Who here eats or has ever eaten liver!? I’m sorry if you’re a liver lover, but I think its absolutely disgusting. And not only because I’m vegetarian, I ate meat growing up, but liver is just gross – taste and texture! (obviously a personal opinion) I remember as a child, Dad serving liver at home…the way I got it down…cover it in Ketchup and cut into tiny pieces so I didn’t have to chew it, just swallow. Blah I will probably never eat it again (I say probably cuz who knows what happens in life), so why am I talking about it? Liver happens to be one of the highest sources of my beauty nutrients of the week, Vitamin A. LUCKILY for me there are other ways to get this vitamin!
What is Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin – meaning it is stored in the body. It is found as preformed Vitamin A (retinoids) from animal products but we can also get it from provitamin A carotenoids, which are plant pigments found in vegetables and fruit.
There are hundreds of carotenoids but only a few can be turned into a form of vitamin A our bodies can use – the most common being beta-carotene.
Why you need it
- contributes to normal growth and development
- is a critical component of vision (so I can see all your beautiful faces)
- keeps our skin healthy and youthful – acts as an antioxidant fighting off damaging effects of free radicals (damn buggers that lead to wrinkles, age spots and skin sagging)
- keeps our immune system healthy
Where to get it
I’m sure you’ve seen topical retinoids in an assortment of acne-treating or anti-aging face care (hello derivative of vitamin A, Accutane). High doses of retinol (vitamin A) are toxic so do not take it as a supplement, instead get your vitamin A through whole foods!
*Fact: the upper daily limit (do not exceed) of Vitamin A includes the animal sources and supplemental Vitamin A but not the carotenoids (plant sources)!
Highest Food Sources of preformed Vitamin A (retinol) include liver (sorry I can’t do it!), dairy products (especially goat cheese), fish and fish oils, and eggs.
Plant Sources of Caretenoids (provitamin A) include sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin, carrots, spinach, swiss chard, kale, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots and red peppers. (look for yellow-orange pigments and dark green veggies)
Myth or Truth??
I can turn yellow if I eat too many carrots.
Truth! We store beta-carotene (yellow-orange pigment in carrots) in the cells under our skin. Don’t worry this isn’t harmful and does go away!
Have a beautiful week!