Vitamin ABack to ingredients
Food source: Available from plant sources in the form of beta-carotene which the body converts into Vitamin A. The main sources of beta-carotene are yellow, red and green leafy vegetables such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, red peppers, spinach and kale. Yellow fruits such as mango, apricots and papaya are also good sources. Also in dairy products, eggs and meat.
Benefits of Vitamin A
- Healthy eyes
- Healthy skin
- Healthy hair and nails
- Strengthens immune system.
What is Vitamin A?
Ah, the old ‘carrots help you see in the dark’ line - we’ve all heard it thousands of times, but is it actually true? Well, yes! Vitamin A is essential for supporting good vision, especially in dim light.
Vitamin A plays a variety of roles, including helping to convert the light that hits your eye into an electrical signal that goes to your brain. It is a component of ‘rhodopsin’, a pigment that is in your retina and is very sensitive to light and responsible for vision adaptation in the dark. Deficiency in Vitamin A results in a lack of rhodopsin and eventually nyctalopia (literally from the Greek: ‘night blindness’). Learn more about the ‘7 key nutrients to support your eye health’ and ‘Tips for better eye health’.
Vitamin A doesn’t just help your vision, it is also necessary for the growth of healthy skin and hair. Deficiencies in Vitamin A are also associated with skin infections and inflammatory skin disease, so studies suggest that it can be used to treat dermatological conditions such as acne. Discover ‘How to get rid of acne’ and ‘Natural ways to prevent and treat Eczema’.
We also need Vitamin A for our immune system to help us fight off pathogens and infections. It plays a role in generating mucus barriers which trap bacteria and also in the production of white blood cells. This is why being low in Vitamin A is associated with a vulnerability to other infections, such as respiratory illness and diarrhoea.
As you can see, carrots (and other vegetable sources of Vitamin A), do so much more than just help you see in the dark. In fact, the old line used by your parents to try and persuade you to eat carrots probably undersells the importance of this crucial vitamin.