is an ideal choice to add to your daily diets such as salads, and soups.
Half cup of broccoli provides 60 mcg of vitamin A that is 7% of your DV.
9. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a delicious food either taken in baked or roasted form. It contains provitamin A in the form of beta carotenes. The beta carotenes reduce the risk of muscular degeneration and eye-related disorders during aging.
This vegetable has fewer calories as well as a low glycemic index that controls the blood sugar level. It is rich in fibers, vitamin B6, C, and potassium. One whole sweet potato provides 1403 mcg of vitamin A that is 156% of the DV.
Tomato is a rich source of lycopene that is thought to be associated with preventing many health issues like cancer, cardiovascular and certain chronic diseases.
It has fewer calories, no fat, 95% water. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and antioxidants.
A quarter-cup serving of tomato juice provides 42 mcg of vitamin A that is 5% of a person’s DV.
Mango Mangifera indica L. is one of the most popular fruit throughout the world, especially the tropical regions. It is also popular by the name of ‘the king of fruits.
It is a rich source of vitamins (A, C, E, K), polyphenols, folate, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Moreover, research indicates that 25 different carotenoids including provitamin A, α-carotene, and β-carotene are also present in mango.
A whole raw mango provides 112 mcg of vitamin A that is 12% of the DV.
12. Dried Apricot
This flavorful fat-free dry fruit is rich in potassium, fiber, vitamins, beta carotenes, iron, and antioxidants. Dry apricots are also an excellent choice for strengthening your immune system and thus, fighting common diseases.
10 halves of dried apricots provide 63 mcg of vitamin A that is 7% of a person’s DV.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin A
According to the Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine; RDA is different for different individuals depending upon their age and health status. RDAs for vitamin A are expressed as retinol activity equivalents (RAE).
|Up-to 6 months||400 microgram RAE||400 microgram RAE|
|7 to 12 months||500 microgram RAE||500 microgram RAE|
|1 to 3 years||300 microgram RAE||300 microgram RAE|
|4 to 8 years||400 microgram RAE||400 microgram RAE|
|9 to 13 years||600 microgram RAE||600 microgram RAE|
|14 to 18 years||900 microgram RAE||700 microgram RAE
Pregnancy: 750 micrograms RAE
Lactation: 1200 microgram RAE
|19 to 50 years||900 microgram RAE||700 microgram RAE
Pregnancy: 770 micrograms RAE
Lactation: 1300 microgram RAE
|More than 51 years of age||900 microgram RAE||700 microgram RAE|
Vitamin A can not be synthesized by your body. So, you have to take it through your diet and supplements for your healthy life and to prevent health complications. However, always prefer to take vitamin A-rich foods to your diet instead of taking supplements.