One popular food contains 561% of your recommended daily value (!!!).
You’ve probably heard carrots help support your eyesight—and you can thank vitamin A for that. But this micronutrient does *way* more than just help reduce vision loss. Vitamin A helps develop cells and tissues, maintains a strong immune system, and even aids in reproductive processes, according to a 2013 article in Community Eye Health Journal.
Your body can’t make vitamin A itself, so including it in your diet is a non-negotiable. Experts recommend consuming 5,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A daily, preferably from food sources.
Supplementation is probably not necessary, but groups at risk of vitamin A deficiency—such as those with cystic fibrosis—may benefit from taking vitamin A supplements.
Here’s how to get your daily A from foods.
The Very Best Food Sources of Vitamin A
Fun fact: Good sources of vitamin A tend to be red or yellow (due to the beta carotene that has a crimson pigment), but some greens make the list, too.
Sweet potatoes: 561% of your DV in one spud (with the skin)
Beef liver: 444% of your DV in a 3-ounce serving
Canned pumpkin: 381% of your DV in 1/2 cup
Spinach: 229% of your DV in 1/2 cup, cooked
Carrots: 184% of your DV in 1/2 cup raw carrots
Cantaloupe: 54% of your DV in 1/2 cup, chopped
Red bell peppers: 47% of your DV in 1/2 cup raw, chopped
Mango: 45% of your DV in 1 mango
Black-eyed peas: 26% of your DV in 1 cup, cooked
Broccoli: 24% of your DV in 1/2 cup, cooked
To boost your vitamin A intake, check out this recipe for DIY sweet potato fries, and find out how to make a crispy shiitake spinach salad here.
Gilbert C. What is vitamin A and why do we need it? Community Eye Health. 2013;26(84):65.
Pumpkin, canned, without salt. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Accessed on July 30, 2018 at https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/11424.)
Vitamin A: fact sheet for health professionals. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. (Accessed on July 30, 2018 at https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/.)