In order to function efficiently, our body needs a variety of minerals and vitamins. Some of the vitamins that are essential for the human body are Vitamins A, B, C, and D. All these vitamins play different roles inside our bodies and the lack of these may result in a number of diseases, both mild and serious.
The aforementioned vitamins are primarily gained from food sources, both animal and plant-based, and a diet can only be deemed healthy and balanced if it contains an ample amount of all these vitamins, in addition to minerals as well as the macro-nutrients- fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Vitamin A Uses and Advantages
As per WHO’s a global database on Vitamin A Deficiency, one-third of the world’s children under the age of five lack Vitamin A in their bodies. This deficiency has proven to be deadly for kids and has also caused preventable childhood blindness, predominantly in South East Asian and Africa (according to a 2013 report by the National Institutes of Health).
Numerous scientific studies have stressed the health benefits of consuming sufficient vitamin A, as part of your daily diet.
Here are some of the important roles and advantages of consuming Vitamin A:
- Eye Health
It is a well-known fact that Vitamin A maintains our eye health, as it converts the light entering our eyes into electrical signals that can be then understood by the brain. Furthermore, Vitamin A is a constituent of the pigment rhodopsin, which is found in the retina of the eye and is said to be photosensitive.
- Enhanced Immunity
Lack of Vitamin A can leave you susceptible to various diseases and taking it ensures that your body’s defenses are active. This vitamin plays a part in the maintenance of the mucous lining in the eyes, gut, genitalia, and the lungs, and it is also vital for the growth of white blood cells that fight infections.
- Fights Acne
Vitamin A is important if you want to avoid the development of acne – which is a skin-related issue that involves severe breakout of pimples.
- Strong Bones
Vitamin A has a big role to play in bone development and a shortage of this vitamin has been associated with poor bone health. Some researchers have revealed that individuals with low levels of Vitamin A in the blood are prone to bone fractures.
- Maintains Reproductive Health
Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining the reproductive health of both males and females, especially the latter by ensuring the appropriate development of the embryos during pregnancy.
Let’s take a look at some of the best Vitamin A rich foods (Plant-Based):
Carrots are known for their nutrient riches and the food item contains 104 percent Vitamin A by Daily Value.
Spinach is highly rich in Provitamin A or carotenoids as it contains 52 percent of beta-carotene (a type of carotenoid) by Daily Value.
This fruit has 274 micrograms of beta-carotene and it is important for liver and eye health.
Widely known as the king of fruits, Mango also does wonders when it comes to supplying Provitamin A in our body. The mouth-watering fruit contains 21 percent of Vitamin A by Daily Value.
Vitamin A-rich foods (Animal-Based):
1. Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil is considered as one of the best sources of Vitamin A. It is usually consumed in the form of supplements, which contains 2000 percent of the Daily Value
2. Goat Cheese
Goat Cheese is also an ideal source of Vitamin A. It has 29 percent of the DV (as per USDA data).
The livers of mammals like pig, lamb, cow, etc. are highly rich in Vitamin A and can be taken as part of a non-vegetarian diet.