Good day friends!  We are starting a VITAMIN SERIES where we will talk about the benefits of various vitamins.  We’ll also take a look at how they work together with other vitamins, minerals and nutrients– revealing that nature works better together! We will start the series off looking at Vitamin A: the benefits of it, foods that contain Vitamin A, and what other nutrients that work well with it.  Let’s get started…

Benefits of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is fat-soluble nutrient, meaning that it will store in your fat cells until the body needs it.  There are two forms of Vitamin A found in food.  Preformed vitamin A, retinol and retinyl esters, occurs exclusively in animal products, such as dairy, liver and fish, while pro-vitamin A carotenoids (beta-carotene) are abundant in plant foods like fruits, vegetables and oils.  To use them, your body must convert both forms of vitamin A to retinal and retinoic acid, the active forms of the vitamin. The main benefits of vitamin A are:

  • Eye health-  It helps protect and maintain the cornea– outside outermost layer of the eye, as well as the conjunctiva– a thin membrane that covers the surface of your eye and inside of your eyelids.  It is necessary for color vision and low light vision.
  • Skin health- It is responsible for maintaining surface tissue like your skin, intestines, lungs, bladder, and inner ear.
  • Immune support- It helps increase and distribute T-cells, a type of white blood cells that are also known as the fighter cells that help combat infection in the body.
  • Reproductive heath- Because of it’s role in maintaining healthy tissue, vitamin A can be beneficial in helping increasing chances of reproducing in both men and women, as well as supporting healthy cell growth and development during pregnancy.

Foods with Vitamin A
Some research says that the best way to receive vitamin A is receiving it through a food source.  Since Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient, you have to use precaution while supplementing because Vitamin A in high dosages can be toxic.  Here are some well know food sources:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Egg Yolks
  • Salmon
  • Beef Liver
  • Cod Liver
  • Butter

Vitamin A Coupling
As we said above– nature works better together.  There is a technique used in gardening and farming called companion planting.  For example, if you plant basil next to tomatoes, the herb helps tomatoes produce greater yields and will repel flies and mosquitoes.   This can be similar with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.  Here’s what works well with Vitamin A:

  • Vitamin A & D– When you couple these together they can help benefit the health of the lungs, bones, and immune system
  • Vitamin A & Zinc– These two can help with gut health, problematic skin (eczema and acne) as well as immune system.  Using Vitamin A and Zinc topically can help minimize wrinkles as well as redness in the skin.

Hopefully you learned something new about a very important vitamin!  Next week we will talk about the family of B vitamins and how they can boost energy and sooth the nervous system.  Stay tuned fam!

As always, do what you feel is best for YOUR body– if you aren’t sure, ask your doctor.  We are health ENTHUSIASTS not licensed practitioners.

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