Vitamin A is the generic term for a group of fat-soluble compounds found in both animal and plant foods and come in two forms: Preformed vitamin A and provitamin A.
Preformed vitamin A is the active form of the vitamin which your body can use just as it is. It’s found in animal products, supplements and fortified foods. Provitamin A carotenoids - alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin – are the inactive form found in plants. These compounds are converted to the active form in your body. You can read more about the benefits of vitamin A in this article.
You might be thinking of carrots right now, so here are a few more options for you to add to your plate.
Meat and fortified foods
- Beef liver - animal livers are among the richest sources of vitamin A, because, like humans, animals store vitamin A in the liver. Lamb liver and liver sausage are other rich sources
- Cod liver oil - fish livers are also a rich source of preformed vitamin A
- Many breakfast cereals, juices, and dairy products are fortified with retinol (a preformed vitamin A)
- Orange root vegetables – especially sweet potato and carrots – the vitamin A present in these root vegetables is in the form of beta carotene, which some research suggests may protect against prostate cancer and colon cancer.
- Leafy green vegetables – kale, spinach and broccoli
- Yellow/ red vegetables – red peppers, pumpkin, butternut and other yellow squashes
- Yellow fruit – mango, papaya, cantaloupe and apricots.