Ifyou want a healthy immune system, heart, lungs, kidneys and nearly every organ in your body…you need Vitamin A. If you have ever experienced throat or chest infections, gastroenteritis, delayed growth or even infertility, it could be a lack of Vitamin A!
It turns out, some of the common issues we all deal with and have assumed to be part of life could actually be the result of our lousy diet!
So all in all, we need Vitamin A 1. But where do we get Vitamin A? Should we take it in a powder, a pill or what? While supplements are always an option, there are tons of Vitamin A rich foods you can add to your diet. Many of which you already enjoy.
There are two forms of Vitamin A available to our diets: preformed and provitamin. Preformed Vitamin A comes from animal products like dairy, fish, meat, etc. Provitamin A is a plant pigment and is found in the vegetarian meal choices we make.
The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine has determined the recommended daily allowance for males agent 14-50 is 900mcg, and females of the same age should get about 700mcg 2.
Our body gives us ‘signals’ if we lack Vitamin A
While Vitamin A is found in plenty of foods, even foods you already eat, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting enough of those foods to count. Think about what you’ve eaten so far this week: was it all healthy, preservative-free food? How many fruits and vegetables have you enjoyed?
Chances are, you’ve opted for quick fixes and used time you could have been meal-prepping for getting all the other things done that have been stressing you out. Am I right? While it can be so frustrating and downright unenjoyable to plan meals, knowing what you’re ingesting and why it’s good for you is so important. The following problems are just three common issues associated with a lack of Vitamin A.
1. Poor Vision
If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin A, you could experience poor vision, especially at night or in dimly-lit settings. While irritating, this problem is also extremely dangerous. It can make it hazardous to drive at night. Thinking small, it can also be difficult to read menus while at a romantic restaurant. And nobody wants that (1).
2. Dry Eyes
If you’ve ever experienced dry eyes (severe or otherwise), then you know it’s awful. But dry eyes caused by Vitamin A deficiency can actually cause xerophthalmia, a big word for a severe form of night blindness. Essentially, your eyes lose the ability to moisten themselves which means you can’t produce tears. Sure, you could constantly squeeze eyedrops onto your pupils, but is that really the life you want?
3. Hindered growth and rough, itchy skin
If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin A, especially at a young age, your growth can be dramatically stunted and even halted altogether! While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being on the short side, do you want to know you could have prevented it? More so, a lack of Vitamin A can lead to unhealthy skin, evidenced by rough, flaky and dry patches. Yuck.
A must try! Top 10 Vitamin A rich foods
1. Beef Liver
This beef liver and onions recipe is a great way to get your Vitamin A fix. This specific recipe is an appetizer. Try it at your next event as a helpful, subtle way to get more Vitamin A into the lives of your friends, too! And if you’re thinking, “ew! Liver?! No way am I eating that!” Then I challenge you to ask yourself: when was the last time you tried it? 3
While it’s ideal to munch on carrots by themselves, we can’t all be Bugs Bunny. This delicious peach and carrot smoothie is a great way to get that vitamin A fix first thing in the morning! You’ll be amazed at how good it can taste to get your vitamins.
3. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are so versatile. You can bake them, roast them, chop them, whip them, slather them in butter and cinnamon or cheese and chives. While they are especially delicious as dessert foods, in the interest of health, let’s stick to this recipe for simple roasted sweet potatoes. Yum! Add these to your next meal for a satisfying, good-for-you side.
Kale, like sweet potatoes, is good in basically any dish. This recipe is a must-try! This Avocado kale quinoa salad is bursting with nutrition and it tastes amazing, too! A win-win! It’s basically a bowl full of health!
This recipe for Spinach Ball appetizers is as healthy as it is adorable! Enjoy them as a side dish or as an appetizer at your next gathering.
These no cook apricot energy bites are an ideal snack to bring to work or school. They’re dairy free, gluten free, vegan and the only sugar that exists is naturally-occurring! And did I mention there is no cooking involved?!
I have always loved broccoli, especially covered in cheese! While this recipe for garlic roasted broccoli is cheese-free, it’s so delicious you won’t even notice it’s missing. If you haven’t noticed yet, so many of these Vitamin A-rich foods work perfectly as side dishes to any healthy meal. This can make it especially easy to get a variety of veggies without feeling like you’re eating all day long.
Unfortunately, I can’t recommend you eat sticks of butter (though if you’ve ever had really good butter, you’ve probably been tempted). But I am going to recommend you try the recipe for bullet-proof coffee.
While there are many variations and you can always find the website of the same name to see the basic version, this one is a great start. You mix coconut oil (or a similar oil) and grass fed butter into your coffee. I know, it sounds crazy, butter? In my coffee? but it’s oh so good! And the best part? It’s good for you!
While everyone seems to change their mind every other day on whether eggs are healthy or unhealthy, the research shows they are good for you, as long as you eat them in moderation. This recipe for 50 calorie egg muffin cups is a great way to kickstart your morning without any guilt while also getting a Vitamin A fix. Enjoy!
10. Winter Squash
If you’re anything like me, it doesn’t have to be cold outside to enjoy a bowl of delicious soup. This recipe for butter nut squash and apple soup is sure to warm your heart and belly, no matter the temperature! Full of vitamins and minerals, this is sure to be a new soup go-to.