It’s funny how certain foods get pegged almost inseparably to certain nutrients. When you think of foods with vitamin C, oranges likely come to mind. For a boost of potassium, most of us reach for a banana. And if asked to name a food high in vitamin A, we’d bet you’d say carrots.
Vitamin A is essential for good health. As you may know, getting enough of this nutrient promotes healthy vision (hence all the buzz about eating carrots for eagle eyes). It also plays a major role in supporting your immune and reproductive systems.
Carrots are, of course, an excellent source of vitamin A. Half a cup of the raw veggies contains a sizable 510 micrograms. That’s 57% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for men and 73% for women.
But as vitamin A-rich as carrots are, they don’t own the market for this important nutrient. Several other healthy, whole foods actually contain more vitamin A than these crunchy orange veggies. Here’s a look at the surprising variety of foods to choose from. Then, don’t miss our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
ShutterstockOrgan meats might not be the most popular option at the butcher counter, but don’t pass them by! Beef liver is the ultimate vitamin A powerhouse, with 8,020 micrograms in a 3-ounce serving. That’s a staggering 891% of the RDA for men and 1,457% for women. Lamb liver and liver sausage also offer off-the-charts levels of vitamin A.
ShutterstockAs a dietary supplement, cod liver oil offers several benefits. It’s loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and immune-boosting vitamin D. It’s also an amazing source of vitamin A at 4,080 micrograms per tablespoon.
ShutterstockBaked sweet potatoes are a simple-but-delicious side dish for just about any meal. And with 1,100 micrograms of vitamin A per cup, they definitely outdo raw carrots. Just be sure to eat the skin to get the full measure of vitamin A from these starchy tubers.
Related: Here are the One Major Effect of Eating Sweet Potatoes, Says Dietitian.
ShutterstockPumpkin muffins, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin pies—there’s no end to the tasty ways you can use pumpkin puree. (Check out our list of 20 creative things to do with it!) As you enjoy this fall favorite, you’ll also soak up plenty of vitamin A. Each cup contains 706 micrograms.
ShutterstockPicking up on the orange vibes? Beta-carotene, the plant form of vitamin A, gives many veggies their signature reddish-yellow color—and butternut squash is no exception! In one cup of cooked cubes, you’ll get 1,140 micrograms of vitamin A.
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