There are several essential vitamins and minerals we need each day. This helps keep our bodies working the way they should be. One of these important nutrients is vitamin A. It plays a key role in many body functions. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you get the vitamin A you need.
Benefits of vitamin A
Vitamin A works with a variety of systems and parts of the body to keep it in tip top shape. For example, vitamin A helps:
- Prevent infection and support healthy immune system
- Bone development and bone health
- Preserve and maintain vision
- Support growth of cells and tissues to the heart, lungs and kidneys
- Healthy development in babies
Signs of not getting enough vitamin A
The amount of vitamin A you need every day depends on your age and gender, but it is recommended that adult males get 900 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents (mcg RAE) and adult females get 700 mcg RAE.
For most people in the U.S., they’re able to get the amount of vitamin A they need through the foods they eat and by taking a multivitamin. Those who commonly don’t get the recommended amounts are pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and infants.
While vitamin A deficiencies are rare in this country, signs that you may not get enough include:
- Night blindness
- Dry eyes
- Eczema and other skin problems
- Respiratory infections
- Infertility in men and women
- Delayed growth and development in children
Good sources of vitamin A
Filling your plate with healthy foods is a great way to get the vitamin A you need to feel your best and keep your body working right. There are two types of vitamin A that are important to a balanced diet. The first is preformed vitamin A, also known as retinol. The second type is found in animal-sourced foods like:
- Cod liver oil
- Organ meats, like liver
Your body can also make vitamin A from carotenoids found in plants, called provitamin A. Stocking up on green produce like:
- Swiss chard
- Turnip greens
- Romaine lettuce
Red and orange fruits and vegetables also supply a lot of vitamin A, so fill your shopping cart with:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
- Summer squash
Mom's Meals® can help
At Mom’s Meals, we believe better health begins with the meals we eat. To help make adding nutritious foods to your life easier and more convenient, try our delicious and nutritious meals designed by dietitians and professional chefs. Whatever your health condition or specific nutritional requirements, we can help bring good nutrition right to your home.