By Karen Appold
Vitamin A is essential for many functions in your body, such as fighting off infections, boosting immunity and maintaining good eyesight. You should consume 5,000 international units (IU) per day, either through your diet or by taking vitamins. Some foods high in vitamin A are milk, sweet potatoes, liver, carrots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, mango, dried herbs, kale, spinach and red pepper.
Here’s a rundown of some of Vitamin A’s biggest benefits:
Vitamin A helps to keep your skin, mucous membranes and outer parts of organs and tissues in tip top shape, by enhancing their growth and repair. This is your body’s first line of defense against infection, disease and free radicals (which can damage your cells). These outer areas are called epithelial tissue, which mostly consist of fat.
Vitamin A is also necessary for the body’s development of natural defenses. It enhances and stimulates immune functions, which helps tissues to heal and ward off infection. This vitamin also assists in the development of immune system cells, called lymphocytes, which fight disease and bacteria.
Promotes healthy eyesight
Vitamin A is vital for proper eye function and aids in the eye’s repair and growth. In particular, it helps to maintain eyesight, prevents cataracts and helps to prevent night blindness, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other problems in the eye related to aging.
Prevents cancer, heart disease and more
As an antioxidant (a substance that prevents damage to cells or repairs damage), studies show that vitamin A can protect the body from a host of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis.
Keeps teeth and bones healthy
Your body converts some vitamin A into retinoic acid, which helps to sustain strong bones and teeth. Dentin (the largest part of the tooth) needs vitamin A to form a hard layer of material within teeth, making them strong. Vitamin A also helps to replace old or damaged tissue with new tissue.