Vitamin A (I Can See Clearly Now)
Vitamin A is an interesting vitamin due to its ability to protect our vision. Dating back almost 2.5 million years ago when humans started roaming the Earth they realized one of our most important features was our vision in order to protect ourselves from predators. Basically it’s a survival mechanism. For hundreds of thousands of years humans have been eating foods high in fats such as animal meats, fish, and avocados because we realized that fat meant survival. But food sources of vitamin A such as sweet potatoes, squash, egg yolk, kale, carrots, and spinach to name a few aren’t fatty foods. So where’s the connection since those food sources have no fat? Great question. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and when those food sources are eaten in a salad with fish, red meat, or avocados, the vitamin A absorption increases greatly. Another way to get it in a concentrated amount is by eating a sweet potato and putting some grass fed butter on it. Yum! That also increases vitamin A absorption in the human body. Moving on to problems associated with vitamin A deficiency. Most people with eye troubles, whether it be cataracts, glaucoma, or even macular degeneration, all suffer from a vitamin A deficiency. Now I’m not saying that if you increase your vitamin A intake you will correct any eye issues you may have. However, I can promise you it won’t hurt (as long as it’s not in too much excess) and it could possibly help in reversing some of your vision problems. Some of you may recognize the words retinoids and carotenoids, both of which are a previtamin A, or nutrients that can be converted into vitamin A for further utilization. Retinoids and carotenoids are plant compounds known as phytochemicals. Vitamin A is considered a strong antioxidant and therefore a significant necessity to our wellbeing. As mentioned in the vitamin D post, when vitamin A and D are both sufficient in the body, we can best utilize both of these vitamins as opposed to getting them separately in which their absorption rates decrease. Vitamin A is used in many different biochemical reactions in the body outside of eye protection. It helps with our skin, immune function, and normal growth and repair. Personally, I can tell you that when I cleaned up my eating habits and lifestyle habits, my skin cleared up very quickly due to my vitamin A and D absorption rates increasing significantly. In the end, if you want to increase your chances of better looking skin, better vision, and most importantly, better chances of survival in this heavily toxic and polluted world, you better start cleaning up your eating and lifestyle habits to yield higher absorption and higher utilization rates of vitamin A.