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Diane Miller - Vitamin A great for summertime
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    Vitamin A is a colorful and fun vitamin for summer! It is found in bright orange and dark yellow fruits and vegetables that make great snacks and side dishes. One of the best facts about vitamin A and serving it to your family is its stability to heat, light and oxygen; it is not easily destroyed like some other vitamins. If your carrot sticks sit out at a picnic, they will still contain vitamin A.
    The major functions in the body of vitamin A and its precursor, beta-carotene, include promoting vision, participating in protein synthesis and helping to maintain the health of our skin, and supporting reproduction and growth. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and can be stored in the body. Because it is stored, it is not necessary to worry that your family eats something with vitamin A every day.
    However, it is important to remember that a person can suffer from a vitamin A deficiency with some serious consequences. It is a good idea to plan a vitamin A rich food source at least 3-4 times in your weekly menus. More common in the United States is vitamin A excess. Be careful not to give your little ones too much vitamin A in a vitamin supplement. Read the label.
    Choosing foods rich in vitamin A is easy. Remember that the color is a great clue. The darker green, orange or yellow the more vitamin A is present. For example sweet potatoes have more than sweet corn. One exception is the orange. The orange pigment in an orange is not a good source of vitamin A. Also, vitamin A is found in foods fortified with it such as milk, butter and margarine.
    For more information on vitamins and nutrition in general, contact Diane at (912) 871-0504, or
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