sliced red peppers
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Red Peppers

Vitamin A is the name for a group of substances called retinoids. Most Americans get enough from their food, but moms-to-be might want to add an extra helping, because it helps the baby grow. Red peppers are an excellent source: A half cup gives you almost half of what you need for a single day.

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sauteed spinach
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There are two kinds of vitamin A: Preformed vitamin A -- from meat, poultry, fish, and dairy -- arrives in your body ready to use. 

The second kind, provitamin A, comes from certain fruits and veggies, like spinach. Your body has to process it before it can go to work.

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grilled beef liver
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Beef Liver

It may not be the meal you crave, but it’s full of vitamin A, which gives your immune system a huge boost -- it keeps the cells that protect you against infection working the way they should. It also helps make the antibodies that fight off any threats that get past other defenses.

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cooked sweet potato
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Sweet Potatoes

Here’s a good reason to load up your plate with these versatile veggies: They’re a great source of vitamin A. One baked sweet potato gives you more than 500% of the amount you need each day.  

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chocolate ice cream
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Ice Cream

Which sounds better: a cup of ice cream or 20 cans of tuna? Believe it or not, both have the same amount of vitamin A (about 20% of what you should get each day). Still, you’d need more than 25 scoops of ice cream to match the vitamin A you get in just one baked sweet potato.

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homemade pumpkin pie
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Pumpkin Pie

Vitamin A helps your heart, lungs, and kidneys do their work. So if you’re having dessert, think about a slice of pumpkin pie. It has plenty of beta-carotene, an antioxidant your body turns into vitamin A.

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grilled carrots
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Vitamin A keeps your eyes working the way they should. People who don’t get enough -- it’s mainly a problem in Africa and Southeast Asia -- can have night blindness. So keep an eye out for chances to get your daily dose. Just a half cup of raw carrots will give you more than enough. 

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woman taking supplements
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If it’s tough for you get all the A you need from food, you might try fortified foods. They have an extra helping of the vitamin. These foods include cereals, condiments, sugar, and milk. You’ll also find it in supplements. Talk to your doctor about the right amount for you.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 08/01/2018 Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on August 01, 2018


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National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Health Professionals,” “Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Consumers,” “The importance of beta-carotene as a source of vitamin A with special regard to pregnant and breastfeeding women.”

Oregon State University Micronutrient Information Center: “Overview of the Immune System.”

World Health Organization: “Vitamin A fortification of staple foods.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on August 01, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.