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Essential nutrient series – Vitamin A

Posted Mar 22 2010 12:00am

Carrots Vitamin A is essential to the body to perform 2 particular tasks.  Vitamin A is well known for it’s a role in the vision. However, it also plays an essential role of an important hormone-like growth factor for cells, as well as participating in the immune system activities, in cells growth, reproduction and bone development.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A goes like this:

Males and females, 1-3 years: 1,000 IU
Males and females, 4-8 years: 1,333 IU
Males and females, 9-13 years: 2,000 IU
Males, 14 years and older: 3,000 IU
Females, 14 years and older: 2,333 IU

Vitamin A is a champion for keeping a youthful, healthy looking skin.  It also can help in many common health problems like acne, dermatitis, diabetes, dry eyes, inflammatory bowels syndrome, ear infection, psoriasis, thyroid disorders, and viral infections.

However, Vitamin A intake can lead to some problems if taken in excessive amounts, so unless you have a very poor diet, I wouldn’t recommend taking supplements.  On the other hand, it is very unlikely that someone could get excessive amount through food alone, so don’t wait, and boost your intake of this precious nutrient by incorporating more of these foods in your diet.

Best vegan Vitamin A sources:

  • Carrots: 34317 IU
  • Spinach: 18866 IU
  • Turnip greens: 7917 IU
  • Kale: 9620 IU
  • Parsley (fresh): 632 IU
  • Bell peppers: 5244 IU
  • Romaine lettuce: 2912 IU
  • Swiss chard: 5493 IU
  • Sweet potatoes : 13108 IU
  • Cantaloupe melon: 5158 IU
  • Butternut Squash: 7292 IU
  • Apricots: 914 IU
  • Broccoli: 2280 IU
  • Tomatoes: 1121 IU

The best of all is that Vitamin A is not destroyed by cooking. So go ahead and bring some color to your plate!

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