Vitamin A is an important nutrient that our body requires. This vitamin is responsible for facilitating a large number of bodily functions. It is necessary for maintaining our health, promoting immune function, and supporting cell growth.
The most popular function of vitamin A is its ability to promote vision and improving eye health. It plays a great role in low-light vision and color vision.
Also, vitamin A helps to maintain surface tissues like your skin, lungs, intestines, inner ear, and bladder. Therefore, it is important for you to get enough vitamin A from your diet.
Vitamin A is fat-soluble and it will be stored in your body tissues to utilize later. Most of the vitamin A that is absorbed by the body will be stored in the liver cells. Your body will breakdown this stored vitamin when it is required for supporting the body functions.
Problems Caused By Deficiency Of Vitamin A
Vitamin A deficiency can lead to a number of problems. Studies show that insufficient amounts of vitamin A can increase the risk of dying from various infections like diarrhea and measles.
In addition to this, vitamin A deficiency can cause a lot of problems in pregnant women and might even lead to their death. It can adversely impact the development of the fetus too.
Other important problems caused by vitamin A deficiency are anemia, skin problems, etc. So make sure that you get the required amounts of this vitamin from your diet, especially if you are following a vegan diet.
Below shared are some of the important plant-based foods that need to be included in your vegan meal for getting enough vitamin A required by the body.
This is one of the popular vitamin A sources. Just one cup of chopped carrots can provide almost 334% of your daily requirement of this vitamin. It is better to eat them raw for getting the best results. Hence, include them in your salads or make smoothies or juices using them.
This is another great option for you to get enough vitamin A. Sweet potatoes makes a great snacking option for you. Also, try to make baked wedges or wafers using them instead of potatoes. You can add sweet potatoes to your salads and soups and other items to have healthy vegan diet options.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are loaded with a large number of essential nutrients and vitamin A is one among them. When cooking the leafy vegetables, be aware that the lesser you cook them, the higher will be the benefits. When these veggies are cooked in higher temperatures for a long time, there is a great possibility of losing the nutrients.
Some of the best green leafy veggies to include in your vegan diet are spinach, lettuce, kale, mustard greens, etc.
Pumpkin is a powerhouse of a wide range of nutrients. Almost 100 grams of pumpkin can offer you about 170% of the daily vitamin A requirement.
You can use it in a variety of recipes including soups, snacks, pies, etc.
Parsley And Other Herbs
Sprinkling some chopped parsley on the top of other dishes can help you to get a wide array of nutrients. In addition to adding flavor to your dishes, this spice can provide you a lot of nutrients that your body requires. It is especially abundant in vitamin A. Also, various other herbs like basil, thyme, coriander, etc. can also provide you a lot of benefits too. These might be small but are abundant sources of many nutrients and minerals.
This is another popular and widely-used vitamin A source. Tomatoes are known for their high amounts of vitamins and antioxidants. A compound called Lycopene present in tomatoes is found to be beneficial for controlling the growth of the cancer cells. It can be helpful to lower the risk of stomach, prostate, and colorectal cancer.
Another compound called chromium present in tomatoes can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Hence, along with providing enough vitamin A needed by your body, tomatoes can also provide a lot of other benefits.
Red Bell Pepper
Together with adding a great and vibrant appeal to your dishes, the red peppers are also loaded with a lot of nutrients. Red bell pepper is rich in carotenoids (forms of vitamin A present in plant-based foods). In addition to this, it also exhibits great antioxidant properties. Toss it into salads or include it in your favorite recipes.
Vitamin A is necessary for the human body to carry out many functions. There is a large number of plant-based foods that contain this vitamin. So make sure to include these plant based food items in your vegan diet for getting enough vitamin A required by your body.