Vitamins under the microscope- Vitamin A explained
In my last post we explored where vitamins are found, and what functions they are used for within our bodies. Now its time to get down and dirty, to talk about the different types of vitamins and how they can effect us.
There are 6 main Vitamins for us to concentrate on- A, B group, C, D, E and K
Lets start at the beginning with Vitamin A…
Vitamin A is widely known as the ‘moisturising vitamin’because it does just that, it keeps vital mucus membranes, moist! Don’t be put off by their name, mucus membranes line your nose, your eyes, your mouth anywhere well, ‘moist’if you catch my drift. Vitamin A also helps to promote healthy bones, teeth, general growth and even helps us fight off infections, so lets be totally honest its pretty vital stuff.
Vitamin A can be found in lots of different products for example:
- Most dark green fruits and vegetables, including: Kale, spinach and broccoli
- Most yellow fruits and vegetables including; Carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, mango, apricots
- Egg yolks
- Whole Milk
- Cod liver oil
- Liver from chicken, beef and pork
- Some diary products including cheddar cheese, whole milk and butter
How to spot a deficiency in Vitamin A.
Its all very well chatting about where we can find Vitamin A naturally in our foods, but its equally important to learn how to spot the signs if you maybe deficient. Remember we discussed Vitamin A’s nickname as the ‘moisturising vitamin’, well there is your first clue! Anything on your body lacking moisture points in the direction of a deficiency.
- Dry skin
- Dry sore eyes or nose
- An inability to fight off infections
- Wounds that heal slowly
A word of caution- you’re thinking “I constantly have a dry, sore nose- I’m going to consume a ton of Vitamin A”think again!
We discussed the two main kinds of vitamins in our last post, water soluble and fat soluble. Vitamin A is fat soluble and so can build up within the body. With all good things, too much of it can cause serious issues, including Liver damage and also damage to unborn foetus’s, so its key to measure your daily intake.
Not sure how much you should be ingesting on a daily basis? The recommended daily intake of vitamins does seem to fluctuate depending on where you live in the world. Different countries favour different research results in this area, so please always consult a doctor in the first instance to get the exact measures you need. As a rule an adult female would be safe to consume 0.6milligram and an adult male slightly more at 0.7milligram per day.
The moral of the story is, make sure you eat as many different coloured fruits and vegetables as you sensibly can in one day. Nikki is a big advocate of a colourful plate and her advice is spot on, make your plate the most vibrant the season has to offer and your diet won’t be lacking in vital nutrients.
Next up, we will concentrate on Vitamin B and its little group of B Vitamin friends…