Vitamin A strengthens your immune system, helps you see better in dim light and it keeps your skin and the linings of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy.
This important vitamin keeps skin and mucous membrane cells healthy. When membranes are healthy they stay moist and resistant to cell damage because they inhibit the viruses and bacteria from planting their flags of disease and preventing infection. Healthy cells are also resistant to cancers. Vitamin A fights cancer by inhibiting the production of DNA in cancerous cells and slowing down tumour growth. It is also an effective anti-inﬂammatory agent.
Vitamin A mostly comes from animal foods, but some plant-based foods contain a phytonutrient called beta-carotene, which your body then converts into Vitamin A in the liver. It also has antioxidant properties that neutralise free radicals in the body that cause tissue and DNA damage that leads to premature aging and possibly cancer.
Good sources of vitamin A include:
- Some types of fish, such as salmon
- Cod liver oil
- Egg yolk
- Beef liver and other organ meats (but these foods are also high in “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, so limit the amount you eat – you can also get too much vitamin A)
Good sources of beta-carotene include: