Medically Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on December 17, 2020
Red Peppers

Red Peppers

1/8

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.

Spinach

Spinach

2/8

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.

Beef Liver

Beef Liver

3/8

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.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

4/8

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 one and a half times the amount you need each day. 

Ice Cream

Ice Cream

5/8

Which sounds better: a cup of ice cream or 14 servings 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 5 servings of ice cream to match the vitamin A you get in just one baked sweet potato.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

6/8

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.

Carrots

Carrots

7/8

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 half of what you need in a day.

Supplements

Supplements

8/8

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.

Show Sources

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

1) HandmadePictures / Thinkstock

2) photosoup / Thinkstock

3) DukeII / Thinkstock

4) tbralnina / Thinkstock

5) VladimirSretenovic / Thinkstock

6) bhofack2 / Thinkstock

7) Helios8 / Thinkstock

8) diego_cervo / Thinkstock

SOURCES:

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.”