health care

Vitamin A Deficiency Signs You Should Not Ignore!

Vitamin A deficiency signs are a common problem worldwide. Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is needed by the body in adequate quantities to perform vital bodily functions. Typically stored in the liver, this essential vitamin is also a potent antioxidant and plays a crucial role in:

  • Ensuring proper vision
  • Maintaining good health
  • Building strong immunity
  • Preventing anemia, to name a few

Two types of vitamin A are found in foods:

  • Preformed Vitamin A also called Retinol
  • Provitamin A also called Carotenoids (which needs to be converted by the body into retinol)

While the pre-formed A is found in animal products such as meat, fish, dairy products, and poultry, provitamin A is found in plant-based products, fruits, and veggies.

Beta-carotene is a popular and most important carotenoid that gets converted more efficiently than the others. Bright yellow and orange colored fruits such as papaya and apricots are rich sources of beta-carotene.

Warning Signals when your body is not getting enough Vitamin A

People who are deficient in Vitamin A generally show the following symptoms:

  1. Dandruff and dry hair
  2. Mouth ulcers
  3. Throat infections
  4. Acne, and dry skin
  5. Recurring skin infections
  6. Night blindness etc.

How much vitamin A does my body need?

Typically, the amount of vitamin A needed by the body depends on the age of the person and reproductive status.

However, prescribed intakes include:

  • For females โ€“ About 700 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents
  • For nursing mothers โ€“ About 1300 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents
  • For males โ€“ About 900 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents

To match up the above levels, one needs to add the following food items to their diet:

  1. Feta cheese
  2. Sweet potato
  3. Kale
  4. Spinach
  5. Melons especially watermelons
  6. Papaya
  7. Apricots
  8. Guava
  9. Passion fruit
  10. Sweet red pepper etc.

Since this is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream when it is consumed with a dash of oil. So, you can up the absorption of plant-based vitamin A by spilling a few drops of oil on your salad.

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