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Vitamin A: An Especially Important Nutrient for Mothers & Children

Vitamins are essential to our health, regardless of age, but they are especially important for developing babies and young children. Without adequate vitamins, proper development is practically impossible!

Vitamin A is one of the most basic vitamins, but the body can’t produce it on its own. Unfortunately, vitamin A can be an overlooked nutrient. Most people know a lot more about vitamin C and D. Typically, it isn’t difficult to get adequate amounts of vitamin A; it’s found in many vegetables and leafy greens, liver, eggs and more.

There are two types of vitamin A. First is the active form, retinol. It’s the form of vitamin A found in animal products, like liver, eggs, fatty fish and milk. Second is beta-carotene and other carotenoids that the body can convert to vitamin A. These are potent antioxidants found in orange and dark green plants like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale. There are hundreds of different carotenoids in nature, but our bodies can only convert a few (like beta-carotene) to an active form of vitamin A.

Vitamin A is extremely important for overall health and development. It’s particularly essential for expectant mothers, as it supports the baby’s embryonic growth and the development of many major organs as well as the circulatory, respiratory and central nervous systems.

Benefits of Vitamin A infographic

Benefits of Vitamin A for Children

  • Antioxidant
    • Vitamin A is a powerful sources of antioxidant protection for the whole body. Antioxidants defend against free radicals to keep the body functioning well.
  • Promotes Bone Development
    • Vitamin A promotes strong bones and growth in young children.
  • Healthy Vision Support
    • Vitamin A is essential for the development of healthy eyes and normal vision. It plays a key role in the formation of the eyes in the womb.
  • Hair, Skin and Nail Development
    • Vitamin A supports developing and maintaining healthy skin, nails and hair.
  • Immune Support
    • Vitamin A promotes immune system health. A strong immune system helps keep you healthy, which is especially important for children.

Fortunately, vitamin A is generally plentiful in Western diets, but other parts of the world aren’t so lucky due to lack of fortified foods and limited produce availability.

That’s why nonprofits like Vitamin Angels are so important. Vitamin Angels delivers vitamin A to at-risk new mothers and children. We at Swanson Health Products are proud to partner with Vitamin Angels, giving our customers the chance to donate whenever they shop with us. To learn more, visit our Vitamin Angels page.

 

Sources:

  • http://jn.nutrition.org
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • http://www.babycenter.com
  • http://www.vitaminangels.org

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