Home Heart Health Food 15 Foods High in Vitamin A

15 Foods High in Vitamin A

19 min read

Getty ImagesAnne Stephneson / EyeEm

Ever wonder how you can make your way around your home in the middle of the night without crashing into a wall? Thank good ol' vitamin A. The fat-soluble nutrient helps maintain night vision, among a trillion other things.

“Vitamin A does a lot in the body,” says Lisa Samuels, RD, founder of The Happie House. It aids immune function and helps maintain healthy vision, teeth, bones, skin, and nails, Samuels says. Vitamin A also supports cell growth and plays a critical role in the maintenance of various vital organs including the heart, lungs, and kidneys, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Though vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States, ensuring you include vitamin A-rich foods in your diet is important to overall good health. Including any of these delicious foods in your meals can help you continue to hit the daily mark.

1

Carrots

Like nearly all orange veggies, carrots are an A+ source of vitamin A. “[They’re] loaded with beta-carotene and antioxidants,” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN. Just a half cup of raw carrots provides 184 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A—and, fun fact, 30 percent of the vitamin A ingested across the U.S. comes from fiber- and antioxidant-rich carrots.

How to eat them: “Carrots are incredibly delicious when roasted and caramelized, and you can put them on a bed of spinach for a double dose of vitamin A,” says Autumn Ehsaei, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT. Or, nosh on them raw. “I recommend baby carrots with two tablespoons of hummus as a power snack for clients,” says Sydney Greene, RD, at Middleberg Nutrition.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

2

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are another orange vitamin A powerhouse. These spuds also have vitamins C and B6, potassium, fiber, and niacin, a nutrient used to turn food into energy, says Shapiro. A single baked sweet potato provides 561 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A—but you’ve got to eat the peel to reap the nutrients, notes Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist, private cooking coach, and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook.

How to eat them: You can eat sweet potatoes baked with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Or, blend them into muffin or pancake batter, suggests Ehsaei. You can have them for breakfast, too, says Greene: “Try a roasted sweet potato with one tablespoon of nut butter, coconut yogurt, and hemp hearts—the perfect blend of protein, fat, and complex carbs.”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

3

Kale

Along with orange fruits and vegetables, dark, leafy greens are an excellent way to increase your vitamin A. “Kale has been touted as a superfood because it is packed with so many nutrients and health benefits,” Samuels says. Chief among those nutrients: vitamins A and K, calcium, and potassium, an electrolyte that aids nerve and muscle functioning.

How to eat it:
Replace your usual salad greens with kale. Or, whip up a kale-based pesto. “Throw a few leaves of kale in a blender with garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese (another good source of vitamin A), lemon juice, and walnuts or pine nuts,” Samuels suggests.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

4

Spinach

Take a page out of Popeye’s book, and enjoy this green vegetable in abundance. Just half a cup of frozen spinach provides 229 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin A. “Spinach has potassium, vitamin K, and fiber. It also contains other antioxidants which can be helpful in diabetes management,” says Samuels.

How to eat it:
“There’s so much you can do with spinach and kale since you can enjoy them both raw and cooked, plus they cook in minutes,” Newgent says. Make it the base of your salad or sauté some up with some garlic and olive oil as a side dish. If you don’t like the taste of spinach—or dislike the slick texture of cooked spinach—sneak it into turkey meatballs or burgers, Greene suggests.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

5

Dried apricots

Snack on just 10 dried apricots to get 25 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin A. Dried apricots will also provide you with calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C, says Shapiro.

How to eat them: Apricots are easy to snack on, but also a delicious touch in salads and rice dishes as well. Just cut them in half and toss em' in.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

6

Broccoli

There’s plenty of reasons beyond vitamin A to prepare broccoli. For one thing, it’s higher in protein than most other vegetables, Shapiro notes. Plus, it’s also a good source of fiber, vitamins C and K, and iron. You’ll receive 24 percent of your daily value of vitamin A from a mere ½ cup of the crunchy green veggie.

How to eat it: Enjoy broccoli boiled, roasted, or sautéed. Or, add it to a stir-fry, omelet, or pasta dish.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

7

Butternut squash

Serve up this winter squash as soon as you see it at the farmers market. “One cup of cooked butternut squash offers more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin A for both men and women,” Samuels says. It’s high in fiber and potassium, helps lower blood pressure, and can decrease the risk of heart disease, she adds.

How to eat it: Roast it in the oven with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Or, whip up Prevention’s butternut squash soup recipe for a filling, tasty lunch.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

8

Cantaloupe

If you’re having cut up cantaloupe in the morning, you’re getting 54 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin A, as well as a boost of hydration from the fruit’s high water content, Samuel says. Consuming cantaloupe can also ward off diabetes and heart disease, she says.

How to eat it: “You can add cantaloupe to a smoothie or a juice,” says Samuela, but she prefers it in its natural form—cut up and eaten raw.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

9

Mango

Another tasty, vitamin A-rich fruit, mangos are also rich in vitamin C—in fact, just one mango has more vitamin c than an orange! Naturally sweet, these fruits make for a healthy dessert or smoothie add-in. Peel and eat a mango to get nearly half of your daily value of vitamin A.

How to eat it
: Sprinkle a mango with chili powder and salt, along with a squeeze of lime, for a refreshing, easy snack. Another idea: “Mango or cantaloupe can be a great addition to a frozen summertime treat like smoothies or popsicles,” Ehsaei says. (Psst! Check out these delicious homemade popsicle recipes.)

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

10

Red bell pepper

High in vitamin C and vitamin E, just 1/2 cup of sweet red peppers have 47 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A.

How to eat it: Eat red peppers raw as a snack, dipped in hummus, or include them in stir fries, salads, stews, or egg casseroles.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

11

Black eyed peas

Here’s a surprising entry: black-eyed peas, also known as cowpeas. This legume provides 13 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A with each half-cup serving.

How to eat them: Add these to a green salad, just as you would with chickpeas, kidneys, or any other canned bean. Hoppin’ John (a blend of rice and black-eyed peas) is considered good luck to serve on New Year’s Day, but there’s no reason not to enjoy it all year long!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

12

Cow's milk

Much of the milk sold in the U.S. is fortified with vitamins D and A. Drink a cup of fortified skim milk, and you’ll get 10 percent of your daily value of vitamin A. Craving ice cream? Treat yourself to a cup of French vanilla soft serve, which has 20 percent of your DV of vitamin A.

How to drink it: It’s easy to drink milk—have a latte, add some to your cereal, or make a milk-based pudding or smoothie.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

13

Tomato

Samuels lists tomatoes (and tomato products, like marinara and tomato juice) as one of the foods highest in vitamin A. They’re also a good source of vitamins C and E, as well as potassium, magnesium, and satiating fiber. A glass of low-sodium tomato juice will give you 16 percent of your daily value of vitamin A.

How to eat it: Cut up tomatoes for salads, or put canned or fresh tomatoes in sauces, stews, soups (like gazpacho!), and chilis.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

14

Beef liver

Some animal and dairy products are rich in vitamin A, says Samuels. High on that list? Beef liver—it’s second only to sweet potato in serving up vitamin A. Three ounces of beef liver contains a whopping 444 percent of the day's vitamin A. And, surprise: liver makes our list of the 25 most heart-healthy foods.

How to eat it:
Liver and onions, anyone? The dish was a treat for your grandma’s generation, and while it’s less trendy now, it’s just as tasty a meal as it was in her day. Next time you're looking for an exciting dinner dish, try making liver and caramelized onions along with mashed potatoes.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

15

Pumpkin

Along the same lines as butternut squash and sweet potatoes, this orange fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A—it’s also low in calories, high in fiber, and offers up magnesium and potassium.

How to eat it: Go ahead, indulge in that slice of pumpkin pie—it’ll provide you with 249 percent of your daily value of vitamin A (it's also super delicious). You can also whip up some of these delicious recipes starring pumpkin puree.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Source link

Want more stuff like this?

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don’t worry we don’t spam

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Chief executive officer of Sacred Heart Health System named

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WEAR) — Ascension has selected Tom VanOsdol as the chief executive off…