Vitamin A For Pregnant Woman – Importance and Food Sources

As with other vitamins, vitamin A is vital for normal and healthy growth of a fetus. And though mostly renowned for its major contribution in forming and maintaining a healthy vision, the help of vitamin A gives is extensive. It is essential in the proper formation of the limbs, heart, production of red blood cells, as well as in keeping the skin healthy and in strengthening the immunity.

Normal vision. Vitamin A works together with opsin, a protein that forms the visual pigment called rhodopsin. Therefore without vitamin A, it will be hard for the retina to send nerve impulses to the brain and form an image. This is the reason why a deficiency results in night blindness, or worst, it can completely take away your sight.

Formation of red blood cell. Red blood cells are obtained from stem cells. Stem cells depend on vitamin A for differentiating blood cells. Vitamin A also works with iron in blending the oxygen-carrier hemoglobin into the newly developed red blood cells.

Strong immunity. Getting sick is the very thing that a pregnant woman wants to avoid at any cost. But without vitamin A, we are more prone to infectious diseases like common cold, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, asthma, diarrhea and measles. It’s because our body’s barriers, like the skin and other cells in the immune system, such as those that line our airway, digestive tract, and urinary tract, require vitamin A to function normally.

Embryonic development. Vitamin A for pregnant woman is a must also because it is required for the development of the baby’s central nervous system, kidneys, bones, lungs, and heart.

Now here’s a list of the foods that are rich in Vitamin A – from animal products, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.

Vitamin A food sources (animal products)

Food Source — Serving Size — Vitamin A Content (IU)

  • Calf’s liver (braised) — 1 oz — 7621
  • Cod liver oil — 1 tsp — 4500
  • Butter1 — tbsp — 323
  • Egg — 1 large — 303
  • Whole milk — 1 cup — 227

Vitamin A food sources (vegetables)

Food Source — Serving Size (cup, except when mentioned) — Vitamin A Content (IU)

  • Carrots (raw) — 1 — 34317.40
  • Spinach (boiled) — 1 — 18865.80
  • Sweet potato (baked w/ skin) — 1 pc — 13107.70
  • Kale (boiled) — 1 — 9620
  • Turnip greens (cooked) — 1 — 7917.12
  • Winter squash (baked) — 1 — 7291.85
  • Collard greens (boiled) — 1 — 5945.10
  • Swiss chard (boiled) — 1 — 5493.25
  • Red bell pepper (raw) — 1 — 5244
  • Mustard greens (boiled) — 1 — 5243.40
  • Pumpkin — ½ — 3177
  • Romaine lettuce — 2 — 2912
  • Broccoli (steamed) — 1 — 2280
  • Brussels sprouts (boiled) — 1 — 1121.64
  • Asparagus (boiled) — 1 — 970.20
  • Green peas (boiled) — 1 — 955.20
  • Green beans (boiled) — 1 — 832.50
  • Parsley (fresh) — 2 tbsp — 631.80
  • Summer squash (cooked) — 1 — 516.60
  • Cucumber — 1 — 223.60
  • Cabbage (boiled) — 1 — 198
  • Celery (raw) — 1 — 160.80

Vitamin A food sources (herbs and spices)

Food Source — Serving Size — Vitamin A Content (IU)

  • Cayenne pepper (dried) — 2 tsp– 1470.24
  • Tomato (ripe) — 1 cup — 1121.40
  • Chili pepper (dried) — 2 tsp — 531.60
  • Basil (dried, ground) — 2 tsp-281.24
  • Oregano (dried, ground) — 2 tsp — 207.08

Vitamin A food sources (fruits)

Food Source — Serving Size (piece, except when mentioned) — Vitamin A Content (IU)

  • Cantaloupe — 1 cup — 5158.40
  • Apricot — 1 — 914.20
  • Papaya — 1 — 863.36
  • Prunes — ¼ cup — 844.48
  • Watermelon — 1 cup — 556.32
  • Grapefruit — ½ — 318.57
  • Orange — 1 — 268.55
  • Mango — 1 — 263
  • Plum –1 — 213.18