Yellow and Orange autumn vegetables are very tasty! It is no coincidence that nature provides us with these colorful vegetables in the autumn – they offer a much-needed boost to our immune systems before the winter months. Enjoy these vegetables all season, and store more in your freezer for the winter!
Vitamin A boosts our immune system by maintaining the integrity of the mucus membranes in our bodies. The wide variety of squashes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and carrots are high in Beta-Carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A. Yellow, orange and dark green (such as spinach, collard greens, kale, swiss chard) vegetables are excellent sources of Beta-Carotene.
In foods, adults can safely intake up to 25,000 IUs (measured in international units) per day.
- Broccoli, I medium stalk = 4500 IUs
- Pumpkin, 1 cup cooked = 8000 IUs
- Spinach, 1 cup = 7300 IUs
- Sweet Potato, 1 medium = 12,000 IUs
- Winter Squash, 1 cup = 4300 IUs
Some symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency:
- Dry Eyes
- Night Blindness
- Reduced Immunity
- Respiratory Infections
Deficiency can be caused by low intake of vitamin A, absorption problems, and deficiency of protein or zinc in the diet. If you have any of these symptoms, I can further evaluate your concern by scheduling an appointment.
Next week: Flu Shots and Something Better, the conclusion of the 4-Part Series to Boost Your Immune System.