Vitamin A has many important functions in the body, including supporting immunity and improving skin and vision. RBC Style finds out which products contain this essential element for health
The material was commented and checked by Alexandra Razarenova, nutritionist, nutritionist, therapist, member of the Russian Union of Nutritionists, Nutritionists and Food Industry Specialists.
Vitamin A-rich foods:
- Cod liver oil
In 1913, scientists found out that the yolk of a chicken egg and oil contain a substance necessary for life. Lab mice fed an unbalanced diet often suffered from eye inflammation and diarrhea. After adding eggs, butter, or cod liver oil to their diet, their condition improved. This is how “fat-soluble factor A” was discovered, which was later renamed vitamin A.
Vitamin A comes in two forms:
- beta-carotene (provitamin A), which enters our body only with plant foods and is synthesized into vitamin A. A powerful antioxidant prevents hair loss, gives them shine and thickness, prevents the development of cardiovascular diseases, lowers cholesterol.
- actually vitamin A, which is found in animal products. It is responsible for skin renewal, regulates twilight and color vision, improves the condition of the mucous membranes, due to which the resistance to seasonal ARVI increases significantly, strengthens bones, and improves metabolism.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin A for men is 900 mcg, for women – 700 mcg, for children and adolescents – 300-600 mcg .
Vitamin A accumulates in the body, so it is not recommended to choose food supplements on your own without consulting a doctor – an overdose is possible.
Vitamin A deficiency is most common in poor developing countries due to a poor diet. To maintain normal vitamin levels, it is sometimes enough to revise your daily diet.
As in humans, in animals, vitamins that enter the body with food accumulate in the liver. That is why beef, lamb, chicken liver is one of the richest sources of this important element. One serving of fried beef liver (approximately 85 g) contains 6,582 mcg of vitamin A, other nutrients, trace minerals, iron and folate.
In addition, this product also contains vitamin E, which also plays the role of an antioxidant, maintains normal skin conditions, fights early aging, and promotes the absorption of fats. Vitamins A and E are both fat-soluble, so they work well together.
In 1831, the German chemist Heinrich-Wilhelm-Ferdinand Wackenroder isolated beta-carotene from carrots. It is this vegetable that is recommended to be consumed regularly, because it is a rich source of provitamin A. Carrots are good for eyesight and skin, and also contain only 26 calories, which allows it to be included in various diets. 125 g of raw carrots contain 459 mg of vitamin A.
Also, carrots are rich in dietary fiber, which contribute to comfortable digestion, minerals and B vitamins, vitamin E and other useful substances.
At the mention of this vegetable, the image of the main character of the cartoon “Popeye the Sailor” immediately pops up. As it turned out, it was not in vain that he constantly used this particular product. Spinach contains a huge amount of nutrients, and in addition to vitamin A (573 mcg per 125 g), it is rich in iron, magnesium, iodine and other important minerals and trace elements.
Also, spinach contains more lutein than other vegetables. This substance is useful not only for the eyes, but also for the cardiovascular system.
Not everyone likes this type of cabbage, but it was his ancient Roman writer Pliny the Elder who called it blessed. Later in other countries, it was called Italian asparagus.
Today broccoli is considered a rich source of vitamins A, C and K, while it is classified as a low-calorie food, so it is great for those who follow the figure.
5. Sweet potato
The vegetable, or sweet potato, is not yet as popular in Russia as in other countries. Its history began in the tropical regions of America. A whole potato baked in the skin contains 1403 mcg of vitamin A, which is 561% of the DV.
Eating sweet potatoes will enrich the diet with vitamins B6, C and potassium, while high fiber and low glycemic index will help control blood sugar .
The history of pumpkin dates back from 5 to 8 thousand years, because the Aztecs began to grow it. Now we are used to traditional pumpkin dishes like cream soup or pie. And earlier it was used as a medical raw material: various ointments and other medicinal products were prepared on the basis of pumpkin.
Pumpkin contains many minerals, trace elements and vitamins, including C, E, K, almost all B vitamins. In addition, pumpkin has about five times more carotenes than carrots.
7. Cod liver oil
Fish oil is a proven source of Omega-3 and vitamin A – 5 ml contains about 150% of the daily value. But it should be remembered that there are contraindications to taking fish oil, so you should not use it too often.
Salmon contains not only vitamin D , fatty acids, vitamin E and other important elements. It is also rich in vitamin A. 100 g of the product contains 149 mcg (17% of the DV).
However, salmon is not suitable for daily consumption, since this fish can accumulate harmful substances from the external habitat.
What is the best way to take vitamin A
Vitamin A is fat-soluble. For better absorption in the intestines, its intake should be combined with vegetable oils, as well as vitamin E and zinc. Vitamin C, in turn, will become a natural catalyst that enhances the action of vitamin A.
The daily diet should be varied and balanced with fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean proteins.