How can I ensure I am getting enough Vitamin A?
The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins including Vitamin A is to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. Try to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, meat, legumes and fish as well as fortified dairy foods. Try to limit foods that are high in fat and sugar (check labels for more information). How much of each vitamin you need depends on your age, gender, your general health and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What are some foods that contain Vitamin A?
Add some of these foods to your diet to meet the daily requirements for Vitamin A naturally:
- Leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, squash, spinach, avocado, sweet potato, capsicum, pumpkin.
- Cod liver oil
- Fish (salmon)
- Fortified breakfast cereals (check labels for sugar/fat content)
- Fortified dairy (check labels)
- Fruits: papaya, apricots, mangos, oranges, grapefruit.
Tip: Although vitamin A supplements are available, do not consume these without first consulting your doctor, since excess vitamin A can cause health complications such as headache, fatigue, joint pain, liver damage and even death. Try not to focus on taking one particular vitamin and rather consume a varied nutritious diet which will increase the intake of vitamin A to your body naturally. Talk to your doctor about making healthy changes to your diet.
Vitamin A and Alcohol - Excess alcohol intake can deplete vitamin A stores in the body. It is very important for people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol to include good sources of vitamin A in their diets. Taking a supplement is however not recommended for those who abuse alcohol as their liver may be more susceptible to potential toxicity from high doses of vitamin A. If you regularly consume alcohol, see your doctor for a medical evaluation and reduce alcohol intake and discuss making healthy changes to your diet.
Remember: Vitamin A supplements can interact with certain medications. Always tell your doctor if you are considering taking a new supplement to ensure it is right for you.
Source: POM General Hospital