There are two forms of vitamin A. The first are called retinoids, which are found in such food sources as meats, oily fish, dairy products, eggs, and fortified foods. And while these are all good sources of vitamin A, they’re also high in cholesterol and saturated fats.
The second form of vitamin A is plant based and is better known as carotenoids. With over 600 carotenoids known, they are divided into two types, xanthophyll, which lends yellow pigments to the foods we eat, and carotenes, which most often provide the orange color to our fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, the body can produce all the vitamin A it needs from the fruits and vegetables we eat!
Vitamin A from fruits and vegetables is incredibly important for many functions in the body. As an antioxidant, vitamin A helps to remove harmful oxygen from our systems. It scavenges free radicals and fights disease and infection. As such, it is especially important for our immunity.
Vitamin A fights eye damage by protecting them from harmful light. It also assists our vision in low light. Vitamin A also protects mucous membranes and skin from attack by bacteria and infection. It is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin A is also extremely healthful for the reproductive systems of both men and women.
Plant sources of vitamin A are known to be beneficial. Not so for pill forms.
Vitamin A also protects the skin from such diseases as acne and psoriasis and helps prevent premature aging of the skin through its particular form of antioxidant activity.
Good Sources of Vitamin A
When considering which fruits and vegetables to add to your juice or smoothie that contain the richest sources of vitamin A, think vibrant color, and not just orange! Some fruits and veggies that are bright purple, yellow and red are great sources of vitamin A, such as red, purple and yellow bell peppers.
Some of the best sources of vitamin A are carrots, bell peppers, and hot peppers, cantaloupe, spinach, romaine lettuce, and apricots. Others are mango, collard greens, grapefruit, cabbage, sweet potato, watermelon, and tomato.
Here's a favorite vitamin A juice recipe.