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‘A’ Equals to Good Grade and Eat More Vitamin A Food Leads to Better Health!

‘A’ Equals to Good Grade and Eat More Vitamin A Food Leads to Better Health!

If you want a healthy immune system, heart, lungs, kidneys and nearly every organ in your body…you need Vitamin A. If you have ever experienced throat or chest infections, gastroenteritis, delayed growth or even infertility, it could be a lack of Vitamin A! It turns out, some of the common issues we all deal with and have assumed to be part of life could actually be the result of our lousy diet!

So all in all, we need Vitamin A [1]. But where do we get Vitamin A? Should we take it in a powder, a pill or what? While supplements are always an option, there are tons of Vitamin A rich foods you can add to your diet. Many of which you already enjoy.

There are two forms of Vitamin A available to our diets: preformed and provitamin. Preformed Vitamin A comes from animal products like dairy, fish, meat, etc. Provitamin A is a plant pigment and is found in the vegetarian meal choices we make.

The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine has determined the recommended daily allowance for males agent 14-50 is 900mcg, and females of the same age should get about 700mcg [2].

    Our body gives us ‘signals’ if we lack Vitamin A

    While Vitamin A is found in plenty of foods, even foods you already eat, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting enough of those foods to count. Think about what you’ve eaten so far this week: was it all healthy, preservative-free food? How many fruits and vegetables have you enjoyed?

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    Chances are, you’ve opted for quick fixes and used time you could have been meal-prepping for getting all the other things done that have been stressing you out. Am I right? While it can be so frustrating and downright unenjoyable to plan meals, knowing what you’re ingesting and why it’s good for you is so important. The following problems are just three common issues associated with a lack of Vitamin A.

    1. Poor Vision

    If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin A, you could experience poor vision, especially at night or in dimly-lit settings. While irritating, this problem is also extremely dangerous. It can make it hazardous to drive at night. Thinking small, it can also be difficult to read menus while at a romantic restaurant. And nobody wants that (1).

    2. Dry Eyes

    If you’ve ever experienced dry eyes (severe or otherwise), then you know it’s awful. But dry eyes caused by Vitamin A deficiency can actually cause xerophthalmia, a big word for a severe form of night blindness. Essentially, your eyes lose the ability to moisten themselves which means you can’t produce tears. Sure, you could constantly squeeze eyedrops onto your pupils, but is that really the life you want?

    3. Hindered growth and rough, itchy skin

    If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin A, especially at a young age, your growth can be dramatically stunted and even halted altogether! While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being on the short side, do you want to know you could have prevented it? More so, a lack of Vitamin A can lead to unhealthy skin, evidenced by rough, flaky and dry patches. Yuck.

    A must try! Top 10 Vitamin A rich foods

    1. Beef Liver

      This beef liver and onions recipe is a great way to get your Vitamin A fix. This specific recipe is an appetizer. Try it at your next event as a helpful, subtle way to get more Vitamin A into the lives of your friends, too! And if you’re thinking, “ew! Liver?! No way am I eating that!” Then I challenge you to ask yourself: when was the last time you tried it? [3]

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      2. Carrots

        While it’s ideal to munch on carrots by themselves, we can’t all be Bugs Bunny. This delicious peach and carrot smoothie is a great way to get that vitamin A fix first thing in the morning! You’ll be amazed at how good it can taste to get your vitamins.

        3. Sweet Potato

          Sweet potatoes are so versatile. You can bake them, roast them, chop them, whip them, slather them in butter and cinnamon or cheese and chives. While they are especially delicious as dessert foods, in the interest of health, let’s stick to this recipe for simple roasted sweet potatoes. Yum! Add these to your next meal for a satisfying, good-for-you side.

          4. Kale

            Kale, like sweet potatoes, is good in basically any dish. This recipe is a must-try! This Avocado kale quinoa salad is bursting with nutrition and it tastes amazing, too! A win-win! It’s basically a bowl full of health!

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            5. Spinach

              This recipe for Spinach Ball appetizers is as healthy as it is adorable! Enjoy them as a side dish or as an appetizer at your next gathering.

              6. Apricots

                These no cook apricot energy bites are an ideal snack to bring to work or school. They’re dairy free, gluten free, vegan and the only sugar that exists is naturally-occurring! And did I mention there is no cooking involved?!

                7. Broccoli

                  I have always loved broccoli, especially covered in cheese! While this recipe for garlic roasted broccoli is cheese-free, it’s so delicious you won’t even notice it’s missing. If you haven’t noticed yet, so many of these Vitamin A-rich foods work perfectly as side dishes to any healthy meal. This can make it especially easy to get a variety of veggies without feeling like you’re eating all day long.

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                  8. Butter

                    Unfortunately, I can’t recommend you eat sticks of butter (though if you’ve ever had really good butter, you’ve probably been tempted). But I am going to recommend you try the recipe for bullet-proof coffee.

                    While there are many variations and you can always find the website of the same name to see the basic version, this one is a great start. You mix coconut oil (or a similar oil) and grass fed butter into your coffee. I know, it sounds crazy, butter? In my coffee? but it’s oh so good! And the best part? It’s good for you!

                    9. Eggs

                      While everyone seems to change their mind every other day on whether eggs are healthy or unhealthy, the research shows they are good for you, as long as you eat them in moderation. This recipe for 50 calorie egg muffin cups is a great way to kickstart your morning without any guilt while also getting a Vitamin A fix. Enjoy!

                      10. Winter Squash

                        If you’re anything like me, it doesn’t have to be cold outside to enjoy a bowl of delicious soup. This recipe for butter nut squash and apple soup is sure to warm your heart and belly, no matter the temperature! Full of vitamins and minerals, this is sure to be a new soup go-to.

                        Reference

                        [1]Patient: Vitamin A Deficiency
                        [2]National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A
                        [3]Dr. Axe: Top 10 Vitamin A Foods

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                        Heather Poole

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                        Last Updated on December 13, 2018

                        12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                        12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                        Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

                        A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

                        1. Eat Before Heading Out

                        First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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                        2. Select The Treats

                        Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

                        3. Avoid Skipping Meals

                        Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

                        4. Drink With Moderation

                        It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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                        5. Be Active

                        You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

                        6. Get Out Of The House

                        Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

                        7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

                        Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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                        8. Set Realistic Goals

                        You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

                        9. Enjoy Yourself

                        Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

                        10. Drink A Lot Of Water

                        This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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                        11. Eat Less And More Often

                        Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

                        12. Prioritize Your Workouts

                        Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

                        So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

                        Happy Holidays everyone!

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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