For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

11 Vitamin A Rich Foods For Pregnant Women

Vitamin A- like other micronutrients such as folic acid, vitamin E and choline-is crucial for pregnant women and the growing baby. According to a study, it is essential for functional, morphological and ocular development, along with systemic effects on fetal skeleton and organs.

Night blindness in both mothers and children (under the age one) due to vitamin A deficiency is prevalent in regions such as Africa and South-East Asia where vitamin A deficiency is a common health issue.

Vitamin A is associated with strengthening the immune system, bone development, improving the functionality of reproductive organs, development of normal teeth and hair and protection of the skin and mucosa. Overall, this vital nutrient helps in the normal development of the embryo and maintain the health of both the mother and the foetus. [1]

The main issue related to vitamin A consumption is its dosage. At every semester, the dose of vitamin A should be maintained as high doses, especially in the first trimester may cause pregnancy complications such as congenital malformations.

Take a look at the list of the foods which are good sources of vitamin A. Remember, foods rich in beta-carotene are also suggested as they are a provitamin A carotenoid, means they get converted into one of the forms of vitamin A (retinol) in the body.


1. Milk

Animal sources of vitamin A such as milk are high in the nutrient. It is also rich in other nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Milk helps in the development of bones and teeth of the growing baby.

Vitamin A in whole milk: 32 µg


2. Cod Fish Liver

The cod fish liver is a great source of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help prevent ocular diseases such as night blindness in both the mother and the foetus. It also helps in the proper vision development of the baby. [2]

Vitamin A in the cod fish liver: 100000 IU


3. Carrots

In the plant sources, vitamin A is present in the form of carotenoids (beta-carotene), a type of pigments that give fruits and vegetables their specific colours. It gets converted into retinol during digestion, a form of vitamin A. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and helps in the proper growth and development of the baby. [3]

Vitamin A in carrots: 16706 IU


4. Red Palm Oil

Red palm oil is an edible oil which is naturally rich in beta-carotene. In countries where vitamin A deficiency is prevalent, red palm oil is highly consumed as a great source of the nutrient. According to a study, red palm oil contains around 500 ppm carotene, out of which, 90% is present as alpha and beta-carotene. [4]

Vitamin A in red palm oil: Around 500 ppm (beta-carotene)


5. Cheese

Cheese is another animal product rich in vitamin A1, also known as retinol. Different varieties of cheese such as blue cheese, cream cheese, feta cheese and goat cheese contain different amount of this vital nutrient. Cheese which is made from 100 per cent grass-fed animals contain the highest of vitamin A.

Vitamin A in cheese: 1002 IU


6. Egg Yolk

Egg yolk, not the albumin is rich in vitamin A along with other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin D and vitamin B12. It helps in baby brain development and also balances cholesterol levels in the mother. [5]

Vitamin A in egg yolk: 381 µg


7. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A that helps in the development of healthy eyes of the foetus. Also, the antioxidant activity of the vegetable helps in controlling maternal sugar levels and preventing pregnancy complications due to oxidative stress. [6]

Vitamin A in pumpkin: 426 µg


8. Fish Oil

Not only is the oil extracted from the livers of cod fishes is high in vitamin A, but regular fish oils extracted from oily fish such as sardines and menhaden are also a rich source of this vital nutrient. A study says that fish oils help prevent the risk of retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic eye disorder that may cause vision loss in children. [7]

Vitamin A in fish oil: Depends on the type of fish from which the oil is extracted. Also, it is commercially added during oil extraction.


9. Sweet Potato

Some vegetables such as sweet potato required mashing after cooking to make them easier to digest. They make for the perfect staple food to be given to children. Orange-fleshed sweet potato is a great source of beta-carotene and may help prevent vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. [8]

Vitamin A in sweet potato (mashed): 435 µg


10. Yoghurt

Yoghurt is abundant in vitamins (such as vitamin A) and probiotics. It helps prevent the risk of musculoskeletal and cognitive impairment in the foetus and also provides nutritional benefits to the mother. [9]

Vitamin A in yoghurt: 198 IU


11. Yellow Corn

Yellow maize or corn (not white) is high in provitamin A carotenoids. It helps relieve pregnancy constipation, lowers the risk of neonatal defects such as Spina Bifida and helps in the healthy ocular development of the baby. [10]

Vitamin A in yellow corn: 11 µg

Story first published: Saturday, December 26, 2020, 18:00 [IST]
Desktop Bottom Promotion