Vitamin A was discovered in the 1930's. It is said to improve your eyesight, particularly at night, which is one of two reasons it is known as the glow-in-the-dark Vitamin. However, the eyes are not the only part of your body grateful for your generous consumption of Vitamin A. Your Skin, Hair, Mucous Membranes and Nails also benefits. In fact, almost any surface lining your body can find.
Your immune system benefits too, giving you added resources to ward off infections. Bones and teeth are strengthened with proper amounts of Vitamin and even the risk of some cancers could be reduced with Vitamin A.
The other reason we call Vitamin A the 'glow-in-the-dark Vitamin' is because it is best known as the bright orange colour in so many foods we enjoy. For instance:
- Pumpkins/pumpkin pie
- Sweet potatoes
Again, Vitamin A is much more than meets the eye, because it is not actually Vitamin A that turns the fruit and vegetables orange, but a precursor to Vitamin A called beta- carotene. Beta-carotene does not become Vitamin A until your body processes it.
Vitamin A is just as likely, if not more so, to come from protein sources such as most dairy products (egg yolks and some fish). The queen of all Vitamin A sources is liver.
The Vitamin A in protein sources is real Vitamin A, no processing required.
Other great sources of Vitamin A are dark green vegetables, such as Swiss chard, broccoli, spinach and beet greens.
As important as it is to glow with Vitamin A, don't glow too brightly. An overdose can be harmful to bones and skin, causing weakness and brittleness, even leading to fatigue and vomiting.
It is advisable not to take a Vitamin A supplement except under the supervision of a physician. In most cases, it is much better to take a liquid multi Vitamin in recommended daily doses. There is very little chance of getting too much Vitamin that way.
Also, increase your intake of beta-carotene sources. Whereas your body absorbs all the Vitamin A it takes in directly, it converts only the beta-carotene it needs.
So get glowing and get the Vitamin A you need.
By David Leonhardt
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