Vitamin A in a Vegan Diet

Not sure how to get enough vitamin A as a vegan? Keep reading to find out more.

Butternut squash on a chopping board
Image Credit: Pixabay

What is vitamin A?

Vitamin A strengthens our immune systems, keeps our skin healthy, and really does help us to see in dim light.

It tends to be found in animal-based foods, but our bodies can convert beta-carotene to vitamin A, and this is very easy to find on a fully vegan diet. Just think of all those colorful fruits and vegetables!

How much do we need?

The recommended intake for men is 700 mcg per day and 600 mcg for women.

We can store it in the body, which means we do not need to eat a source of it every day, but we are advised not to stock up too much.

Research linking too much vitamin A with weaker bones in later life, and causing damage to unborn babies, has led the NHS to caution about eating liver or taking fish liver oil supplements, especially if pregnant.

Thankfully, this is not something that vegans need to be too concerned about.

Vegan sources of vitamin A

Is it possible for vegans to get enough of this vitamin in our diets? Absolutely! To get good, healthy sources of beta-carotene, we just have to think about eating red, yellow and green vegetables, such as:

  • Pumpkin
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

As for fruits, choose yellow or orange fruits, such as:

  • Mango
  • Apricots
  • Papaya
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pink grapefruit

Since eating ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day has been linked to better health and living longer, getting our vitamin A from plants is a great option.

This content was reviewed by Claire Lynch, RD and nutritionist Rohini Bajekal from Plant-Based Health Professionals in November 2023.

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