Sources of Vitamin A and Retinol

2013-09-28 11:51:10


Sources of Vitamin A and Retinol

Vitamin A helps your eyes adjust to light changes when you come in from the outdoors.

Vitamin A is important to maintaining clear vision, promoting skin health and producing red blood cells. Retinol is the animal form of vitamin A that is stored in the liver after absorption and used by the body when it is needed. By ingesting certain fruits, vegetables, grains and supplements, you can ensure proper Vitamin A intake. According to the USDA, the average person should consume at least 900 micrograms of vitamin A per day, but no more than 3,000 micrograms.


    • Cantaloupes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, as are mangos, melons, apricots, tangerines, plums and watermelons. To maximize your vitamin intake, eat these fruits raw by preparing a fruit salad. They're not required to be fresh, so you can always buy them frozen or in a can.


    • Like fruits, vegetables should also be eaten raw to maximize Vitamin A and retinol intake. However, if you must cook them, steaming is the preferred method, as frying takes out some of the nutrients. Vegetables that are rich in Vitamin A include carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes or any other leafy greens.

    • Having a quick bowl of oatmeal in the morning is a great way to get Vitamin A. Milk, cheese and butter are also good sources. Most proteins don't have a lot of Vitamin A or retinol, but wild caught salmon contains a minimal amount. This can be purchased fresh or canned at your local supermarket.


    • If you regularly incorporate the above foods into your daily diet, you will not likely need to take a Vitamin A supplement. In fact, it's important to note that too much Vitamin A can be toxic. Warning signs of an overdose include nausea, headaches and muscle and joint pain. If you do require a retinol supplement, most pharmacies and health shops carry a variety of brands.