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Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin A


Vitamin A is an essential vitamin required for vision, gene transcription, boosting immune function, and great skin health. A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to blindness and increased viral infection, however deficiency is only considered a problem in developing countries where it is a leading cause of blindness in children. Over consumption of vitamin A can lead to jaundice, nausea, loss of appetite, irritability, vomiting, and even hair loss. Vitamin A if a fat soluble vitamin, and therefore, needs to be consumed with fat in order to have optimal absorption. The current percent daily value for Vitamin A is 5000 international units (IU). Below is a list high vitamin A foods, click here for high vitamin A foods by nutrient density, and here for an extended list of vitamin A rich foods.

#1: Sweet Potato (Cooked)
Vitamin A in 100gPer cup (200g)Per medium potato (114g)
19218IU (384% DV)38436IU (769% DV)21909IU (438% DV)
Other Types of Sweet Potato High in Vitamin A (%DV per cup): Frozen Sweet Potato, cooked, cubed (578%), Canned Sweet Potato (444%), and Raw Sweet Potato, cubed (377%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#2: Carrots (Cooked)
Vitamin A in 100gPer cup, sliced (156g)Per carrot (46g)
17033IU (341% DV)26572IU (532% DV)7835IU (157% DV)
Other Types of Carrot High in Vitamin A (%DV per cup): Frozen Carrots, cooked, cubed (494%), and Raw Carrots, sliced (408%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#3: Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Cooked)
Vitamin A in 100gPer cup, chopped (130g)
13621IU (272% DV)17707IU (354% DV)
Other Dark Leafy Greens High in Vitamin A (%DV per cup, cooked): Frozen Spinach (458%), Frozen Collards (391%), Frozen Kale (382%), Frozen Turnip Greens (353%), Spinach (377%), Collards (289%), Dandelion Greens (305%), Beet Greens & Turnip Greens (220%), Swiss Chard (214%), and Pak Choi (144%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#4: Squash (Butternut, Cooked)
Vitamin A in 100gPer cup, cubes (205g)Per 1/2 cup, cubes (53g)
11155IU (223% DV)22868IU (457% DV)11434IU (229% DV)
Other Squash High in Vitamin A (%DV per cup, cooked): Hubbard, cubed (275%), Pumpkin, mashed (282%), and an average of All Varieties Of Winter Squash, cubed (214%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#5: Cos or Romaine Lettuce
Vitamin A in 100gPer cup, shredded (47g)Per head (626g)
8710IU (174% DV)4094IU (82% DV)54525IU (1090% DV)
Other Types of Lettuce High in Vitamin A (%DV per cup, shredded): Green Leaf (53%), Red Leaf (42%), Butterhead (36%), and Chicory (33%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#6: Dried Apricots
Vitamin A in 100gPer cup (119g)Per 1/2 cup (60g)
12669IU (253% DV)15076IU (302% DV)7538IU (151% DV)
Other Dried Fruit High in Vitamin A (%DV per 1/2 cup): Prunes (24%), and Dried Peaches (17%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#7:Cantaloupe Melon
Vitamin A in 100gPer cup, cubes (160g)Per medium wedge (69g)
3382IU (68% DV)5411IU (108% DV)2334IU (47% DV)
A medium wedge of cantaloupe melon contains 23 calories and 0.1g fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#8: Sweet Red Peppers
Vitamin A in 100g1 cup chopped (149g)1 large pepper (164g)
3131IU (63% DV)4665IU (93% DV)5135IU (103% DV)
Other Peppers Providing Vitamin A (%DV per large pepper): Sweet Green Peppers (12%), and Sweet Yellow Peppers (7%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#9: Tuna Fish (Bluefin, Cooked)
Vitamin A in 100gPer 3oz (85g)Per ounce (28g)
2520IU (50% DV)2142IU (43% DV)714IU (14% DV)
Other Fish and Seafood High in Vitamin A (%DV per 3oz, cooked): Sturgeon (15%), Mackerel (14%), and Oysters (8%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#10: Tropical Fruit (Mango)
Vitamin A in 100gPer cup, pieces (165g)Per mango (336g)
1082IU (22% DV)1785IU (36% DV)3636IU (73% DV)
Other Tropical Fruit High in Vitamin A (%DV per fruit): Papaya, small (30%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.




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Top 10 High Vitamin A Foods by Nutrient Density (Vitamin A per Gram)
     (Click to expand)

#1: Liver (Veal, cooked) 70564IU (1411% DV) per 100 grams59979IU (1199% DV) per 3oz (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liver
#2: Spices (Paprika, Cayenne, Chili Powder) 49254IU (985% DV) per 100 grams985IU (20% DV) per teaspoon (2 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spices
#3: Sweet Potato (Cooked) 19218IU (384% DV) per 100 grams21909IU (438% DV) per medium potato (114 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sweet Potato
#4: Carrots (Cooked) 17033IU (341% DV) per 100 grams7835IU (157% DV) per carrot (46 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Carrots
#5: Kale (Frozen, cooked) 14704IU (294% DV) per 100 grams19115IU (382% DV) per cup, chopped (130 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Frozen Kale
#6: Dried Apricots 12669IU (253% DV) per 100 grams15076IU (302% DV) per cup (119 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Apricots
#7: Butternut Squash (Cooked) 11155IU (223% DV) per 100 grams22868IU (457% DV) per cup, cubes (205 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Butternut Squash
#8: Dried Herbs (Mint) 10579IU (212% DV) per 100 grams106IU (2% DV) per teaspoon (1 gram)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Herbs
#9: Cos or Romaine Lettuce 8710IU (174% DV) per 100 grams4094IU (82% DV) per cup, shredded (47 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cos or Romaine Lettuce
#10: Fresh Herbs (Parsley) 8424IU (168% DV) per 100 grams337IU (7% DV) per tablespoon (4 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fresh Herbs


Other Vitamin A Rich Foods
     (Click to expand)

Zucchini (Cooked) 1117IU (22% DV) per 100 gram serving 2011IU (40% DV) per cup, sliced (180 grams) 1340IU (27% DV) per 1/2 cup, mashed (120 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Zucchini
Carrot Juice 19124IU (382% DV) per 100 gram serving 45133IU (903% DV) per cup (236 grams) 5737IU (115% DV) per fluid ounce (30 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Carrot Juice
Pâté de Foie Gras 3333IU (67% DV) per 100 gram serving 433IU (9% DV) per tablespoon (13 grams) 933IU (19% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pâté de Foie Gras
Watercress 3191IU (64% DV) per 100 gram serving 1085IU (22% DV) per cup, chopped (34 grams) 798IU (16% DV) per 10 sprigs (25 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Watercress
Apricots 1926IU (39% DV) per 100 gram serving 2985IU (60% DV) per cup, halves (155 grams) 674IU (13% DV) per apricot (35 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Apricots
Passion Fruit 1272IU (25% DV) per 100 gram serving 3002IU (60% DV) per cup (236 grams) 229IU (5% DV) per fruit (18 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Passion Fruit
Garden Cress 6917IU (138% DV) per 100 gram serving 3459IU (69% DV) per cup (50 grams) 69IU (1% DV) per sprig (1 gram) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Garden Cress
Broccoli Raab (Cime di Rapa) 2622IU (52% DV) per 100 gram serving 1049IU (21% DV) per cup, chopped (40 grams) 498IU (10% DV) per stalk (19 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Broccoli Raab
Butter 2499IU (50% DV) per 100 gram serving 350IU (7% DV) per tablespoon (14 grams) 125IU (2% DV) per pat (5 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Butter
Eel (Cooked) 3787IU (76% DV) per 100 gram serving 3219IU (64% DV) per 3oz (85 grams) 6021IU (120% DV) per fillet (159 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Eel
Liverwurst 27667IU (553% DV) per 100 gram serving 4980IU (100% DV) per slice (18 grams) 7747IU (155% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liverwurst
Silken Tofu 1913IU (38% DV) per 100 gram serving 1741IU (35% DV) per 1/5 package (91 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Silken Tofu
Canned Pumpkin 15563IU (311% DV) per 100 gram serving 38129IU (763% DV) per cup (245 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Pumpkin
Goat Cheese (Hard) 1745IU (35% DV) per 100 gram serving 489IU (10% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Goat Cheese
Green Peas2100IU (42% DV) per 100 gram serving3360IU (68% DV) per cup (160 grams)1680IU (34% DV) in a half cup (80 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cooked Green Peas
Tomatoes833IU (17% DV) per 100 gram serving1499IU (30% DV) per cup chopped (180 grams)1025IU (20% DV) in an average tomato (123 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Red Ripe Tomatoes
Fortified Skim (Non-Fat) Milk*204IU (4% DV) per 100 gram serving500IU (10% DV) per cup (245 grams)63IU (1% DV) in a fluid ounce (31 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Skim Milk
Whole Milk162IU (3% DV) per 100 gram serving395IU (8% DV) per cup (244 grams)50IU (1% DV) in a fluid ounce (31 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whole Milk
Eggs (Yolks)538IU (11% DV) per 100 gram serving269IU (5% DV) in one large egg (50 grams)245IU (5% DV) in a large yolk (17 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Eggs
Oatmeal (Fortified)433IU (9% DV) per 100 gram serving1013IU (20% DV) per cup (234 grams)507IU (10% DV) in a half-cup (117 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Instant Fortified Oatmeal
For more foods high in vitamin A use the nutrient ranking tool.
*Amount of vitamin A may vary greatly between products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of vitamin A from each individual product.

▼ Health Benefits of Vitamin A
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  • Increased Protection from Bacterial and Viral Infections - Vitamin A is essential for healthy surface linings of the eyes, mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts.3-6
  • Proper Immune Functioning - Vitamin A is essential to regulate the immune system, and plays a key role in making white blood cells which fight off infections in the body.4,5,7-9
  • Cancer Protection (*Food Sources Only) - Studies suggest beta-carotene and vitamin A lower risk of many types of cancer.10 This effect could mainly be from a diet high in vegetables and not from supplements. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to increase risk of cancer.11-13

▼ High Risk Groups for a Vitamin A Deficiency
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  • Alcoholics - Excessive consumption of alcohol can deplete levels of vitamin A in the body, and even moderate consumption can interfere with vitamin A absorption.
  • People with Long Term Problems Absorbing Fat - Problems absorbing fat in the long term can lead to diarrhea and vitamin A deficiency. This includes people with:
    • Celiac disease - Gluten Intolerance
    • Crohn's disease - Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    • Pancreatic disorders - The pancreas releases enzymes for proper digestion of fats
    • Cystic Fibrosis - Leads to a pancreatic disorder and improper absorption of fats

▼ Recipes High in Vitamin A
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▼ Warnings
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  • Liver and whole milk are high cholesterol foods which should be eaten in moderate amounts and avoided by people at risk of heart disease or stroke.

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▼ References
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  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 25-26.
  2. Office Of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet: Vitamin A
  3. Semba RD. The role of vitamin A and related retinoids in immune function. Nutr Rev 1998;56:S38-48.
  4. Ross DA. Vitamin A and public health: Challenges for the next decade. Proc Nutr Soc 1998;57:159-65.
  5. Harbige LS. Nutrition and immunity with emphasis on infection and autoimmune disease. Nutr Health 1996;10:285-312.
  6. de Pee S, West CE. Dietary carotenoids and their role in combating vitamin A deficiency: A review of the literature. Eur J Clin Nutr 1996;50 Suppl 3:S38-53.
  7. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2001.
  8. Ross AC. Vitamin A and retinoids. In: Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 9th Edition (edited by Shils ME, Olson J, Shike M, Ross AC). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, New York, 1999, pp. 305-27.
  9. Ross AC, Stephensen CB. Vitamin A and retinoids in antiviral responses. FASEB J 1996;10:979-85.
  10. Fontham ETH. Protective dietary factors and lung cancer. Int J Epidemiol 1990;19:S32-S42.
  11. Albanes D, Heinonen OP, Taylor PR, Virtamo J, Edwards BK, Rautalahti M, Hartman AM, Palmgren J, Freedman LS, Haapakoski J, Barrett MJ, Pietinen P, Malila N, Tala E, Lippo K, Salomaa ER, Tangrea JA, Teppo L, Askin FB, Taskinen E, Erozan Y, Greenwald P, Huttunen JK. Alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplement and lung cancer incidence in the alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene cancer prevention study: Effects of base-line characteristics and study compliance. J Natl Cancer Inst 1996;88:1560-70.
  12. Redlich CA, Blaner WS, Van Bennekum AM, Chung JS, Clever SL, Holm CT, Cullen MR. Effect of supplementation with beta-carotene and vitamin A on lung nutrient levels. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1998;7:211-14.
  13. Pryor WA, Stahl W, Rock CL. Beta carotene: from biochemistry to clinical trials. Nutr Rev 2000;58:39-53.