Were you told as a kid that eating carrots would improve your vision? Well, it wasn’t actually a trick to get you to eat your veggies! That’s because carrots are full of vitamin A, which supports eye health.
There are two types of vitamin A which come from different sources. Carotenoids, or provitamin A, come from plant-based foods. Your body needs healthy fats to convert carotenoids into the other type of vitamin A, retinoids, which your body can use immediately. Retinoids, preformed vitamin A, are available in animal-based foods.
Why should you include vitamin A in your diet?
Eating the proper amount of vitamin A has a variety of benefits for your body. It plays a vital role in crucial bodily functions:
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy eyesight, especially adaptation to low-light and night vision. Deficiency can lead to total blindness.
Vitamin A keeps your immune system functioning properly to fight off infections from pathogens and viruses.
- Cell growth
Vitamin A assists with cellular communication that regulates body growth and organ development.
For females, adequate vitamin A is necessary for proper ovulation, fetal development, and milk production after pregnancy.
- Antioxidant activity
The vitamin neutralizes free radicals which helps reduce cellular damage that can contribute to heart disease and cancer.
What foods contain vitamin A?
To get sufficient daily vitamin A, CMC Nutrition Services recommends focusing first on incorporating more vitamin A-rich fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats into your diet. This can include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell pepper
Here are some other foods you can eat during the day to get your vitamin A!
Want to See a CMC Dietician?
Here at Conway Medical Center, we’re committed to helping our patients maintain optimal health through preventative care and nutrition education. CMC offers Outpatient Nutrition Services for patients struggling with their health. If you have been prescribed a special diet by your physician or if you want to learn more about healthy eating, CMC has the tools to help you build healthier eating habits and make better choices for your nutrition.
Our registered dieticians are here to help you. They will guide you with individualized medical nutrition therapy tailored to your age and your specific nutritional needs. A physician’s order is required to schedule an appointment with CMC Outpatient Nutrition Counseling Services. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can locate one above or call 843-347-8000 today.