Eat Chic would like to introduce Vitamin of the Month! At the beginning of each month we will introduce a new vitamin, touch upon its health benefits, and tell you what foods you can eat to obtain it! July is the month for vitamin A, so we encourage you to try new ways to incorporate this month’s vitamin into your healthy lifestyle!
What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin meaning it requires bile for the body to absorb it. Fat soluable vitamins travel through the lymphatic system and into the bloodstream where it is then utilized by the body. Excess fat soluable vitamins are stored in the liver and adipose (fat) tissue from which the body can retrieve the vitamins later as needed. Therefore, on days when you may not get enough vitamin A, your body has some in storage to prevent any problems. However, it is important that you get average recommendations over time to ensure good health.
What are the health benefits of Vitamin A?
Vitamin A helps in maintaining good vision, healthy skin (by protecting skin against damage from sunlight), and aids in healthy reproduction and growth. While vitamin A deficiencies are not common among people in the United States, in developing coutries a deficiency in vitamin A can cause night blindness, total blindness, accumulation of keratin tissue (a protein found in hair and nails), and increased suspetiblility to infectious diseases.
Vitamin A toxicity, while rare, is most evident in people who drink alcohol, smokers, and children (who require less vitamin A in their diets than adults). Excess intake of vitamin A over long periods of time can lead to bone weakening, osteoporosis, and birth defects if high doses are taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin A is 700??g for women and 900??g for men (most mutivitamin supplements provide between 750-1500??g or 2500-5000 IU).
What foods contain Vitamin A?
- Fish liver oils
- Milk and milk products
- Dark leafy greens (Ex: spinach)
- Bright yellow & orange vegetables (Ex: carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, & winter squash)
Eat Chic would like you to share with us how you plan to add vitamin A to your diet during the month of July!