What is Vitamin A good for? Well, the health benefits of Vitamin A range from maintaining healthy vision, immune function, healthy skin and cell communication.
Vitamin A, is a group of fat-soluble compounds and is a powerful antioxidant, which reduces inflammation and free radical damage.
By filling our diet with antioxidants that Vitamin A help supply the aging process can be slowed naturally.
There are two types of vitamin A…
1. Retinoids – comes from animal food types
2. Carotenoids comes from plant foods. Beta-carotene is amongst this type of vitamin A
The A vitamin is most important for strengthening our body’s immunity against infections, several of the immune system functions are dependant on getting sufficient Vitamin A.
Here is some of the biggest health benefits of Vitamin A….
The immune system is boosted by the beta carotene contained in vitamin A, which as we have mentioned above, is a powerful antioxidant.
If there is a deficiency of vitamin A in the body respiratory infections can occur, common colds and flu as well as more serious illnesses like cancer and autoimmune diseases.
A vitamin A deficiency in children has been found to make them more vulnerable to infections like measles and diarrhoea.
This vitamin is critical for the normality and maintenance of organs and especially the heart, lungs and kidneys as it supports the cell growth in our bodies.
Vitamin A plays a crucial role in our vision as it contains a critical component which supports the normal functioning of the retina.
It also helps with vision in dim light.
A deficiency of vitamin A could lead to a thickening of the cornea and possible blindness.
Macular degeneration, (age related blindness) could be prevented by beta carotene.
The National Eye Institute sponsored a study into Age Related Eye Disease and found that persons at high risk of macular degeneration, who all took a multi vitamin that included vitamin A along with vitamin C and E plus zinc and copper over a 6 year period, had a 25% reduction in the risk of advanced macular degeneration.
Our skin is dependant on vitamin A by supporting the skin cells internally and externally thereby helping skin regrowth and the healing of wounds.
A deficiency of vitamin A would result in the scaling, thickening and drying of the skin.
Research into retinoic acid, which is important in cell development, has found that the molecular mechanisms in the acid could control cancer cells. More research is required, as so far the results are inconclusive.
Retinoids are used orally and in cream form for the treatment of acne and even wrinkles.
A review published in the Dermatologic Therapy put forward…
“Retinoids are capable not only of repairing photoaged skin at both the clinical and biochemical levels but their use may prevent photo aging.”
Poor complexion can result from a lack of vitamin A, the lines and wrinkles are kept at bay as this vitamin helps collagen production and even contributes to healthy hair.
The mucous membranes of the respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal tracts could also be affected by becoming hard and dry.
Studies have been carried out on vitamin A as a treatment for other conditions like HIV, cataracts and some forms of cancer.
The University of York have carried out a study say indications are, that vitamin A could help in the treatment of certain forms of cancer like lung, bladder, breast, prostrate and ovarian by controlling and suppressing malignant cells.
Most of us get enough vitamin A from our diets but if you suffer from a digestive disorder or your diet is poor a supplement might be required.
However, this is best to be recommended by a doctor as too much vitamin A can lead to a toxic reaction.
Now you know the health benefits of Vitamin A, it’s time to make sure vitamin A is included in your diet….
These foods will help do just that…
To make sure you are getting enough of the Bete-Carotene form of vitamin A make sure you eat these, although the vegetables are a richer form of beta-carotene the fruits will provide good amounts.
Here are six wonderful recipes that have ingredients from the vitamin A foods that are shown in the lists above….
You must try this lovely Spinach and Feta Pie with an Oat crust recipe from Green Kitchen stories.
It includes eggs as well as spinach and feta cheese.
Salmon is sooooo good for you and this deliciously simple recipe from Skinny Taste is packed full of flavour!
What better way is there to get children to eat vegetables than disguised as a cake!!
This superb recipe from Deliciously Ella for sweet potato brownies will have them fooled, and I am sure sweet toothed individuals will love them too!
This egg recipe from 101 Cook books is for boiled eggs and includes yoghurt so just the thing to improve your vitamin A intake.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the health benefits of Vitamin A and some of the recipes mentioned above.
Now it’s time to go boost the amounts of vitamin A in your diet!
We’re sure you have lots of favorite recipes that you also use and would love to hear any ideas in the comments below….
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