The 30 Best Vegan Sources of Vitamin A

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Even though some of the best sources for vitamin A are animal products, there are plenty of good vegan sources as well.

A significant vitamin A deficiency is rare in first world countries. But they are serious, as a deficiency increases the risk and severity of infections, and vitamin A is needed for important jobs like maintaining your corneas.

Before you go out and eat 100 vitamin A supplement pills, beware that since vitamin A is fat-soluble, it can be stored and accumulated in your body. It’s actually possible to get too much vitamin A, which can lead to nausea, dizziness, headaches, and extreme cases comas or death.

The good news is that it’s very hard to get a dangerous level of vitamin A just from food. It typically only happens if you overuse supplements.

How Much Vitamin A Do You Need?

The recommended amount of vitamin A for adults is 900 µg for men, and 700 µg for women.

This is very easy to get if you eat your vegetables, as you’ll see in a second.

The Best Vegan Sources of Vitamin A Per Serving

The data in this table is for a typical serving of each food, and comes from the USDA.

I compiled data for over 120 whole foods, and these were the top 30 for vitamin A per 100 gram serving.

Food Vitamin A (mcg) per 100g
Carrot 834.7
Sweet potato 709.2
Turnip greens 578.2
Spinach 469.1
Gourd 410.1
Lettuce (red leaf) 374.8
Water spinach 314.3
Swiss chard 306.0
Kale 240.5
Bok choy 222.9
Cantaloupe 168.6
Watercress 160.0
Red bell pepper 156.7
Mustard greens 151.8
Rapini 130.5
Arugula 120.0
Apricot 95.8
Leek 83.1
Plantain 55.9
Mango 53.9
Chia seeds 53.3
Asparagus 50.0
Tomato 41.8
Cowpeas 40.0
Brussels sprouts 39.1
Peas 37.9
Okra 35.8
Green bean 34.5
Tangerine 34.2
Guava 30.9
Broccoli 30.8

Vitamin A is all about the vegetables, with a few fruits thrown in there.

Normally for these types of pages I also create a table of the best foods per calorie, but since all these foods are fruit and vegetables, they are all low in calories and the table barely changes.

The Best Types of Plant-Based Foods for Vitamin A

Planning around a specific food isn’t always convenient, so it can be better to generalize which types of foods are best for vitamin A.

From the table above, certain food groups stand out as the best:

  • Leafy greens – Leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, and red leaf lettuce all have a ton of vitamin A. You can meet your RDA with one or two servings of them alone.
  • Root vegetables – Other vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots also have a lot of vitamin A.
  • Certain fruits – Fruits aren’t great for vitamin A, but there are some fruits that have a good amount like mangoes, cantaloupe, and apricots. Depending on where you live, you may not have access to those year-round.

Basically, as long as you incorporate a typical serving or two of a leafy green into your meals every day or two, you shouldn’t have any issues getting a healthy amount of vitamin A.

But if you can’t do that for some reason, consider getting either a vegan multivitamin that contains vitamin A, or specifically a vitamin A supplement.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.