Vitamin A has many important functions, which is why everyone needs to maintain the proper levels of this extremely vital nutrient. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
In fact, the World Health Organization has addressed the necessity to improve the quality of people’s diets. These callings are mainly related to the huge rise of obesity rates all around the world, which has led to its evolution into an epidemic.
Most people in the world do not take care of their nutrition as much as they should. In other words, people don’t supply their bodies with all the necessary ingredients that they need.
According to nutritionists, you need to eat certain amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in order to stay healthy. Regarding the first two groups, it isn’t much of a problem since these are commonly found in almost every food you eat. However, the rest can be scarce and sometimes totally absent in your daily diet.
Vitamins are an essential part of your nutrition. Their function is to regulate the way your body works. You only need to consume a few micrograms a day and these tiny amounts make the difference between being healthy or not.
One of the main functions of Vitamin A is to maintain your body fit and much more resistant to illnesses. But there is more to this vitamin, as you will see from the below.
4 Main Vitamin A Functions
Vitamin A is linked to the core processes in the human organism. The most known function of vitamin A is to guarantee and improve vision, especially vision in low-lighted places.
Among the vitamin A function is the production of pigments in the eyes’ retina. After being combined with a protein known as opsin, vitamin A is transformed into rhodopsin, which is responsible for the light absorption in your eyes. Though, it is also essential for allowing you to see and differentiate colors.
2. Mechanism of defense
Another function of vitamin A is improving the way your immune system works. For instance, beta-carotene is a vegetal compound that can be easily transformed into one of the forms of vitamin A.
Likewise, it is considered to be an antioxidant. It means that it protects the body’s cells from external and internal damages.
In the first case, there are some substances called free radicals that are deemed to be responsible for causing and contributing to different chronic diseases (cancer among them). Therefore, consuming rich vitamin A foods improves your beta-carotene levels and consequently reduces the risk of cancer.
On the other hand, cells also go through the normal aging process, which means that the body’s systems get deteriorated with the passing of time, and one of the functions of vitamin A is to slow down this process. This function is particularly useful for tissues and organs which are exposed to the environment – like the skin or the eyes.
According to specialists, the above-mentioned benefits of vitamin A are only effective when you take carotenoids coming from natural sources like plants.
3. Skin health
Vitamin A can also benefit the skin. Retinoic acid, a form of vitamin A, activates some genes which can encourage the development of mature epidermal cells. This, in turn, improves the skin’s health and strength.
For example, rich vitamin A medicines are recommended to use to treat acne. They diminish the size and the secretion of sebaceous glands. Thanks to this effect, bacterial reproduction in the skin is reduced due to the lack of nutrients for its growth.
4. Gene transportation
Finally, vitamin A plays a key role in gene transcription. Retinol, another form of vitamin A, is the main source of retinoic acid. This chemical transformation process is irreversible and assures the necessary amount of this acid for the gene transcription process.
Vitamin A Sources
After knowing some of this nutrient’s functions, it is essential to know what to eat to include vitamin A in your diet. This vitamin can be found in vegetables and fruits, especially those with orange, yellow or green tones. The darker the color is, the bigger the content of vitamin A is.
Foods rich in vitamin A are carrots, broccoli, spinach, dried apricots, red bell pepper, pistachios, mango, and sweet potato. Some of them contain up to three times the recommended daily amount of vitamin A in a single unit. That’s the case of carrots and sweet potato.
As you can see, vitamin A is a necessary nutrient to keep your body working perfectly. Just a single small dose per day is enough to satisfy the body’s requirements.
As you just read, it is quite vital to prioritize the consumption of vitamin A. Eating a tiny dose per day will let you get huge benefits. So, think about re-checking your diet to make it more complete and to improve and reinforce the functions of vitamin A in your organism. Vitamin A is proven to be useful and necessary for everyone!