Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of our health as I had mentioned in an earlier post. Last week I talked a bit about calcium. Today I want to explain the importance Vitamin A has in our diets.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, this means our bodies will absorb it better if we take it with fat, oil or protein in the same meal. For example, raw sliced carrots dipped in hummus. The carrots will give you the vitamin, the chickpeas will give you protein and the tahini from the hummus will give you the fat you need to absorb the goodness from the vegetable.
Fat soluble vitamins are stored by the body, this means we cannot eat an excessive amount because they can be toxic in high doses. How much is too much depends on your body, your kind of diet and lifestyle. For example, coffee and tea deplete us from vitamins. A person who drink a lot of this will probably not get an excess, but instead be in danger of having too little vitamins.
Vitamin A is and antioxidant and is very beneficial for our eyesight. Furthermore, it strengthens our immune system, promotes good reproductive health in men and works with iron to build new red blood cells.
Insufficiency will create all kinds of imbalances including reduced immunity, fatigue, anemia, poor growth in children, infertility, kidney stones and dry hair and nails.
Now that you are familiarized with vitamin A, I will give you a few ideas on how to get more of it into your diet.
- Oven cooked wild salmon
Real wild salmon is difficult to find, but if you can, it’s the best source of omega 3, omega 6 and vitamin A. If you only find farmed salmon, don’t worry, still take it, but do not over consume it because it has a lot of toxins that will build up in your body. Farmed salmon is recommended to have it no more than once a week.
- If you want to enhance the flavours of the salmon, marinate it at least 5 hours before (can even be left overnight in the fridge). Use 2 freshly squeezed lemons, chopped fresh mint leaves, sea salt and 1 sliced lemon which you will place on top of the salmon. I do not use any kind of oil, the salmon is oily enough.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C
- Take the salmon out of the fridge at least 1 hour before placing in the oven. This will assure your fish is cooked evenly. I usually fold it completely in tin foil, this will prevent the salmon from drying.
- Place in the oven during 20-25 minutes, until the salmon looks fully cooked.
- Accompany the salmon with wild rice and boiled broccoli.
- Poached eggs on toast with avocado and mung bean sprouts
Be sure to buy organic free range eggs. They have much more nutritional content, more vitamin A, omega 3 and vitamin E.
- To make my life easy, I poach the eggs in little poaches (completely biodegradable) that I then discard. I don’t have to use vinegar or anything else to keep the egg in place. To have them fully cooked, but still a tender yolk, it takes between 4-5 minutes.
- Toast 1 slice of whole-wheat bread. Avoid the ones in supermarkets, instead go to your local bakery and buy fresh bread with no additives and no sugar.
- Slice ½ hass avocado and spread it on the toast. Add sea salt if wanted.
- Make your own sprouts, or buy sprouts from your local organic store. Put some on the toast.
- Serve the egg on top of the toast and enjoy!
This breakfast is a great source of vitamin A, soluble fibre, and monounsaturated fat (you may know it better as good fat!).
- Organic full fat greek yogurt with fruit
Sometimes it is better to eat full fat yogurt because the food industry uses a lot of sugar in fat free products to improve the flavour (and not even a good kind of sugar!). Always buy good quality greek yogurt that has at least 9g of protein. If it has less than that, it is not truly a greek yogurt.
- Mix ½ cup of yogurt with ½ cup of your preffered fruit. If you are trying to cut down on sugar use berries or apples
This is a very easy and versatile recipe to make. It can be the main part of a dish, or it can be used as an accompaniment, it all depends on the stuffing you use.
And always remember, it is not about the quantity you eat of something, but the quality of your food, the type of lifestyle you have and the way you cook your food.