Aug 082012
 

vitamin e benefitsVitamin E Benefits:
Vitamin E is essential to life — we cannot live without it and its many health benefits. That little light yellow oil capsule we’re familiar with is actually a family of compounds, the tocopherols, found in nature.  Vitamin E is an indispensable member of the body’s antioxidant system in preventing oxidative stress by protecting cells from the damage that takes place as your body uses oxygen to power everyday living. How does it work?

Vitamin E is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body. It is also an antioxidant. This means it helps to slow down processes that damage cells.  In our present day society with wide spread pollution, processed food diets, and chemical exposure, Vitamin E along with Vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium and Vitamin B3 protect tissues from oxidation and free radicals.

Vitamin E is a vitamin that dissolves in fat. It is found in many foods including vegetable oils, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and wheat germ oil. It is also available as a supplement.

Vitamin E is used for treating diabetes and its complications, and preventing cancer, particularly lung and oral cancer in smokers; colorectal cancer and polyps; and gastric, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.Vitamin E is a vitamin that dissolves in fat. It is found in many foods including vegetable oils, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and wheat germ oil. It is also available as a supplement.

Adequate amounts of vitamin E can help protect against heart disease, cancer, and age related eye damage (macular degeneratio), along with many other common important functions.  Vitamin E benfits are particulary apparent in the case of the skin, since vitamin E directly protects the skin from ultravioliet radiation (also called UV light). When the diet contains vitamin E rich foods, it can travel to the skin cell membranes and exert this same protective effect.  See the list below for other conditions that Vitamin E is indicated for prevention and treatment of.

How much Vitamin E is enough?

Prominent researchers believe that to perform at its best, the body needs more than the US Daily Value (DV) of 30 IU vitamin E daily. They recommend that healthy females should have 400 IU a day and average healthy male 600 IU a day.  It’s always better to get your vitamins from food, and always check with your health care provider before adding any supplements as they may interact with some medications.

Too much vitamin E from supplements can lead to excessive bleeding, or hemorrhaging. Vitamin E foods, like the ones listed below, are considered to be safe and healthy.

vitamin e benefitsWhat are food sources of Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is found in both plant and animal foods.  In general, the animal sources of E are fairly poor, with some being found in butter, egg yolk, milk fat, and liver.  The best sources of Vitamin E are nuts, vegetables, some fruits, and seed or nut oils.  Vitamin E was first isolated from wheat germ oil, which is still a commonly used, rich source of the vitamin.  Below is a list of foods high in vitamin E.

Food Milligrams (mg)
per serving
Percent DV*
Wheat germ oil, 1 tablespoon

20.3

100

Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 1 ounce

7.4

37

Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce

6.8

34

Sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon

5.6

28

Safflower oil, 1 tablespoon

4.6

25

Hazelnuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce

4.3

22

Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons

2.9

15

Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce

2.2

11

Corn oil, 1 tablespoon

1.9

10

Olive oil, 1 tablespoon

1.9

10

Spinach, boiled, ½ cup

1.9

10

Broccoli, chopped, boiled, ½ cup

1.2

6

Soybean oil, 1 tablespoon

1.1

6

Kiwifruit, 1 medium

1.1

6

Mango, sliced, ½ cup

0.7

4

Tomato, raw, 1 medium

0.7

4

Spinach, raw, 1 cup

0.6

3

Vitamin E foods

More Tips on Vitamin E

  • Both basil and oregano go along way in pasta sauce and pizza and are also good sprinkled on top of salads and sandwiches.  A 100g serving will provide 7.38mg (50% DV) of vitamin E.  Other dried herbs high in vitamin E include Sage, Thyme, Parsley, and Cumin.
  • Paprika and Red chili powder–It is nice to know you are able to add pepper to a dish whether mild (paprika) or spicy (red chili powder) and get the same amount of vitamin E, around 30mg (199% DV) per 100g serving, or 2.1mg (14% DV) in a single tablespoon.
  • Dried apricots–Most common as a snack, dried apricots can also be chopped and thrown into a fruit salad. A good source of fiber and many other vitamins, apricots also provide 4.3mg (29% DV) of vitamin E per 100g serving, or 5.6mg (38% DV) per cup, and 0.2mg (2% DV) of vitamin E in half an apricot.
  • If you do take a supplement it’s better absorbed when taken with meals rather than on an empty stomach.

vitamin e benefits Thai peanut dressingPut this all together and I think a nice spinach salad with mango, kiwifruit, and this homemade Thai peanut dressing will do it.  Oh, and a little bit of basil sprinkled on top!

Vitamin E may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of the following health conditions:

  • Acne
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Angina
  • Asthma
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Gout
  • Graves’ disease
  • Infertility (male)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Macular degeneration
  • Menopause
  • Migraine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Oral cancers
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • PMS
  • Pregnancy-induced hypetension
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Senile cataracts
  • Squamous cancer
  • Stroke
  • Vaginitis

Having a healthy approach to nutrition and lifestyle is a basic component of preventative medicine; and also can be effective in corrective medicine for many common health problems. Always check with your physician before beginning a new diet, or taking supplements.

 

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