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Foods High In Vitamin A & The Health Benefits

By Rob Poulos...

We know that in order to stay healthy and lose weight our diets must be filled with vitamins and minerals, but do we really know why these nutrients are so important? For so many of us these nutrients simply represent vague notions of health and well being.

You need to know about these vitamins and minerals because adding more foods high in vitamin A for example, can help you fix nagging health issues that may not require a visit to the doctor.

Keep reading to find out about the health benefits of vitamin A.

Benefits of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is responsible mostly for eye health. One of the health benefits of vitamin A is that it promotes optimal vision, particularly in situations with lower light. You might hear some refer to vitamin A as retinol due to the fact that vitamin A produces the pigments found in the retina of the eye. And that is just the most common benefit of vitamin A.

If you find yourself susceptible to illness then you probably need more vitamin A rich foods in your diet. Vitamin A helps your body fight infection, partially because it reinforces the body’s entry points like your mucus membranes, respiratory tracts, lining of the eye and other tracts like urinary and intestinal.

Vitamin A also helps keep our teeth and bones strong. Typically we think of calcium as being the main source of bone and teeth strength, but the truth is that vitamin A, combined with dentin forms a hard layer within our teeth and bones to keep them strong and less likely to break.

If you need more reasons to add foods that are high in vitamin A to your diet, think about your skin. Vitamin A helps your skin maintain moisture and protect it from dryness, wrinkles, acne and even psoriasis. We all worry about our skin and a healthy dose of vitamin A can keep you looking young and fresh.

Foods rich in vitamin A also help keep both make and female reproductive organs working efficiently and effectively.

[Dark leafy green foods are incredibly high in vitamin A.]

Vitamin A Deficient

Sure there are plenty of reasons to add foods with significant amounts of vitamin A to your diet, but there are also significant side effects to having a vitamin A deficiency. Without enough vitamin A in your diet you will be more susceptible to problems with your eyesight as well as infections.

Try to get as much of your vitamin A from foods with a high amount of vitamin A rather than vitamins. Too much vitamin A, usually in the form of supplements, can cause birth defects and poisoning.

How Much Do You Need

So how do you know that you’re getting enough vitamin A in your diet? According to the National Institutes of Healthy men over the age of 14 should get 900 mcg of vitamin A each day and women aged 14 and older need 700 mcg per day. If you’re not sure if you’re getting enough vitamin A, take a look at nutrition labels to see how much you’re getting.

[A side of sweet potatoes and butternut squash is a vitamin A packed dish!]

The best way to make sure you’re getting your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A is to make sure your diet has plenty of foods that are high in vitamin A.

Foods Loaded With Vitamin A

To enjoy the health benefits of vitamin a you will need to increase your consumption of foods that have plenty of vitamin A. There are plenty of foods that can provide you with sufficient sources of vitamin A and some will provide you with more than your recommended daily value.

Dark Leafy Greens are quite high in vitamin A so you can be well served by adding collard or turnip greens to your diet, mustard greens, kale or Swiss chard are leafy greens that can improve your vitamin A intake. Spinach is another, lighter green that you can add for more foods high in vitamin A in your diet.

Bright Orange Vegetables are also another great group of vitamin A rich foods. The beta carotene in these foods acts as an antioxidant as well as a carotenoid to reduce your risk of cancer. These bright orange foods include carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and butternut squash just to name a few. Adding a few or all of these foods to your diet will certainly improve your overall health, not to mention your weight loss efforts.

Herbs & Spices provide a significant source of vitamin A especially when considered how sparsely they are used in cooking. Parsley, basil, oregano and dill are some of the herbs highest in vitamin A and they also add great flavor to your meal without the sodium! Red pepper powders like cayenne, chili powder and paprika also provide you with a significant source of vitamin A. For example one tablespoon of cayenne powder provides you with 42% or your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A!

Adding foods with a lot of vitamin A such as these is a great way to take advantage of the many health benefits of vitamin A. Add a few of these to your diet; it’ll make a significant difference in how you look and feel!

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