Vitamin A: Expert Shares Why It Is Important, Common Sources And Benefits
Vitamin A performs multiple functions for our body including growth development and maintenance of the immune system.
Vitamin A is a group of fat-soluble vitamins and it’s a nutrient which our body cannot manufacture and therefore has to be included in our diet. Vitamins are basically needed in small amounts to help our body function and stay healthy. There are two types of Vitamin A. One is preformed vitamin A (Retinol) which is basically found in animal products, fortified foods, and vitamin supplements. Another one is Pro vitamin A (Carotenoids) such as lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are derived from plant products.
Greata Sherene Robinson, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chennai shared a list of some predominant sources of Vitamin A
Animal Sources Of Vitamin A
Liver (Beef, Goat, Chicken), fish oil, fish, egg yolk, dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter. These are found in active form i.e. retinol and they are directly absorbed.
Plant Sources Of Vitamin A
Fruits like mangoes, apricots, papayas, vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, cantaloupe, bell peppers, summer squash, yellow maize, etc. Green leafy vegetables like amaranth, spinach, drumstick, fenugreek, and agathi leaves are also a good source of vitamin A.
These are found as carotenoids which will be converted by the body into retinol during digestion which then can be utilized. Vitamin A requires some fat in the diet which will aid in absorption. Vitamin A malabsorption can happen when there is celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, alcoholism, cirrhosis, and cystic fibrosis. And also note that UV rays
Benefits Of Vitamin A
The expert further shared the benefits of consuming vitamin A in our daily diet.
- Maintains integrity and function of all the surface tissues like the skin, the lining of the respiratory tract, the gut, the bladder, and the inner ear and eye.
- The antioxidants present in vitamin A protect our body from certain types of cancer.
- It helps in the production of white blood cells.
- It helps in developing a healthy immune system.
- It helps in producing mucous to the skin cell tissues which acts like a barrier to infection.
- Vitamin A is critical for vision and it also prevents age-related macular degeneration.
- It supports eye health.
- Vitamin A helps in sperm and egg development, in reproduction, and also helps in placental health, fetal tissue development, and fetal growth.
- Thus, Vitamin A plays a huge role in our skin, eyes, immunity and it helps in proper growth and development.
Deficiency Of Vitamin A
Mild deficiency can cause fatigue, infertility, and susceptibility to infection. But serious deficiency can cause night blindness, dry skin, and hair, irregular patches on white of the eye, severe dryness of the eye.
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How To Incorporate Vitamin A Into Your Diet?
Few ideas for dishes loaded with Vitamin A are as follows:
- Spinach, watermelon, melon salad
- Yellow pumpkin + Amarnath Sambar
- Carrot, cucumber, broccoli, and capsicum salad
- Yogurt with cut slices of mango, papaya, and some apricots
- Mexican corn salad
- Methi carrot paratha
Including any dose of vitamin A daily can prevent our susceptibility to infections and also helps us build a healthy immune system. If you have any questions related to the consumption of vitamin A, write to us on our Facebook page and we will get them answered for you. For more such health-related stories, stay tuned!