I know I'm supposed to be getting a certain amount of Vitamins and Minerals each day - That's what RDI is (formerly known as RDA). It stands for Reference Daily Intake and it represents the suggested daily intake levels for nutrients.
That being said, when it comes to Vitamin A, women should get 700 mcg (micrograms) or 2,310 IU (International Units) a day. This vitamin helps with vision, bone growth, cell growth and repair, and cell division. It aids in regulating the immune system, and makes white blood cells, which help to fight off infections. Vitamin A also helps the skin and mucous membranes function as a barrier to bacteria and viruses. It also speeds up healing when you get cut, and prevents your skin from aging. What a busy little vitamin!
Sounds great, but how can I make sure I'm getting enough? I mean, what does that much Vitamin A look like when it comes to food?
Want to see a chart to help you figure it out? Then read more
Here's a list of common foods we eat and how much Vitamin A (in IU) they contain. Remember a woman needs 2,310 IU of Vitamin A a day. The amounts may surprise you.
|Food||Amount||Amount of Vitamin A (in IU)|
|Sweet Potato (baked)||1/2 cup||15,740 (wow!)|
|Acorn Squash||1/2 cup||439|
|Fresh Apricot||1 medium||674|
|Asparagus (steamed)||6 medium spears||905|
|Beet greens (cooked)||1/2 cup||5,511|
|Red pepper||1/2 cup||2,333|
|Yellow Pepper||1/2 cup||150|
|Broccoli (steamed)||1/2 cup||1,207|
|Butternut Squash (cooked)||1/2 cup||10,950|
|Corn on the cob||1 medium ear||146|
|Kale (steamed)||1/2 cup||8,854|
|Spinach (raw)||1 cup||2,813|
|Strawberries (fresh)||1/2 cup||10 (I thought there'd be more)|
|Zucchini (steamed)||1/2 cup||1,005|
Now I can see just where my Vitamin A is coming from. I thought fruits would contain more Vitamin A than green vegetables, but this chart has proven me wrong. It's good to know that it's pretty easy to get your daily amount, just make sure to include lots of green veggies or a carrot once a day and you're good to go.
Fit's Tips: Is it possible to get too much Vitamin A? You bet. Retinol is the direct form of Vitamin A found in multivitamins, cod liver oil, liver, fortified foods, and whole milk products. High doses during pregnancy can cause birth defects and liver toxicity. Excessive amounts can also lead to bone fractures.
The government considers 3,000 mcg (10,000 IU) the maximum amount of vitamin A that you should get from supplements, animal sources, and fortified foods each day. NOTE: Beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the body, is not associated with an increased risk of fractures or problems during pregnancy. That means you can eat as much Vitamin A-rich fruits and veggies as you want, but be sure to check food labels and multivitamins to make sure you are not getting an excessive amount of Vitamin A.