Multi-Monday: Vitamin A

Hey guys and Happy Monday! It’s a new year and many of us are focused on living a healthy life and that includes eating better. But how many of you pay attention to your vitamin intake?

Well, to help you with that, today I’m starting a new series over the next 13 Mondays that will discuss the vitamins we should be consuming on a daily basis, including why they are important and where to get them. And of course, we are starting from the top. Let’s go!

Vitamin A is partially responsible for healthy immune function, reproduction, and supports cell growth, thus playing a critical role in the normal formation and support of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and is critical in maintaining good vision.

There are two forms of vitamin A that are available in the human diet: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A.

Preformed vitamin A comes primarily in the form of retinol and is found in animal food sources such as dairy, meats (especially liver), and fish. The most popular form of provitamin A is beta-carotene and is found in plants and vegetables. Human beings need both retinol and beta-carotene forms of Vitamin A because they account for different activities within the body.

Vitamin A

The average man requires 900 mcg daily , while the average woman needs 700 mcg. To figure out what that means in real life terms of food intake, check out the following:

  • 1 bakes potato with skin on =  1,403 mcg
  • 3 ounces of beef liver = 6,582 mcg
  • 1/2 cup of raw carrots = 452 mcg
  • 1 hard boiled egg = 75 mcg
  • 1 cup of part skim ricotta these = 263 msg

While in developed nations such as the US, Vitamin A deficiency is quite rare, in poorer, undeveloped countries child blindness is often caused by this deficiency.

As you can see, Vitamin A is not only important, but for most of us, its easy to get our daily recommended allowance. So, tell me, what’s your favorite food for getting your Vitamin A?

-Irene

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