Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Vitamin Guide from A to Zinc: Vitamin A

carrotsIf you have ever heard theĀ suggestion toĀ eat your carrots for good vision, you were actually being told to eat a food high in vitamin A.

Vitamin A not only helps with vision but itĀ is an antioxidant, which meansĀ that thisĀ substance can prevent damage to our bodies’ cells and also help with repairing damage. Additionally, vitamin A helps with maintaining our skin tissue and itĀ is necessary for our cell growth. It also helps fight off infection, which in addition to the benefits listed above, makes vitamin A essential for our bodies.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat-solubleĀ meansĀ that itĀ does not dissolve in water and therefore our bodies donā€™t tend to getĀ rid of it through urine as we do with theĀ water-soluble vitamins such as the B vitamins. This is important to note as too much vitamin A in the system can be toxic. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for men is 1000 micrograms and for women itĀ is 800 micrograms per day. You should consult your doctor to ensure you are getting the amounts that are right for you.

The best sources for getting vitamin A in your diet areĀ throughĀ vegetables and fruitsĀ that are deep orange and dark green in colorĀ such asĀ carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, spinach, bok choy and mustard greens. When Vitamin A is obtained through these kinds of plant sources, it is referred to as beta-carotene, which then gets converted into vitamin A in theĀ liver.Ā Other good sources of this vitaminĀ are milk, milk products and eggs.

Stay tuned next week,Ā December 4th,Ā as the vitamin guide continues with the B vitamins, focusing on vitamin B12.

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November 28th, 2009

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