Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an antioxidant that offers the body balance and protection. Provitamin A carotenoids are pigments in plants that are responsible for beautifully colored fruits and vegetables. There are well over 600 carotenoids, but only a small number have been determined by scientists to be vital to human biology.

Benefits:

  • Improved eyesight
  • Prevention of night blindness
  • Strong bone growth and thickness
  • Assistance with diabetes
  • Prevention of acne, boils, and open skin sores
  • Maintenance of healthy hair, skin, and mucous membranes
  • Strong tooth enamel
  • Reduction of diarrhea and weight loss

Excellent Food Sources

  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Beef Liver
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Apricots
  • Broccoli
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Winter Squash

Important Points

  • Lycopene, the substance in tomatoes that makes them red, combats prostate cancer according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer Institute
  • Alpha- and beta-carotenes are powerful antioxidants which help control the activity of free radicals within the body
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are helpful in strengthening failing vision
  • Retinol is necessary for the normal functions of the eyes, lungs, and intestines.
  • Low vitamin A intake can lead to decreased immune function
  • Carotenoids work at a molecular level to prevent the formation of carcinogens, which are responsible for tumor growth
  • Taking over-the-counter stomach acid-blocking drugs can dramatically reduce the absorption of carotenoids (herbal antacids like cool chamomile or peppermint teas are better; if more acid is needed, take 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or sauerkraut juice before taking beta-carotene)

Resources

Heinerman, John. Dr. Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Nature’s Vitamins and Minerals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1998. Print.

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