Your A-Z of essential vitamins and minerals
It might sound like one nutrient, but Vitamin A is actually the term for a group of nutrients, some of them derived from animal products (retinoids) and some from plants (carotenoids). They offer a wide range of benefits and are particularly important for good vision. Retinoids also play a role in supporting the working of the immune system, promoting bone development, growth and reproduction, and creating sperm and red blood cells.
Retinol, which is a retinoid found in liver, is a valuable form of vitamin A, but should be avoided in pregnancy. Retinoids are found in cheese, shrimps, salmon, halibut, cows’ and goats’ milk. Carotenoids are anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories, and are very important for the proper functioning of the immune system and in female reproduction. They’re found in sweet potatoes, carrots, greens, squash, peppers, tomatoes, leeks, watermelon and many other highly-coloured fruits and vegetables.