I am sure you remember that ever since you were a little child, your parents were “forcing” you to eat carrots. The reason is simple, carrots are one of the best sources for vitamin A, a vitamin crucial for our eye vision, immune function, and skin health.
Vitamin A deficiency often leads to blindness, and in some countries blindness in children is alarming due to the limited food sources of vitamin A. The daily recommended dose of vitamin A for women is 700 micrograms, while for men that are 900 micrograms. One cup of carrots gives you three times that value. With that being said, let’s take a look at some vitamin A foods.
Just one medium sized carrot gives you around 160% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin A. If you take things further, and get one cup of carrots, you are getting five times of vitamin A than the daily dose. Now, do not be afraid, there is no upper limit for vitamin A. When it comes to carrots, you can use fresh, or frozen carrots, and you can even cook them, they won’t lose vitamin A.
A sweet potato and carrots salad is the best gift for your eyes. I tend to prepare such salad as a side dish for my meat dishes. One medium potato contains even more vitamin A than one carrot, but a potato is bigger than a carrot. Per 100 grams, carrots are the better choice. Same as with carrots, potatoes can be consumed fresh, frozen, cooked, canned or raw, it doesn’t make a large difference.
Sweet Red Peppers
Let’s continue the vitamin A foods list with another favorite veggie of mine, which is the sweet red pepper. It might not be as potent as carrots and potatoes, but it is still high in vitamin A, providing you with 60% of the daily dose per 100 grams. Green and yellow peppers are not as potent as the red pepper, so if vitamin A is what you need, stick to red peppers.
Just 100 grams of will get you two times the daily value of vitamin A. If you are having problems how to mix lettuce in your diet, just think of a salad. You can add lettuce leaves to virtually any salad. One of my favorites, however, is to mix lettuce with leafy greens for a green salad packed with vitamins and nutrients. I usually put lettuce, spinach, and arugula, but you can make your own version.
Dark Leafy Greens
Now you know why I mix leafy greens with lettuce. Per 100 grams of leafy greens, you get between 200 and 300% of the daily dose of vitamin A. It all depends on what you put in it. Kale is the best option, with spinach, collards, turnip greens, and dandelion greens following on the list.
We are now getting to the fruits on the list of vitamin foods, and there, pumpkin or squash leads the list. The only downside of pumpkin is it is a seasonal fruit that you cannot find a frozen version of it. But when the season starts, get as much of it as you can.
If pumpkin is a seasonable fruit, druid apricots are available through the whole year. Other dried fruits rich in vitamin A include dried prunes and dried peaches, but apricots give you the most vitamin A out of all. One cup of 100 grams gives you 250% of the daily dose of vitamin A you need. But do not go over your head with dried apricots, as they are also rich in sugar. Therefore, you want to balance things up.
The bad news is, the melon is another seasonal fruit. The good news is, it has great value to calories ratio, as one medium wedge of melon contains only 23 calories and 50% of the daily value of vitamin A you need.
Other tropical fruits contain vitamin A, but mango beats them all with around 40% of the daily value per one cup. If you can eat a whole mango, you get almost 80% of the daily value of vitamin A. Another tropical fruit worth mentioning on the vitamin A foods list is papaya. And you can get papaya through the whole year.
Beet greens are another excellent vitamin to calories ratio source for vitamin A. Aside from loads of vitamin A, beet greens are also an excellent source of vitamin K and potassium. And one cup contains only 19 calories.