The major carotenoids, also known as provitamin A, are beta carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. The provitamin A carotenoids are converted into retinoids in the human body and are usually stored in the liver.
Vitamin A is essential for the health and functions of the immune system, reproductive system, mucosal tissues, eyes, and more. To meet your vitamin A requirement, remember to include any of the following vitamins A-rich foods in your diet.
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Sweet potato is the richest source of vitamin A. Beta-carotene, the main provitamin A carotenoid present in the vegetable is easily converted into retinoid forms.
Per serving of sweet potato contains about 1095 to 1403 mcg of retinol activity equivalents (RAE) or about 28,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin A, which is equivalent to 561% of the daily value of vitamin A.
Beef liver is one of the richest and easily absorbable sources of vitamin A. 3 oz of cooked beef liver contains about 22,175 IU of vitamin A, which is about 960% and 740% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A for women and men respectively.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of provitamin A carotenoids. Half a cup of canned pumpkin contains 19,065 IU of vitamin A, which is more than 8 times the daily vitamin A requirement of women and more than 6 times the daily vitamin A needed by men.
Liver sausage or liverwurst is an excellent source of retinoids. 100 grams of liverwurst spread contains 13,636 IU of vitamin A. Eating a slice of liver sausage is usually sufficient for meeting your daily vitamin A requirement.
Butternut squash, also known as butternut pumpkin, is an outstanding source of vitamin A. From 100 grams of butternut squash, you will get about 10,630 IU of vitamin A, which is 212% of the daily value.
100 grams of kale contains 9990 IU of vitamin A. The carotenoids present in the vegetable are easily converted into the active forms of vitamin A following consumption, making kale an effective and rich source of vitamin A.
Carrot is one of the best-known sources of vitamin A. Beta-carotene, the pigment that gives carrot its yellow-orange color is the source of this important nutrient. From ½-cup of raw carrot, you can get 9189 IU of vitamin A that is nearly double the amount of vitamin A needed by an adult in a day.
Half a cup of boiled or frozen spinach contains more than double the amount of vitamin A required by your body daily. 100 grams of spinach provides 187% of the daily value of vitamin A. Per serving of spinach contains 1019 mcg RAE of vitamin A, which means that most of the carotenoid in spinach is converted into retinoids.
A cup of cooked collard greens, containing about 190 grams of the cruciferous vegetable, provides about 308% of the daily value of vitamin A. Rich in beta-carotene, it is one of the best vegetables for meeting the vitamin A requirement of the body.
Despite their bitter taste, turnip greens are revered for their high nutritional value. To satisfy your body’s vitamin A requirement, you can add turnip greens to your diet. Half a cup of cooked turnip greens contains 8828 IU of vitamin A.
A cup of romaine lettuce supplies your body about 8710 IU of vitamin A, which is almost 174% of the daily value of vitamin A. Hence, people who need extra doses of vitamin A can include this green leafy vegetable in their diet.
100 grams of Swiss chard contains about 6116 IU of vitamin A, which is a little more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin A for adults. Packed with carotenoids, including beta carotene, consuming about half a cup of Swiss chard can easily meet your minimum vitamin A need.
Rich in beta carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, winter squash is a good source of vitamin A. Your entire daily vitamin A requirement can be met by consuming 100 grams of baked winter squash or ½ cup of winter squash.
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Cod Liver Oil
You can easily meet your daily vitamin A requirement by consuming a teaspoon of cod liver oil. It contains about 4500 IU of vitamin A. As vitamin A is present in cod liver oil in the form of retinol, it is easily absorbed in the body.
Vitamin A is found in chicken liver. Consuming 3 ounces of chicken liver provides 4,255 IU of vitamin A, which is more than sufficient for meeting your daily vitamin A requirement.
A cup of cooked mustard greens containing about 100 grams of the leafy green vegetable can meet about two-thirds of your daily vitamin A requirement. In addition to vitamin A, mustard green is also an excellent source of vitamin K and several other nutrients.
Sweet Red Bell Pepper
Sweet red pepper is a good source of vitamin A. 100 grams or ½-cub of boiled or sauteed sweet red pepper can meet more than half of your daily vitamin A requirement. In addition to vitamin A, it is one of the best sources of vitamin C.
Cantaloupe is a good source of vitamin A. Half a cup of raw cantaloupe meets more than half of your daily vitamin A requirement. Beta carotene present in cantaloupe is the main source of vitamin A.
A whole mango can meet half of your daily vitamin A requirement. Mango contains alpha-carotene, beta carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, all key provitamin A carotenoids. The vitamin A content in mango is approximately 1082 IU per 100 grams.
Apricot, especially dried apricot, is a good source of vitamin A. 100 grams of apricot provides 38% of the daily value of vitamin A, whereas the same amount of dried apricot provides 72% of the daily value.
Leek is a very good source of vitamin A. 1667 IU of vitamin A is present in 100 grams of leek, which is about a third of the daily vitamin A requirement of an adult.
Papaya is a rich source of vitamin A. A single serving or a cup of papaya provided about 31% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. Hence, adding papaya to your diet can help in meeting a part of your minimum vitamin A requirement.
Almost a quarter of your daily vitamin A requirement can be met by consuming ½-cup of boiled broccoli. It contains about 1208 IU of vitamin A.
100 grams of pink and red grapefruit provides about 1150 IU of vitamin A. It can meet 23% of the daily value of vitamin A. Hence, to meet your body’s vitamin A need to eat the pink and red variety of grapefruit.
A cup of ricotta cheese prepared from partially skimmed milk contains about 945 IU of vitamin A. It provides about a fifth of your daily vitamin A requirement.
Asparagus is a good source of vitamin A. 100 grams of the boiled vegetable provides about 1006 IU or 20% of the daily value of vitamin A.
100 grams of watermelon contains 569 IU of vitamin A. By consuming a cup of watermelon you can meet 17% of your daily requirement of the nutrient.
Green peas are moderate sources of vitamin A. You can get 801 IU of vitamin A or about 16% of the daily value of vitamin A by consuming 100 grams of boiled green peas.
Packed with carotenoids, tomato is a good source of vitamin A. 100 grams of red tomato gives about 833 IU of vitamin A, which is approximately 16% of the daily vitamin A requirement.
Brussels sprout is a moderate source of vitamin A. 100 grams of boiled Brussels sprout provides 15% of the daily value of vitamin A.