Vitamin A is essential for normal vision, immune system function, and reproduction. These 10 foods are high in vitamin A and good for your health.
Why You Need Vitamin A
Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble vitamins, along with vitamins D, E, and K. It’s needed for immune system function, normal vision, reproduction, and cell growth. According to the Institute of Medicine, men need about 900 micrograms and women need about 700 micrograms per day. For food label purposes set by the FDA, the daily value for vitamin a is 900 mcg per day.1
Although you can take vitamin A supplements, you’re better off getting this essential vitamin from the foods you eat because vitamin A is paired with other essential nutrients for the body. Flip through the slideshow to see my top ten picks for vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes because they’re high in so many nutrients and so delicious. One medium sweet potato has about 900 micrograms of vitamin A with most coming from beta carotene. They also have vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and traces of iron.2
Dark green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin A, spinach is also high in vitamin K and most minerals, including calcium and magnesium. It’s also low in calories, so it makes a very healthy side dish.
One cup of cooked spinach has 943 micrograms of vitamin A –– enough for a whole day.3
Winter squash as a group are high in vitamin A, but butternut squash contains the most with 153 mcg per cup. It also contains potassium, vitamin C and traces of calcium. But it doesn’t have too many calories. One cup of cubed cooked squash has 82 calories.
Carrots are well known for being high in vitamin A. In fact, one single medium-sized carrot has 509 micrograms of vitamin A4. Carrots also contain potassium, with traces of vitamin K and calcium. Raw carrots go well with a little veggie dip or hummus, but they’re also good on salads. Cooked carrots are tasty too.
Cantaloupe is high in vitamin A, and it makes my list because it’s so versatile. It’s perfect in summer fruit salads or all by itself. One cup of cantaloupe cubes has 270 micrograms of vitamin A. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C with traces of potassium and magnesium.5
Red Bell Peppers
One pepper (or sweet bell peppers) are nutritious and flavorful. One medium red bell pepper has only 37 calories and 187 micrograms of vitamin A (and more than a day’s worth of vitamin C.6 They lend a beautiful red color to salads and side dishes.
One mango has 181 micrograms of vitamin A and more than a day’s worth of vitamin C and a healthy dose of vitamin K. Mangos are also a great fruit for smoothie ingredients.
Black Eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas don’t have as much vitamin A as the dark green, orange and red vegetables and fruit, but one cup does have about 60 micrograms. It also has lots of fiber, protein, and a fair amount of vitamin K, all for about 160 calories. Legumes are a healthy alternative to red meat, even if you’re not a vegetarian.
Apricots are high in vitamin A and potassium, but low in calories. One cup of apricot slices has 158 micrograms vitamin A, 79 calories and over 3 grams of fiber.7 An apricot makes a good snack all by itself or with a handful of nuts.
Broccoli is another food that’s loaded with so many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. One cup of cooked and chopped broccoli has about 120 micrograms vitamin A and only 54 calories.8
Author: Shereen Lehman, MS
Source: Very Well Fit: Top 10 Foods High in Vitamin A