Ultimate guide to Vitamin A – Introduction, benefits, deficiency, sources

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Do you know what is key to eye health? Vitamin A! A fat-soluble vitamin that is not just good for your overall health, but is also good to maintain and have a healthy vision, skin, bones and other tissues in the body. Works best as an antioxidant, maintaining good levels of Vitamin A helps in fighting cell damage. It also has many other uses that are beneficial as an important nutrient.

Vitamin A plays a vital role in improving the formation and maintenance of the heart, kidneys, lungs and other organs. Perhaps, we are aware that Vitamin A is best known for its role in vision and eye health. Retinal, the most active form of this Vitamin, combines with the necessary protein for color vision and low-light vision. Not just this, it also helps in protecting the cornea – which is the outermost layer of your eye.

Other than this, Vitamin A helps maintain surface tissues such as your intestines, lungs, skin and inner ear. Supports immune function which can keep your body away from infections and other health problems. What’s more? Read on to know more about the benefits of Vitamin A on health.

Benefits of Vitamin A

1. Potent antioxidant

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties, that can keep your body away from harmful infections and the creation of oxidative stress. Stress can be related to various chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes or cognitive decline.

2. Protects your eyes

Vitamin A is very much needed in your diet to protect your eyes from harsh light. This helps in converting light into an electrical signal that is sent to your brain. In order to avoid deficiencies which can lead to night blindness, this is an important nutrient and must be included in your daily dietary plans

3. Supports and builds a healthy immune system

Vitamin A acts as the most effective nutrient in maintaining your body’s natural defenses. This could be, barriers in your lungs, eyes which help trap other infectious agents. If you balance the level of Vitamin A in your body, you can lower the risk of getting sick or catching infections such as malaria and measles

4. Lower risk of acne

A chronic, inflammatory skin disorder, acne is commonly seen on the face, back and chest. While the acne spots are not physically harmful, it may have a serious effect on your mental health and may lead to low self-confidence, depression or even anxiety. In order to avoid your chances of getting acute to severe acne problems, it is very important that you include foods – fruits, vegetables that are rich in Vitamin A in your daily diet.

5. Promotes reproduction and healthy growth

Vitamin A is important for both men and women. It helps in maintaining a healthy reproductive system ensuring a normal growth and development of embryos if women are pregnant. In pregnant women, Vitamin A is involved in the development of the baby’s major organs and structures such as the skeleton, nervous system, kidneys, eyes, lungs, pancreas, and heart.

The underlying gap between consuming Vitamin A through sources can be understood when you’ve taken note of the deficiencies too. Let’s look at some of them in order to avoid major setbacks in your life.

Deficiency of Vitamin A

Deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to severe health complications if you do not maintain a balanced diet. The major symptom of Vitamin A deficiency is loss of eyesight which if worsen can lead to blindness.

Besides this, there are other symptoms as well. Some other symptoms include:

  • Loss of tears
  • Sores in the eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cracked lips
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor and delayed wound healing
  • Upper/lower respiratory infections

To stay healthy and avoid deficiencies it is a must to consume the right sources of Vitamin A.

Rich sources of Vitamin A

Vitamin A can be found in fortified cereals, fruits, and green vegetables. Fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cantaloupes, apricots, sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, red peppers, mangoes, tomatoes are perfect to include in your dietary plans. If you think you cannot consume them on a daily basis or regularly, Vitamin A is also found as a dietary supplement in multivitamins available in capsules or tablets. If you have a deficiency, do consult your doctor who can probably provide you with some mild supplements. It is also advised to watch your dietary intake.

The Bottom Line

For a better processing of your body, Vitamin A is very vital.  It is used to build and maintain healthy vision, ensure the normal functioning of your organs and immune system, and also strengthen the embryos during pregnancy. However, it is recommended that you also understand the negative effects of Vitamin A if consumed too much of it. The best way to make sure that you get the right balance is to consume Vitamin-A rich foods as part of your regular diet and avoid excessive amounts.

Zigreads Team
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