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.
With that out of the way, how much vitamin A do you need per day?
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 (so it’s accurate).
I compiled data for over 120 whole foods, and these were the top 30 for vitamin A.
|Food||Serving||Energy (kcal)||Vitamin A (µg)|
|Swiss chard||10 leafs||91||1469|
|Sweet potato||1 potato||112||922|
|Lettuce (red leaf)||0.5 head||20||579|
|Turnip greens||1 cup||18||318|
|Red bell pepper||1 large||43||257|
|Water spinach||1 cup||11||176|
|Cantaloupe||1/8 of melon||35||172|
|Bok choy||1 cup||9||156|
|Mustard greens||1 cup||15||85|
|Brussels sprouts||1 cup||56||61|
|Green bell pepper||1 large||33||30|
Vitamin A is all about the vegetables, with a few fruits thrown in there.
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.
On top of that, other vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and red bell peppers also have a lot of vitamin A.
Finally, there are some fruits that have a good amount, like mangoes, cantaloupe, and apricots, although 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.