For people with certain genetic variants, getting your recommended daily intake of vitamin A might look a little different than eating a few servings of carrots, peppers, or spinach. The beta-carotene found in plants needs to be converted by an enzyme into the retinol form of vitamin A used by your body. There are two genetic variants in the BCMO1 gene that can decrease the conversion of beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A found in these plant-based sources, to the vitamin A your body can use. (Check your BCMO1 (beta-carotene conversion) gene here.) Good news for meat and cheese lovers! People with BCMO1 variants can look to meat and dairy products to meet the recommended 900 mcg/day of vitamin A.
Vitamin A (retinol) Foods
This list focuses on foods high in the retinol form of vitamin A that your body doesn’t need to convert. Vitamin A in its retinol form naturally occurs in meat and dairy products and can also be found in certain fortified cereals, breads, and pastas.
|Food||Serving Size||vitamin A (mcg)||% Daily Value|
|Beef liver||3 oz||6,582||731|
|Cod liver oil||1 tbsp (13.6 g)||4080||453|
|Bluefin Tuna||3 oz||557||62|
|Pickled Atlantic Herring||1 oz||258||29|
|Mozzarella Cheese||100 g||203||23|
|Ricotta Cheese||0.5 cup||164||18|
|Cottage Cheese||1 cup||152||17|
|Yogurt, Greek, plain, lowfat||100 g||90||10|
|Whole milk||1 cup||77.2||9|
|Cheddar Cheese||1 slice (28 g)||74||8|
|Sockeye Salmon||3 oz||41.6||5|
|Ground Turkey, 97% lean 3% fat||100 g||30||3|
|Tuna, light, canned in oil, drained solids||3oz||20||2|
You can track your vitamin A intake via cronometer.com, a free web app for tracking nutrients.
Recipe Ideas for more foods rich in vitamin A (retinol):
Looking for recipes that will incorporate some of these retinol-rich foods into your diet? Check out these delicious recipes! (Retinol per serving is an estimate based on average vitamin A in the foods.)
Garlic Butter Pan-Seared Salmon:
Try this Garlic Butter Pan-Seared Salmon from The Kitchen. With the butter and sockeye salmon, this is an excellent source of retinol!
Excellent source of vitamin A (retinol) 52% DV/serving.
Steamed Clams Recipe:
These Mediterranean-Style Steamed Clams also provide an excellent source of retinol.
Excellent source of vitamin a (retinol) 34% DV/serving.
Grilled cheddar cheese:
Get some vitamin A from the cheddar cheese in this Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Delish, a grown-up version of a childhood favorite!
Excellent source of vitamin a (retinol) 25% DV/serving.
Pasture-raised eggs are an excellent source of vitamin A:
For extra fluffy eggs (with extra vitamin A) try out The Schmidty Wife’s cottage cheese egg recipe.
Excellent source of vitamin a (retinol) 21% DV/serving.
Yogurt with grass-fed milk is a great source of vitamin A:
This make-ahead greek yogurt parfait is the perfect on-the-go breakfast that is also a good source of vitamin A.
Good source of vitamin A (retinol) 17% DV/serving.
Ricotta cheese in a vegetarian pasta dish:
The ricotta in Katie Bird Bakes’ Lemon Ricotta & Spinach Pasta makes this pasta dish a good source of vitamin A.
Good source of vitamin a (retinol) 14% DV/serving.
Chicken liver pate:
Caroline’s Cooking easy chicken liver pate recipe.
Chicken liver is an excellent source of vitamin A, and often people find it more palatable than beef liver.