Vitamin A is an antioxidant which plays a role in maintaining good vision, neurological function, and healthy skin. It also contributes to strong bones and supports the immune system, and there are several vitamin A vegan sources that you can choose from.
There are two forms of vitamin A: active vitamin A (retinol) comes from animal products and can be used directly by the body, beta carotene comes from colourful fruit and vegetables, and are converted to retinol after food is ingested. Carotenoids can be found in green, yellow, orange, and red coloured fruits and vegetables. However, because beta carotene has to be converted to retinol in our bodies, we lose some vitamin A in the process, so there has been debate around deficient vitamin A vegan diets.
It is also important to remember that vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, so a low-fat diet will mean that vitamin A cannot be properly absorbed. If vitamin A isn’t properly absorbed, there are many symptoms of a deficiency, and this can drastically affect your life. Signs of a deficiency can include night blindness and other eye disorders, dry skin/hair, broken fingernails, or pruritus (itchy sensations). Other symptoms include anaemia, acne, hormonal imbalances, follicular hyperkeratosis/keratosis pilaris, and decreased immunity and infections. Decreased immunity can, of course, lead to far more serious illnesses, so ensuring that you are not drastically deficient in vitamin A is important.
Ensuring you consume enough vitamin A is especially important for vegans, who cannot access the retinol in animal products. Some of the best vitamin A vegan sources include leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, lettuce), sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, pumpkin, butternut squash, grapefruit and goji berries. You can also get vitamin A vegan supplements, and the vitamin is normally present in multi-vitamins. However, overconsumption of vitamin A supplements can lead to jaundice, loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea, so make sure that you take low doses of these supplements.
While Vitamin A is a really important vitamin, and it is far easier to consume enough of it when you eat animal products (as it features highly in meat and dairy), it is possible for vegans to consume enough vitamin A. Ensuring that your diet is rich with colourful fruit and vegetables, and supplementing with a vitamin a vegan supplement are the best ways to avoid vitamin A deficiency on a vegan diet. Vegan Supplement Store have tons of helpful supplements that can aid your vegan diet, supporting muscle & mass, fat loss, and health & wellbeing.