There are a few essential vitamins out there our body needs to keep itself ticking over nicely, and vitamin A is one of them. With implications around the whole body, you will want to make sure you know exactly what it does, and how much of it you should be trying to get.
Unlike the other essential vitamins needed to run the body, you can actually get vitamin A in two forms. Firstly is retinol, which can only be found in animal based foods. Secondly comes beta-carotene, which is abundant in fruit and vegetables. Beta-carotene is actually a precursor to retinol, and is converted into it by the body. This means you can essentially get vitamin A from both plant and animal based food.
However, there is a big difference between getting your vitamin A from plant or animal based foods. Retinol has been shown to be potentially harmful in large amounts, meaning eating to many animal based products can actually cause the body harm. This is not the case with plant based beta-carotenoids. Although beta-carotene is converted into retinol by the body, it is done so selectively, meaning your body will never produce more than it needs, and thus won’t pose any risk. So if you are looking to boost your vitamin A intake, do it with fruit and veg – or better yet, our 100% green Uzuma juice!
Great sources of beta-carotene include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Cantaloupe melon
- Red peppers
- Uzuma green juice!
The recommended daily intake of Vitamin A is 0.7 mg for men, and 0.6 mg for women.
Used for an array of integral bodily functions
Vitamin A is vital for many processes around the body. This includes the development of the central nervous system, the production of sperm cells in men and regulation of haemoglobin production in embryos.
Maintains healthy teeth and bones
Vitamin A is required for the production of both retinoic acid and dentin, both of which play vital roles in keeping teeth and bones strong and healthy, as well as replacing worn out old cells.
Boosts the immune system
Vitamin A is used by the white blood cells that fight infection within the body.
It’s a powerful antioxidant
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body on a cellular level from the degeneration and oxidisation caused by free-radicals.
Keeps the skin looking young and healthy
Vitamin A helps the skin retain its moisture, as well as protects it from premature aging and wrinkles. This combined keeps the skin radiant and healthy.
It’s essential for the eyes
Vitamin A is used by the eyes to help it distinguish between light and dark. It is also reported to help prevent cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Developing a vitamin A deficiency can cause:
- Damage to the eyes (including perforation, blindness and dryness).
- Dry skin
- Dry hair
- Brittle fingernails
- Increased risk of infection
- Weakened bones