Of the vitamins necessary for a healthy life, Vitamin A is one that’s often overlooked. You seldom hear anyone touting the positive effects of Vitamin A, but it is one of the most necessary vitamins for proper growth and development. In addition, Vitamin A is also necessary for the proper function of the reproductive organs and the immune system. Children who are deprived of Vitamin A at an early age may experience severe health problems related to an underdeveloped immune system.
One positive point of Vitamin A that is often overlooked is the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. That means that a person who isn’t getting sufficient amounts of Vitamin A is likely to have a more difficult time keeping hair and skin looking healthy, vital and young.
So why is it that we hear so little about Vitamin A? Part of the reason may be that most people get enough of this vitamin without any supplementation. Since there’s little need to “push” extra Vitamin A in a normal, healthy daily food intake, there’s little focus on Vitamin A and more on those vitamins that most people lack in their daily diets.
Vitamin A is also called Retinol. One of the most common ways to determine whether a particular food is rich in Vitamin A is the color. Orange-colored foods are typically good sources of this vitamin. Cantaloupes, carrots and sweet potato are among the more common sources. If you’re a woman and you eat a half-cup of sweet potato, you’ll have consumed two times the daily requirement of Vitamin A. It’s important to note that the requirements for men are slightly higher than the requirements for women, but a half-cup of sweet potato also provides more than one and a half times the daily requirement for men.