Vitamin A is a nutrient essential for many body functions. This vitamin plays a role in growth, vision, immune function, red blood cell formation, and reproduction. Vitamin A also contributes to the development of healthy skin and strong bones. Fortunately, achieving a healthy dose of vitamin A does not have to be a challenging task. A variety of foods of various flavors and textures contain vitamin A, including a few sweet treats. This means no matter what your taste preferences are, you are bound to find vitamin A in some of your favorite foods.
For veggie lovers, broccoli is a source of vitamin A. According to the FDA, the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A for adults is around 5,000 IU. Meanwhile, one cup of chopped, raw broccoli contains about 567 IU of this crucial vitamin. Enjoy a helping of vitamin A by trying Trisha Yearwood’s recipe for Broccoli Salad. Trisha coats broccoli florets, onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds with a sweet mayonnaise and cider vinegar dressing for a salad that has a delicious crunch.
If melons are more to your taste, then you will be happy to know that cantaloupe a rich source of vitamin A. In fact, one cup of cantaloupe chunks provides 5,987 IU of this vitamin. That is 120% of your recommended daily value! Enjoying this juicy melon is as easy as cutting it open, discarding the seeds, and slicing, chopping, or scooping up the sweet flesh. For a refreshing start to your day, try blending up Allrecipes’ Simple Cantaloupe Smoothie. Cantaloupe, orange juice, Greek yogurt, and ice combine to make this cool, sweet, vitamin-packed breakfast drink.
The vibrant color of orange carrots comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant your body converts into vitamin A. Some vegetables retain their nutrient value best when consumed raw. However, your body may absorb more than six times the amount of beta-carotene from cooked carrots as it does from their fresh counterparts. Sunny Anderson has a recipe for Honey Glazed Carrots that takes only 15 minutes to prepare. The recipe calls for baby carrots, butter, honey, parsley, and spices.
9. Beef Liver
If organ meats hit the spot for you, then you will be glad to know that beef liver is an excellent source of vitamin A. Just one ounce of this meat provides 4,732 IU of vitamin A, which is 95% of the recommended daily value. Beef liver is also rich in many other vitamins, including vitamin B12, vitamin B2, folate, iron, copper, and choline. Liver is also an excellent source of protein, which easily fills you up and keeps your body fueled. Liver is high in cholesterol, so you should avoid this food if you must maintain a low-cholesterol diet.
8. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is a tasty beverage enjoyed by kids and adults alike. In addition to providing calcium, protein, and electrolytes, one cup of low-fat chocolate milk contains 490 IU of vitamin A. Of course, if you prefer your milk plain, you will still receive the benefit of this vitamin. Other dairy products such as cheese and ice cream also provide vitamin A. Get your vitamin A in Hershey’s recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshakes. This recipe calls for vanilla ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup, peanut butter, whipped topping, and a cherry.Related: Warning Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency and How to Fix It
Eggs are a versatile food packed with protein, vitamin D, choline, and, you guessed it, vitamin A. Two hard-boiled eggs contain about 520 IU of vitamin A. Eggs can be enjoyed boiled, scrambled, poached, fried, or cooked into an omelet. To receive the benefit of vitamin A from both eggs and cheese, you may want to whip up a quiche or egg bake. Allrecipes offers an Egg Casserole recipe that contains eggs, sausage, cheddar cheese, and torn bread.
6. Fortified Cereals
While cereals are not naturally high in vitamin A, you can find cereals that have been fortified with this vitamin. Check the labels on whole grain, bran, granola, and other types of cereal to find those that are low in sugar, high in fiber, and fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. Avoid choosing products that contain ingredients that are difficult to pronounce as well as high fructose corn syrup.
5. Pumpkin Pie
Another sweet treat that is rich in vitamin A is that old Thanksgiving standby, pumpkin pie. Pie made from nutrient-packed pumpkin contains many essential vitamins. Plus, the vibrant, orange hue signals that this gourd contains the beta-carotene your body converts into vitamin A. One cup of canned pumpkin contains a whopping 763% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A. Pie isn’t the only goodie you can make using canned pumpkin. Whip up a pumpkin latte, pumpkin soup, a pumpkin smoothie, or a batch of pumpkin bread using this versatile ingredient.Related: 10 Clues Your Vitamins Promise More than They Can Deliver
4. Red Sweet Peppers
One cup of chopped red sweet peppers provides 93% of your recommended daily value of vitamin A. Cut up some red bell peppers to dip in hummus or scatter on top of a green salad. Add chopped red peppers to pizza or include them in a hearty soup or stew. Or, try Ree Drummond’s recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers using red bell peppers. In this recipe, the peppers are bursting with a mixture of ground beef, tomato, garlic, zucchini, rice, and pepper jack cheese.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that provides 354% of your recommended daily value of vitamin A per one cup of cooked greens. This leafy green vegetable can be enjoyed raw as the base of a salad or drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven. Rachael Ray has a recipe for amazing Gingered Carrot & Kale Ribbons that also contains leeks, garlic, golden raisins, and lemon zest. This Kale, Quinoa, and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette also includes cucumber, red bell pepper, and chopped red onion.
Another leafy green that contains vitamin A along with many other essential vitamins and minerals, is spinach. One cup of raw spinach provides 56% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A. Like kale, this vegetable can be enjoyed raw in a salad, or it can be boiled or steamed to create a warm and filling side dish. Blend a cup of spinach with frozen blueberries, frozen banana chunks, a dash of honey, and almond milk for a tasty green smoothie that makes a healthy snack. For a simple salad, top spinach with sliced strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, and a drizzle of poppyseed dressing.
1. Sweet Potatoes
A bright orange, baked sweet potato provides 769% of your recommended daily value of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed baked, roasted, or boiled. You can add chunks of sweet potato to your favorite stew recipe. Or, you can use your food processor to blend them into a tasty sweet potato puree. Slice up a sweet potato into sticks, drizzle them with oil, sprinkle them with salt, and roast in your oven to make savory sweet potato fries.Related: 11 Vitamin and Mineral Supplements You Shouldn’t Waste Your Money On