Vitamin A has long been known for its role in vision. Did you know that recent studies have been exploring Vitamin A’s potential as anti-cancer and anti-aging compound, because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties? Contrary to popular information written about vitamin A, it is actually not a single nutrient, but a group of related nutrients. Each type of vitamin A carries its own benefits and source of origin:
Retinoids (retinol, retinal, retinoic acid and retinyl esters) are found in animal-foods and offer immune, inflammatory, genetic and reproductive-related benefits.
Carotenoids (various carotenes and xanthophylls) are found in plant foods and most function as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. The human body is able to effectively convert carotenoids into retinoid forms within the body.
Both categories of vitamin A offer benefits (namely immune and anti-inflammatory) that go a long way during the winter months.
Treat yourself to vitamin A rich foods including yogurt, eggs, chicken, shrimp, salmon, halibut, scallops, sardines, tuna, cod, sweet potatoes, and carrots, of course. Don’t forget these oft forgotten sources of Vitamin A: leafy greens such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, and collard, turnip, and mustard greens. Your whole body will thank you.
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Vitamin A. World’s Healthiest Foods.
Gaby, Alan. 2011. Nutritional medicine. Concord, N.H. Fritz Perlberg Publishing.