Vegan For Life
by Jack Norris, RD &
Ginny Messina, MPH, RD
|Table 1. RAE in Plant Foods|
|Carrot juice||1 C||2,256|
|Butternut squash||1 C||1,114|
|Sweet Potato||1 medium, baked||1,096|
|Pumpkin||1/2 C canned||953|
|Carrot||1/2 C boiled slices||665|
|Spinach||1/2 C cooked||472|
|Cantaloupe||1/2 medium (552 g)||467|
|Kale||1/2 C cooked||442|
|Broccoli||1 C boiled||120|
|Mango||1 C pieces||89|
|Apricot||1/2 C dried||80|
|RAE - Retinol activity equivalents|
Pre-formed vitamin A exists only in animal products. However, there are about 50 carotenoids that the body can convert into vitamin A; the most common is beta-carotene. The vitamin A content of foods is now stated as retinol activity equivalents (RAE).
The DRI is 900 RAE for men and 700 RAE for women.
Vitamin A deficiency symptoms begin with night blindness and if it progresses can lead to the more severe eye problems of corneal ulcers, scarring, and blindness (1). Vitamin A deficiency also reduces immunity, and it is important for growth and development in infants and children and in red blood cell formation (1).
Eating vegetables high in carotenoids with some fat has been shown both to increase absorption and the amount synthesized into vitamin A (2).
1. Vitamin A. Linus Pauling Institute. Accessed 1/25/2013. | link
2. Kopec RE, Cooperstone JL, Schweiggert RM, Young GS, Harrison EH, Francis DM, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Avocado Consumption Enhances Human Postprandial Provitamin A Absorption and Conversion from a Novel High-β-Carotene Tomato Sauce and from Carrots. J Nutr. 2014 Aug;144(8):1158-66. | link