Every guy knows that it is crucial to his health to get the proper amount of vitamins, but not everyone knows what those vitamins do. Take vitamin A, for example. How much does the average man know about this vitamin, or how he can make sure he gets enough of it; or what benefits (if any) it has for penis health? For most guys, vitamin A is nothing more than a nutrient they heard about long ago, maybe in a high school health class or when trying to score a date with that leggy nutritionist.
What is Vitamin A?
Surprisingly, vitamin A doesn’t refer to a single nutrient. Rather, it is (to quote the National Institutes of Health) “the name of a group of fat-soluble retinoids.” In layman’s terms, this means that vitamin A refers to a range of similar nutrients that go by different names. The name that is probably most familiar to the general public is beta-carotene, one of a group of nutrients in the family carotenoid that the body converts into vitamin A, which comes in certain plant sources of food. For the record, vitamin A derived from animal sources is called a retinoid.
What Foods Contain Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is found in many different foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Probably the single biggest source of vitamin A is the sweet potato; one serving of this tuber contains a whopping 213.5% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A. Carrots (113.2%) and spinach (104.8%) are also great for vitamin A intake. Other vegetables fall below the 100% mark, but such familiar dietary items as kale, greens, winter squash and cantaloupe can help a guy meet his RDA for this vitamin.
As for animal-based foods, milk, eggs and shrimp are among the best bets for getting a little vitamin A.
What are the Benefits?
Do you remember all those stories about carrots being good for the eyes? It turns out they’re true; the vitamin A from carrots and other food sources can play a big role in maintaining vision health due to its ability to affect photopigments in the eyes.
Beyond that, vitamin A is known to help immune system function, which translates into improved ability to ward off colds, infections, etc. The immune system creates antibodies to go after bacteria and other causes of inflammation; vitamin A plays an essential role in making this process work more smoothly and effectively. Therefore, a guy with a health supply of vitamin A is likely to be healthier overall.
The bones need vitamin A, as well, since this nutrient is a strong supplier of the calcium that bones require to grow, develop and repair. Skin health is also improved by absorbing adequate amounts of vitamin A. Too little of it can cause skin to develop a flaky or scaly appearance; it can also worsen cases of acne.