Vitamin A is crucial to the overall good health of our bodies, and is especially important for the maintenance of our eyesight. Similar to B-vitamins, there are actually a variety of A-vitamins that all fall under the “vitamin A” umbrella. Some of these include beta-carotene, retinol, lutein, and zeaxanthin. No matter which form it takes, vitamin A is crucial for healthy skin, hair, and eyes.
Vitamin A Rich Foods
The average adult should aim for approximately 5000 IUs (international units) of the vitamin on a daily basis. Below is a list of some of the most vitamin-A rich foods that will help you reach this goal every day.
1. Butternut Squash
Not only rich in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, butternut squash is also extremely rich in vitamin A, particularly in the form of beta-carotene. One cup of butternut squash will provide you with 457% of your daily vitamin A needs (226868 IU).
2. Sweet Potatoes
One of the single richest sources of vitamin A, one medium-sized sweet potato will cost you just barely 100 calories, but will deliver approximately 438% DV (21909 IU).
3. Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and, of course, vitamin A. Taken in either liquid or capsule form, one serving of cod liver oil will provide you with about 280% DV, at 14000 IU.
Often associated with eye health, carrots are well-known for being rich in vitamin A. One medium-sized carrot can provide you with over 200% DV of your vitamin A needs (10191 IU).
Kale is quickly rising to the level of “superfood.” Rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, kale also delivers just over 200% DV of vitamin A (10302 IU) per serving, and will cost you only 34 calories.
6. Dried Marjoram
Another somewhat surprising member on the list, dried marjoram can easily be added to many dishes, and 100 grams of the herb will provide you with 8068 IU of vitamin A, or about 160% DV.
Another vegetable ringing in at just over 100% DV, one ½ cup serving of peas deliver 1680 IU of vitamin A (134% DV), along with a decent amount of vitamins C, K, and B.
8. Turnip Greens
Many leafy greens are essential for good health, and turnip greens are no exception. One serving (1 cup, chopped) of turnip greens will provide 6373 IU of vitamin A, about 125% DV.
If it’s orange, it’s a good bet that it provides you with a significant amount of vitamin A, and cantaloupe is no exception. ⅛ of an average cantaloupe contains 5986 IU, or about 120% DV.
10. Mustard Greens
Cousin to kale and turnip greens, mustard green are also rich in vitamin A and will provide you with 118% of your daily needs per 1-cup serving (5880 IU).
11. Dandelion Greens
They can be used in salads and smoothies and more, and provide over 100% of your daily vitamin A needs (5589 IU, 112%).
12. Dried Apricots
They make for an excellent snack and will provide just under 100% DV of vitamin A at 4685 IU in 1 cup (94% DV).
13. Red Bell Peppers
One medium red bell pepper will provide you with 75% DV (3726 IU) of vitamin A, and will cost you under 40 calories.
A nice surprise on the list, paprika is a seasoning that can pack a surprising punch when it comes to vitamin A. One tablespoon of paprika can deliver just under 70% DV with 3884 IU of vitamin A (69%DV).
Another leafy green vegetable on the list, spinach is rich in vitamins C, K, and A, as well as iron, manganese and calcium. One cup of the stuff will provide you with 49% DV.
One small papaya provides more than ¼ of your daily needs of vitamin A (29% DV, 1444 IU).
Other good sources of vitamin A include fortified oatmeal, iceberg lettuce, red pepper flakes, mangoes, dried basil, and tomatoes. It is extremely important to make sure your body gets the vitamin A it needs on a daily basis to support the health of your eyes, skin, hair, and immune system. Incorporate as many of these foods as possible, and you should have no problem meeting your vitamin A needs.