Vitamin A not only helps with vision but itÂ is an antioxidant, which meansÂ that thisÂ substance can prevent damage to our bodies’ cells and also help with repairing damage. Additionally, vitamin A helps with maintaining our skin tissue and itÂ 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-solubleÂ meansÂ that itÂ does not dissolve in water and therefore our bodies donâ€™t tend to getÂ rid of it through urine as we do with theÂ 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 itÂ 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 areÂ throughÂ vegetables and fruitsÂ that are deep orange and dark green in colorÂ such asÂ 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 theÂ liver.Â Other good sources of this vitaminÂ are milk, milk products and eggs.
Stay tuned next week,Â December 4th,Â as the vitamin guide continues with the B vitamins, focusing on vitamin B12.
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November 28th, 2009