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10 Foods High in Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene

Beta-Carotene is the reddish pigment found in certain fruits and vegetables. Once consumed, the human body converts Beta-Carotene into vitamin A. Beta-Carotene itself is not an essential nutrient, however, vitamin A is and eating plenty of Beta-Carotene rich foods is a great way to get that vitamin A in.


Vitamin A is crucial for healthy vision, skin, immunity, reproduction and growth. It contributes to heart, lung and organ health. It protects your eyes against night blindness and age related vision impairment. Additionally, vitamin A is vital for proper bone development and deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis and other degenerative conditions. Lets take a look at the foods highest in vitamin A to ensure we get plenty in our diets:


5 Foods Rich in Vitamin A:

1. Beef Liver - An 100g serving of beef liver contains 7,730mcg of vitamin A, which is 859% of the recommended daily value (DV)!


Beef liver also contains vitamin b2, b9, b12, iron, copper and choline! It is a great source of protein and contains fewer calories than many other meats (Kicinska et al. 2019).

2. Lamb Liver - An 100g serving of lamb liver contains 7,780mcg of vitamin A, or 864% of the DV!


Lamb liver also contains vitamins b2, b3, b5, b6, b12, copper, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Lamb liver provides high quality heme iron, which is readily absorbed. The contained B vitamins contribute to red blood cell formation, DNA production and hormonal balance (Young et al. 2019).

3. Salmon - 3.5 oz of salmon contains 757mcg of vitamin A , which is 8% of the DV!


Salmon is also a great source of antioxidants such as selenium and minerals such as zinc, phosphorus and potassium. It also contains vitamins b1, b2, b3, b6, b9 and b12, making it an excellent suggestion for those who need to increase B vitamins in their diet (Kousoulaki et al. 2015).

4. Hard Boiled Egg - 1 large egg contains 75mcg of vitamin A, which is 8% of the DV!


Eggs are also a great source of choline, vitamins b2, b5, b12, phosphorus, vitamin D, zinc, calcium and selenium. Many of eggs nutrients reside in the yolk, whereas the egg white mainly contains protein! Eggs are also an excellent source of protein and are one of the few foods containing all 9 essential amino acids (Hoffman & Falvo, 2004).

5. King Mackerel - An 100g serving of king mackerel contains 252mcg of vitamin A, which is 28% of the DV!


King mackerel is also rich in B vitamins such as b2, b3, b6, b9 and b12. It contains 8.71ug of vitamin b12, making it an excellent choice for those who are b12 deficient! King mackerel also contains phosphorus, magnesium, iron and selenium. King mackerel contains a great amount of healthy fats and proteins which contribute to a healthy weight and skin (WebMD, 2022).


5 Foods Rich in Beta-Carotene:

1. Carrots - 1 cup of cooked carrots contains 12,998mcg of Beta-Carotene, which is 120% of the DV!


Carrots tend to lose their nutrients when boiled/cooked, therefore, it is best to eat them raw for the highest nutrient content! Water soluble vitamins such as B vitamins and vitamin C do not get lost, however, minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and iron may reduce by 70% when cooked (Lee et al. 2018).

2. Butternut Squash - 1 cup of cooked butternut squash contains approximately 9,369mcg Beta-Carotene, which is 87% of the DV!


Butternut squash contains vitamin C, iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium, vitamins b6 and b9! Butternut squash also contains vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that protects against oxidative stress and age related conditions such as Alzheimers (Rizvi et al. 2014).

3. Pumpkin - A 250mg serving of canned pumpkin provides roughly 51mg Beta-Carotene!


Pumpkin offers a long list of nutrients including vitamins b1, b6, b9, vitamin C, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium which helps to regulate blood pressure and heart contractions. Pumpkin is also a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E, and fibre, which helps regulate bowel motions (Batool et al. 2022).

4. Sweet Potatoes - 1 cup of sweet potatoes provides approximately 23,018mcg of Beta-Carotene, which is 213% of the DV!


Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate that are high in antioxidants, manganese, copper, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamins b3, b5 and b6! Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fibre which helps to bulk your stool and make it easier to pass (Tanaka et al. 2017).

5. Red Bell Pepper - 1 cup of cooked red bell peppers contains roughly 2,059mcg of Beta-Carotene, which is 19% of the DV!


Red bell peppers are extremely high in vitamin C, containing 171mg of vitamin C per 100g! Consuming 1 portion of red peppers per day contributes to healthy immunity, wound healing and cell protection (Chambial et al. 2013). Red bell peppers also contain vitamins b6, b9, vitamin E, potassium, manganese and vitamin K1. Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting and bone health (DiNicolantonio et al. 2015), therefore, eating peppers is a great way to ensure enough vitamin K is being consumed!


Bibliography

References

  • Batool, M. Ranjha, M.M.A.N. Roobab, U. et al. (2022). 'Nutritional Value, Phytochemical Potential, and Therapeutic Benefits of Pumpkin (Curcurbita sp.)', Plants, 11 (11), pp.1394-1399.

  • Chambial, S. Dwivedi, S. Shukla, K.K. et al. (2013). 'Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview', Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 28 (4), pp.314-328.

  • DiNicolantonio, J.J. Bhutani, J. O'Keefe, J.H. (2015). 'The Health Benefits of Vitamin K', Openheart, 2 (1), pp.300.

  • Hoffman, J.R. & Falvo, M.J. (2004). 'Protein - Which is Best?', Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 3 (3), pp.118-130.

  • Kicinska, A. Glichowska, P. Mamak, M. (2019). 'Micro- and Macroelement Contents in the Liver of Farm and Wild Animals and the Health Risks Involved in Liver Consumption', Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 191 (3), pp.132-136.

  • Kousoulaki, K. Ostbye, T.K.K. Krasnov, A. et al. (2015). 'Metabolism, Health and Fillet Nutritional Quality in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo Salar) Fed Diets Containing n-3 Rich Microalgae', Journal of Nutritional Science, pp.24-29.

  • Lee, S. Choi, Y. Jeong, H.S. et al. (2018). 'Effect of Different Cooking Methods on the Content of Vitamins and True Retention in Selected Vegetables', Food Science and Biotechnology, 27 (2), pp.333-342.

  • Rizvi, S. Raza, S.T. Ahmed, F. et al. (2014). 'The Role of Vitamin E in Human Health and Some Diseases', SQUMJ, 14 (2), pp.157-165.

  • Tanaka, M. Ishiguro, K. Oki, T. et al. (2017). 'Functional Components in Sweet Potato and Their Genetic Improvement', Breeding Science, 67 (1), pp.52-61.

  • WebMD. (2022). What are the Health Benefits of Mackerel? [Online]. Available At: https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-are-health-benefits-mackerel (Accessed: 15th May 2023).

  • Young, L.M. Pipingas, A. White, D.J. et al. (2019). 'A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and 'At Risk' Individuals', Nutrients, 11 (9), pp.2232-2235.


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