Good Dietary Sources of Vitamin A (Retinol)
Because vitamin A can be found in both animals and vegetable sources, you can find vitamin A in many different foods. Vitamin A has numerous health benefits, so make sure you get enough in your diet each day. Consume a variety of the foods listed below, which are all healthy foods that contain high amounts of vitamin A.
Keep in mind that vitamin A can be easily be destroyed through excessive exposure to air and light. To keep the vitamin A content of foods intact, make sure you store fruits and vegetables inside sealed containers and keep them adequately refrigerated.
Depending on the acidity of the food, vitamin A can also break down when exposed to heat. Highly acidic foods are more likely to lose retinol when cooked, so try to eat these fruits and vegetables raw.
- Liver is a very good source of vitamin A. Beef, pork, chicken, and turkey liver are all good choices. To keep the vitamin A content high, prepare the liver by braising it.
- Other organ meats, such as kidney are also excellent sources.
- Low-fat and non-fat milk are often fortified with vitamin A and provide a good amount of the nutrient.
- Yogurt, eggs, and cheese all contain vitamin A, as well.
- Orange and yellow fruits usually contain a good amount of vitamin A. This includes fruits like mango, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, and nectarines.
- Plums and watermelons also provide small amounts.
- Vegetables that are orange or red are among the best dietary sources of vitamin A. Carrots, red bell peppers, pumpkin, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes all contain large amounts of the vitamin.
- Dark green and green leafy vegetables are also good foods to eat for vitamin A. Eat collard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, or broccoli to boost your intake.
- Many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin A, and some can contain a full day’s requirement in one or two servings.
Daily Requirement of Vitamin A (Retinol)
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is a measure of how much of a nutrient different people should get every day. For vitamin A (Retinol), the RDA is:
- 400 micrograms a day for infants 0-6 months old.
- 500 micrograms a day for infants 7-12 months old.
- 300 micrograms a day for children 1-3 years old.
- 400 micrograms a day for children 4-8 years old.
- 600 micrograms a day for children 9-13 years old.
- 900 micrograms a day for males age 14 or older.
- 700 micrograms a day for females age 14 or older.
Also, the RDA is higher for women when pregnant or breastfeeding. The RDA for vitamin A is increased to 770 micrograms a day during pregnancy, and 1300 micrograms a day while breastfeeding.
Vitamin A deficiencies are rare in developed countries, but are regularly seen in some poorer regions. The daily requirement of vitamin A is generally easy to get with a balanced and varied diet that includes adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables.
The RDA values are established by the National Academy of Sciences.