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Foods Rich in Vitamin A and Carotenoids

By Jamie Simpson

Eating a diet rich in vitamin A and carotenoids can help preserve health and wellness, though their benefits vary from person to person depending on overall health levels. According to Medline Plus, vitamin A is essential for the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth and body tissues, and is important in eye health. Carotenoids fight free radicals, the molecules responsible for aging. Though these nutrients can be obtained through supplements, eating the right foods provides more natural sources.

Animal-Based Foods

Vitamin A can be obtained from many animal-based food products. Some of the best sources of this vitamin include calf's liver, milk and eggs. Oily fish, cheeses and yogurts are also strong sources of vitamin A. Medline Plus notes that the health benefits of these foods must be balanced with their tendency to be high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Pregnant women may also want to limit the amount of vitamin A they receive from extremely rich dishes like liver, as the high levels of vitamin A per serving can be too powerful for unborn children, notes the Food Standards Agency.

Vegetables

Vegetables are a good source of beta-carotene, which the body can turn into vitamin A. According to Medline Plus, the more intense the color of the vegetable, the better it is as a source of carotenoids and beta-carotene. Some examples of the best vegetables to eat for vitamin A, as noted by the World's Healthiest Foods, include raw carrots, baked sweet potato, boiled kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens and raw red bell peppers. Dark green vegetables are strong sources of the important carotenoid called lutein, and spices such as cayenne pepper and chili pepper can provide an easy addition of carotenoids to many foods.

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Fruits

According to Medline Plus, you can obtain some carotenoids from fruits. Examples of fruits high in the carotenoid beta-carotene include apricots, mangoes, cantaloupe and pink grapefruit. Pink grapefruit is also a good source of the carotenoid lycopene, as are tomatoes, reports the World's Healthiest Foods.

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