First up - the what and why. Vitamins are micronutrients needed for normal physiological function. They must be consumed in the diet, but there are 3 exceptions - Vitamin K, biotin and Vitamin D.
We (humans) need 13 different vitamins. These vitamins are divided into 2 categories - water soluble (the B vitamins and Vitamin C) and fat soluble (A, D, E and K).
Now that we know what they are and why they are important, let's get specific.
Why we need it
This vitamin and its provitamin beta carotene, is important for vision, growth and development. It assists with the formation of skin, hair, and mucous membranes as well as bone and tooth growth. Vitamin A also plays an important role in immunity and reproductive behaviors.
How much you need
The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) is 900 micrograms for men and 700 micrograms for women. *Based on men and women between the ages of 31-50.
- Yellow and orange fruits and veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots
- Animal products like eggs, milk and liver
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach
How I get it
spinachI LOVE sweet potatoes! I will usually roast and mash them or toss them in olive oil, season and bake them. I eat them as a side dish or at breakfast with a banana.
On the weekends, I will have an omelet with some chopped spinach and whole wheat toast with jam. For dinner, I sometimes add a couple handfuls of spinach to a salad or will saute it with some kale, mushrooms, red peppers and shallots.
Most often, I enjoy my spinach in a smoothie. I combine a handful of spinach, a piece of ginger, 1/2 a lemon, 1 cup of water and an apple into a blender for a nutrient packed morning boost.
Now that you've seen how I get my Vitamin A, I hope you're inspired to find some creative ways to incorporate it into your diet.