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Vitamin A in Orange Vegetables

Updated on February 3, 2016

Intro

Vitamin A is a necessary vitamin to consume on a regular basis to help keep your body in tip-top shape! Vitamin A is particularly good at keeping your eyes and vision healthy! Orange vegetables are a great source of Vitamin A. Examples are sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots. One serving of each of these veggies contains more than enough Vitamin A to last you throughout the whole day. Read on to learn more about these tasty vegetables and ways you can incorporate them into your weekly diet.

Vitamin A

Like I mentioned above, Vitamin A is crucial in the health of your eyes. It also helps to keep skin healthy and aids in the function of the immune system. Carotenoids, like beta-carotene, are precursors to Vitamin A. Your body converts the beta-carotene in vegetables to Vitamin A once you have consumed the food. The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A is 2,300 IU for female adults and is 3,000 IU for male adults. It is important to try to reach this amount through a healthy and balanced diet. Read on to see individual examples below of how to reach this daily goal.

Sweet Potatoes

One cup of baked sweet potato contains over 38,000 IU of Vitamin A. That's over 700% of the daily value for Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are a healthy food that many cultures have used for thousands of years. It provides a great side dish for dinner or even a base for a vegetarian meal. You can eat it baked from the oven, roasted in cubes, as savory baked fries, sliced with a little sweetness added, mashed up, or even in tacos or with beans. The ideas for incorporating this tasty root vegetable into your diet are endless. It can be seasoned to accompany many different foods. The sweet potato contains a trace amount of fat and is a good source of several other necessary nutrients. One serving of sweet potato has a good amount of Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B-6.

Sweet Potatoes

This image shows several sweet potatoes. When cut open, sweet potatoes are a light orange color inside.
This image shows several sweet potatoes. When cut open, sweet potatoes are a light orange color inside.

Butternut Squash

One cup of baked butternut squash contains nearly 23,000 IU of Vitamin A, which is over 400% the daily value of Vitamin A. There are many different types of squash that have been eaten for thousands of years. The butternut squash is actually a part of the gourd family. Butternut squash has a thick skin which is cut off before consumption. The inside is a bright orange/dark yellow color. The bottom of the vegetable has seeds inside, and looks similar to a pumpkin. These can be scooped out with a steady spoon. Butternut squash can be consumed in similar ways to sweet potato: mashed, cubed and roasted, baked, boiled, etc. It also makes a great addition to soups or stews. Butternut squash is also a good source of other nutrients, including fiber and Vitamin C. It also has very small amounts of sugar and fat.

Quick Question

Have you ever experienced a liquid seeping out of a butternut squash upon cutting?

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Butternut Squash

This image shows a butternut squash cut in half longways, revealing the orange color of the inside and the seeds.
This image shows a butternut squash cut in half longways, revealing the orange color of the inside and the seeds.

Carrots

One cup of chopped carrots contains over 20,000 IU of Vitamin A. This is more than 400% of the daily value for Vitamin A. Carrots are a very versatile vegetable that have a slight sweetness to them. Many people already have this vegetable as a part of their diet, which is great. There are many ways to enjoy carrots, including in raw strips, as part of a salad, roasted in the oven, boiled in water, or even mashed with other vegetables. Carrots also pair well with many different herbs and spices, and can be flavored to match whatever meal you are planning. They are a delicious and crunchy snack when eaten raw or make a great part of a dinner side when cooked. Carrots are not quite as nutrient-packed as sweet potatoes or butternut squash, but are still a great source of Vitamin A without providing much fat or sugar. They are also wonderful due to their versatility.

Carrots

This image shows several carrots. The green tops on carrots are edible, and may be eaten as well as the orange root part.
This image shows several carrots. The green tops on carrots are edible, and may be eaten as well as the orange root part.

Your Opinion

Which way do you prefer to eat carrots?

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Tips

"A man is only as good as his tools." -Emmert Wolf

The equipment you have in your kitchen can really make a difference in the ease of preparing meals. Sharp knives and easy-to-use utensils and tools really go a long way in making things easier on you. Be careful when peeling and cutting vegetables. When using a knife, make sure it is pointed away from you. Move the knife or peeler in the direction away from your body, not towards you. Sharp vegetable peelers with good grip are helpful when peeling carrots or sweet potatoes. If preparing a mash out of these vegetables, having a nice masher tool makes things much simpler.

Other Sources of Vitamin A

There are many other ways to consume your daily amount of Vitamin A if you do not care for the above vegetables. Leafy greens are one great source. Spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard all provide more than the daily amount needed in one serving. Dried apricots, red bell peppers, and cantaloupe are a few more great sources. As you can see, getting enough Vitamin A in your diet is not too difficult with all these great fruits and vegetables you can incorporate into your weekly routine.

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