Vitamin A deficiency: Three warning signs of a deficiency easily seen on the skin

Fibre: Why it is a key part of a healthy diet

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Otherwise regarded as retinol, a deficiency in vitamin A can lead to skin issues. Doctor Gill Jenkins noted that dry skin, poor wound healing, and acne could be signals that you are lacking a well-balanced diet. Doctor Jenkins added: “Vitamin A intake has declined by 6.8µg per day over the past two decades. Vitamin A is essential to help metabolise iron, maintain healthy mucous membranes, skin and vision, immune function and cell specialisation.”

Without an adequate supply, not only can skin issues appear, but other warning signs might begin to develop.

For example, a vitamin A deficiency might lead to dry eyes, throat and chest infections, and difficulties conceiving.

Other possible indications of a diet lacking in vitamin A includes:

  • Hair loss
  • Delayed growth.

There are two different types of vitamin A to be aware of, Doctor Jenkins noted.

One is performed vitamin A that is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.

The other form of vitamin A (provitamin A) is found in: fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products in the form of carotenoids.

Some foods rich in vitamin A include:

  • Sweet potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Egg yolks
  • Kale
  • Beef liver
  • Parsley
  • Cheddar cheese.

The NHS said: “You should be able to get all the vitamin A you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.”

However, adhering to a healthy eating plan for the majority of the time might be difficult.

The Eatwell Guide encourages people to eat “at least” five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables per day.

An easy way to begin your day well is to put a couple of different fruits, such as bananas and berries, on porridge oats.

The NHS said: “Most of us still are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. They should make up over a third of the food we eat each day.”

It would be beneficial to get into the habit of snacking on fruits, such as apples, when craving a snack.

When it comes to “starchy foods” to eat, choose wholegrain varieties of pasta and rice.

If you do consume dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, it is recommended to go for the “lower-fat” and “lower-sugar” products.

Then there’s sources of protein to consider, but this doesn’t necessarily mean meat.

“Pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils, are good alternatives to meat because they’re lower in fat and higher in fibre and protein, too,” the NHS stated.

If you do choose to eat meat, choose “lean cuts” of meat and reduce any consumption of red and processed meats, such as bacon, ham, and sausages.

“Aim for at least two portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily, such as salmon or mackerel,” the NHS added.

Any fatty foods should be eaten sparingly, such as chocolate, cake, biscuits, and ice cream.

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