Food Sources of Vitamin A

Posted: Nov 26, 2014

Information about Vitamin A

 
  • Vitamin A helps maintain normal vision and keeps your skin and eyes and immune system healthy. It also promotes normal growth and development.
  • Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in your body.
  • You get vitamin A from some animal foods and plant foods.  Plant foods contain carotenoids which is a form of Vitamin A. Carotenoids such as beta-carotene are converted to vitamin A in the body.

Age in Years Daily Vitamin A Needs
micrograms(mcg)/day* 
Do Not Exceed**
(mcg)/day
Men 19 and older 900 3000
Women 19 and older 700 3000
Pregnant Women 19 and older 770 3000
Breastfeeding Women 19 and older 1300 3000
* As retinol activity equivalents (RAEs)

**This amount includes animal sources of vitamin A and vitamin A supplements but not the Vitamin A (ie carotenoids) found in plant foods. You don’t have to be careful about the amount of Vitamin A that you eat or take in a supplement that come from plant sources.
 

Vitamin A Content of Some Common Foods

 
The highest sources of vitamin A are liver, dairy products and fish. Carotenoids are found in high quantities in dark green and yellow, orange and red vegetables and fruit.
 
The following table will show you which foods are sources of vitamin A. The amount of vitamin A, listed for fruits and vegetables (also known as retinol activity equivalents/RAE) is the amount of vitamin A available after the body converts the carotenoids into vitamin A.
 
 
Food Serving Size Vitamin A (mcg) RAE
Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables
Sweet potato, with skin, cooked 1 medium  1096
Pumpkin, canned 125 mL (½ cup) 1007
Carrot juice 125 mL (½ cup) 966
Carrots, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 653-709
Squash, butternut, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 604
Swiss chard, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 566
Carrots, baby, raw 8 carrots (80 g) 552
Collards, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 406-516
Carrot, raw 1 medium (61g) 509
Kale, fresh or frozen, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 468-505
Spinach, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 498
Turnip greens, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 290-466
Vegetable and fruit juice cocktail 125 mL (½ cup) 267
Lettuce, romaine 250 mL (1 cup) 258
Lettuce, red leaf 250 mL (1 cup) 218
Bok choy, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 190
Rapini, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 150
Red peppers, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 106
 
Fruit
Apricots, dried 60 mL (¼ cup) 191
Apricot, canned 125 mL (½ cup) 169
Cantaloupe, raw 125 mL (½ cup) 143
Grain Products This food group contains very little of this nutrient.
Milk and Alternatives
Cheese
Goat, hard 50 g (1 ½ oz) 243
Processed, cheddar, fat free 50 g (1 ½ oz) 220
Goat, semi-soft 50 g (1 ½ oz) 204
Muenster, neufchatel, gruyere, cheddar, Colby 50 g (1 ½ oz) 132-158
Ricotta 125 mL (½ cup) 140-156
Blue/roquefort 50 g (1 ½ oz) 99-147
Processed cheese slices, cheddar   125
Milk
Skim, 1%, 2%, chocolate milk 250 mL (1 cup) 137-163
3.3% homo 250 mL (1 cup) 119
Soy beverage 250 mL (1 cup) 103-104
Meat and Alternatives
Meat
Liver, turkey, cooked* 75 g (2 ½ oz) 16950
Liver, veal, cooked* 75 g (2 ½ oz) 15052-15859
Giblets, turkey, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 8053
Liver, beef, cooked* 75 g (2 ½ oz) 5808-7082
Liver, lamb, cooked* 75 g (2 ½ oz) 5618-5836
Liver, pork, cooked* 75 g (2 ½ oz) 4054
Liver, chicken, cooked* 75 g (2 ½ oz) 3222
Fish and Seafood
Eel, cooked  75 g (2 ½ oz) 853
Tuna, Bluefin, raw or cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 491-568
Herring, pickled 75 g (2 ½ oz) 194
Mackerel, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 189
Clams, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 128
Salmon, Chinook, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 112 -118
Oysters, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 110
Bluefish, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 104
Meat Alternatives
Egg, cooked 2 large 190-252
Fats and Oils
Cod liver oil 5 mL (1 tsp) 1382
*Pregnant women should limit intake of liver to one serving every two weeks.

Source: "Canadian Nutrient File 2010" .
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/cnf_aboutus-aproposdenous_fcen-eng.php  [accessed March 27, 2012]