I wasn’t exactly the bravest little girl, OK, I was a scaredy-cat, especially of the dark. If I would have known then that vitamin A can help your eyes adjust better when going from light to dark, I would have never left all those carrot sticks on my dinner plate!
Why Have You Done a Good Thing?
Vitamin A (AKA pro-vitamin A, Retinol-which comes from animal sources, & Beta-carotene-which comes from plant sources) helps with:
- Vision (protects against night blindness)
- Growth and development in children and adults
- Boosts your immune system
- Can decrease severity of measles and diarrhea
- Often helps fight a certain leukemia called APL
- Treats certain skin diseases such as psoriasis
What Has Vitamin A?
- Deep green leafy greens like spinach, collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, peas,broccoli
- Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as squash, peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe-Eggs
- Fortified milk & some milk products
- Vegetable oils (palm oil)
How Much Vitamin A Should You Have Per Day?
- 700-900 ug/day (more if breast feeding)
No need for vitamin supplements, How Can You Up Your Vitamin A INTAKE?
- Include dried apricots or mangoes in your next trail mix
- Make an apricot glaze using apricot preserves for chicken, turkey, or pork
- Switch your salad greens for spinach leaves
- Snack on carrots sticks or peppers with hummus or peanut butter
- Experiment with dark leafy greens, using them in healthy dips, omelets, side dishes
- Eat a hardboiled egg for a snack or eggs for breakfast 2-3x per week
- Make a squash & carrot soup
- Make an orange-colored fruit salad
- Eat sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes
- Delicious Sweet Potato Fries: Mix 1 sweet potato, sliced French-fry style, with 1T EVOO, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin and bake on a cookie sheet for 12-18 minutes at 400 degrees F.
So please, give us your A-game and load up on these vitamin A-filled foods. The next time you wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you may notice how well you can see in the dark!
--Samantha Jacobs, RD