For all the talk surrounding vitamins and supplements these days, it seems like often, not much is known about Vitamin A. What is it, why is it important, and how can it benefit you?
Here’s everything you need to know about vitamin A:
What is Vitamin A?
This vitamin consists of antioxidant compounds that contribute to the health of your immune system, bone growth, and vision.
Vitamin A can be consumed through different foods, and as a result of this, it can be broken down into two general types:
- Retinol – This comes from the consumption of animal-based foods, such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk, and cheese. This type can be used directly by the body.
- Carotenoids – Also referred to as provitamin A, carotenoids turn ingested food into retinol. Carotenoids can be ingested from foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, kale, and spinach.
How Can Vitamin A Benefit Me?
Aside from strong bones and a healthy immune system, this vitamin is essential for the health of your eyes and vision. Beta-carotene, which is one of the most prevalent and effective provitamin A carotenoids, contributes significantly to protecting your eyes and maintaining good vision.
Also, when combined with other vitamins, it has shown to play a significant role in helping to decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as reduce the risk and effects of a variety of other eye diseases.
Signs of Deficiency
When a person is deficient in vitamin A, the corneas of the eyes become dried out, causing cloudy vision. This can further develop into corneal ulcers and even vision loss.
Respiratory infections, as well as many other issues, can also be linked to this deficiency since it plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Getting Enough Vitamin A
Thankfully, you can ensure that you’re getting an adequate amount of this vitamin by simply consuming a well-balanced, healthy diet. As previously mentioned, eating foods, such as beef, liver, cheese, whole milk, sweet potatoes and carrots are all great ways to add in some essential A to your body.
If you feel like you vision is cloudy or blurred, a deficiency in vitamin A could be contributing to your symptoms. It’s always a wise decision to talk to your ophthalmologist to discuss any issues that you may be having with your vision. And when it comes down to it, consuming a well-balanced diet will provide your body and eyes with the proper amount of nutrients to grow healthy and strong.