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DAILY DOSE - VITAMIN A

Another week, another daily dose! Daily Dose is our weekly segment where we explore a new vitamin or mineral. Watch this space to read our myth busters where we explore common misconceptions about vitamins and minerals, the benefits of vitamins and minerals and to find out what foods you need to consume to be your happiest and healthiest!

Vitamin A (also known as retinol) is the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids and needs fat to dissolve and transport it around the body. It comes in two different forms: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A. 

Preformed vitamin A is known as the active form because your body uses the vitamin just as it is. It is found in meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. Whereas, provitamin A is an inactive form and is converted into an active form in your body. For example, beta-carotene is converted to retinol in your small intestine. The second type is found in fruits, vegetables and other plant based products.

Benefits

Do you find yourself staring at screen all day? Our eyes are constantly getting exposed to blue light and vitamin A could be the solution to this problem! It is essential for maintaining healthy vision. It can help reduce the oxidative stress all this light puts on our eyes. Although, you won’t get super night vision from eating your carrots, it can sharpen your ability to see in the darkness a little.

Boost your immune system with vitamin A! It plays a central role in the production and development of white blood cells, which remove bacteria from our blood streams. Studies have shown that it can speed up your recovery when you get sick and decrease your susceptibility to infections. It is known as the “anti-viral vitamin” after all.

People with lower blood levels of vitamin A are at higher risk of bone fractures than people with healthy levels. Vitamin A is necessary for proper bone growth and development. Both osteoblasts (bone building cells) and osteoclasts (bone breaking down cells) are influenced by vitamin A. This means that eating the recommended amount may protect your bones and excess consumption may lower bone density.

Where to get your daily dose

  • Sweet Potato – a medium sized cooked sweet potato provides 204% DV of vitamin A. 
  • Cantaloupe – provides 110% DV of vitamin A.
  • Beef Liver – provides 713% DV of vitamin A.
  • Cheddar – who doesn’t love cheese? Apart from vegans of course! Cheddar provides 10% DV of vitamin A. 
  • Bluefin Tuna – provides 24% DV of vitamin A.
  • Cooked Kale – provides 98% DV of vitamin A.
  • Carrot – provides 44% DV of vitamin A. 
  • Mango – provides 20% DV of vitamin A.
  • Cod Liver Oil – provides 150% DV of vitamin A.
  • Hard-Boiled Egg – provides 8% DV of vitamin A. 

Myth buster – overdose on vitamin A?  

Too little vitamin A in your diet can lead to deficiencies and too much vitamin A could be fatal. But, how can you get the right balance in your diet? 

Excess consumption of preformed vitamin A leading to toxic levels in your body is known as hypervitaminosis A. Symptoms include: vision problems, bone pain and changes in the skin.

It happens when a person takes too many supplements and occurs very rarely from excessive consumption of provitamin A from plant foods.

So, avoid supplementing in excessive amounts and consume vitamin A rich foods as part of your normal diet.

How will you implement vitamin A into your diet? We love to hear from you here at Love Yourself! Find us on Instagram (@loveyourselfhq)

By Pooja Depala

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