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Vitamin A and kale
By Nutritional Therapist Roisin Cooke, graduate of the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) in Edinburgh.

Getting your Vitamin A

Why you need it:
Vitamin A comes in various forms, including Retinol, which
- is an important anti-oxidant supporting your immune system
-helps you cope with stress by playing its part in the manufacture of adrenal hormones
-aids your metabolism to function fully through its support for your thyroid hormones
-contributes to healthy skin, helping improve conditions like acne and psoriasis
-is essential during pregnancy for proper foetal development
-helps you see in the dark -it's true! Adequate levels of vitamin A can preserve and improve eye health, particularly in low-light and with colour vision. 

What do you find it in?
It can be found in abundance in orange vegetables and fruit such as carrots, sweet potato, winter squash, dried (brown) apricots, chili peppers and mango, but also green leafy vegetables in the form of beta-carotene: dandelion greens, broccoli leaf, peas, spinach, kale and watercress.  Cod liver oil is also known for its vitamin A content.

Seasonal tip:
The health benefits of kale are numerous!  To get the most from kale, after washing and cutting, let it sit for a minimum of 5 minutes before cooking. Sprinkling with lemon juice before cooking can further enhance its beneficial properties.  

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