The Many Benefits of Vitamin A
The human body is beautifully designed and can do incredible things. But, it has its limitations too. While our body produces many enzymes and hormones to keep various systems functioning, it cannot manufacture the essential vitamins (from scratch) to support those functions. Vitamin A is no exception.
Our body depends on the food we eat to get its dose of this fat-soluble vitamin, also known as retinoic acid and retinol, essential for a range of processes.
What are Fat-Soluble Vitamins?
Fat-soluble vitamins are just what their name suggests. They are absorbed and metabolized by the body along with fats. Since fat-soluble vitamins are not as easily absorbed as water-soluble vitamins, the body stores them for later use.
Not sure what you need vitamin A for and how it can help keep you fit and healthy and your body well-functioning?
Read on to learn about some of the most important roles vitamin A serves in the human body.
Why Does Our Body Need Vitamin A? 4 Important Benefits of Vitamin A
Here are some of the major health benefits of vitamin A:
1. It Protects Vision
Vitamin A is vital to protecting your vision. It supports pigment production that keeps the retina working properly, nourishes, and lubricates the eye. Consuming an adequate amount of vitamin A can help prevent night blindness and may also slow the age-related eyesight decline.
2. It Helps Keep Your Immune System Up and Running
Along with protecting your vision, vitamin A also plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system and keeping it functioning at its best.
Vitamin A contributes to the production and functioning of the white blood cells, the immune system heroes that fight diseases and pathogens. The deficiency of vitamin A can disrupt these processes, making us more prone to falling sick. Lack of vitamin A can also slow down the recovery process.
Vitamin A also helps maintain our body’s natural defenses, including the mucous membranes in the gut, lungs, genitals, and eyes that can trap infectious pathogens and bacteria, thus, preventing them from entering the body and causing diseases.
3. It’s Vital for Normal Fetal Growth
An adequate supply of vitamin A is essential for healthy embryonic growth. The essential vitamin is required to develop several major body systems, organs, and structures of the fetus. These include the heart, bones, lungs, kidneys, eyes, pancreas, the nervous, immune, and circulatory systems, and skin cell production.
4. Moms-To-Be Need It Too
In addition to helping with fetal growth, vitamin A also helps prevent maternal night blindness and also helps with postpartum tissue repair. It also helps the moms-to-be fight germs and infections by supporting their immune system.
Vitamin A is Essential, But Too Much Can Be Risky
When it comes to vitamin A, moderation is the key. Since our body stores it in the adipose (fatty) tissues and then utilizes it slowly, as and when needed, consuming too much of it can lead to vitamin A toxicity. Ensuring that you’re taking just the right amount of vitamin A can be tricky. Healthcare professionals suggest that the best way to keep the balance is to include vitamin A-rich foods into your regular diet in moderation. Do not rely heavily on foods that are rich in vitamin A, particular animal foods, or use vitamin A supplements, as that can increase your risk of developing vitamin A toxicity.
Some great natural sources of vitamin A include dairy products, beef liver, fish liver oil, carrots, black-eyed peas, green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, broccoli, sweet potato, and cantaloupe.
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