By

A member of the British Dietetic Association, Juliette Kellow has worked in the NHS and for the food industry, and is the former editor of magazines Slimming and Top Santé. She's also the former editorial...

It’s important for reproduction, immunity and growth in children but are you and your family getting enough of vitamin A?

Who’s missing out?

About 9% of 18 month to three-year-olds, 12% of teenage boys, 13% of teenage girls, 9% of men and 6% of women have low levels.

Important for

Reproduction, immunity, growth in children, vision in dim light, and keeping the skin and linings of body parts, such as the nose, healthy.

Find it in

Animal form (retinol): whole milk, cheese, eggs, butter, margarine, liver and oil-rich fish.
Plant form (beta-carotene): orange, red, yellow and green fruit and veg, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, mango, orange-fleshed melon, spinach, watercress, brussels sprouts and red peppers.

Boost your intake

  • Use sweet potatoes instead of white spuds: bake or make wedges.
  • Stir-fry red pepper, carrots, broccoli, spring onions and kale.
  • Eat eggs for breakfast.
  • Eat red peppers – they have 14 times more beta-carotene than green.
  • Swap tortilla chips and crisps for carrot and red pepper crudités.
  • Eat more mackerel – it contains slightly more vitamin A than most other oil-rich fish.
  • Swap honeydew melon for cantaloupe and get a massive 36 times more beta-carotene.
  • Add a few dried apricots to your cereal or porridge.
  • Occasionally eat grilled liver, but avoid it if you’re pregnant as high intakes of vitamin A can cause birth defects. Too much vitamin A can also increase the chance of developing osteoporosis, so limit your intake if you’re older or at risk of the condition.

*Weight-loss results will vary and are down to your individual circumstances and the amount of weight you have to lose.