Happy Nutritional Monday my friends! In case this is your first time tuning in, March is National Nutrition Month. As a future dietitian, I want to share some of my favorite vitamins, minerals and nutrients this month with you. Last week we learned about Folic Acid and how we can incorporate it into our daily diet. Todays special guest is Vitamin A.
Some of you may know that vitamin A is found in carrots and is associated with healthy eyes. This is correct but vitamin A is so much more than just a vitamin found in carrots. Vitamin A is a nutritional term for a group of essential fat-soluble dietary compounds, and therefore, needs to be consumed with fat in order to have optimal absorption. The vitamin A group includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid and carotenoids.
Vitamin A plays a role in a variety of functions throughout the body, such as:
- Gene transcription
- Embryonic Development
- Bone metabolism
- Skin and cellular health
- Antioxidant Properties
Sounds pretty important right? Right! Vitamin A is very important and we should be incorporating it into our daily diet. A diet rich in Vitamin A can prevent nighttime blindness, eye inflammation, and dry eyes. Vitamin A is measured in International Units (IU), and the average adult needs about 5000 IU per day. The nutritional need for vitamin A can be met by sufficient amounts from any source. Highest concentration of vitamin A can be found in fish liver oils and liver (meat).
Other great sources include
- Yellow and green leafy vegetables
- Whole milk products
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squashes
- Bell peppers
Hope you have a wonderful Monday my friends! Next week we will learn about a different vitamin or mineral!