How to Get Your Vitamin A

Eat organs, not pills


Real men should eat liver (or carrot juice, or sweet potatoes), not vitamin supplements. That's because yet another study has come out questioning the value of megadoses of vitamins. The BBC, ABC, and Science Daily have versions of the story. The advice, as I suggested in an earlier post on this topic, is to get your vitamins and antioxidants from real food instead of pills when possible. Forgotten where vitamins naturally come from? Here's a quick refresher (foods are listed in order of decreasing vitamin richness):

Vitamin A

Organ meat (liver, giblets), carrot juice, sweet potato (with peel), pumpkins, carrots, spinach, collards, kale Vitamin B -6

Potato, banana, garbanzo beans, chicken breast, oatmeal, pork loin, roast beef Vitamin B -12

Mollusks, liver, trout, salmon, beef, yogurt, haddock Vitamin C

Guava, red sweet pepper, kiwi, orange juice, green peppers, grapefruit juice, strawberries Vitamin D

Cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, milk Vitamin E

Sunflower seeds, almonds, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, hazelnuts, turnip greens, tomato paste Sources: USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 (for vitamins A, C , and E); National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets (for vitamins B-6, B-12 , and D)