Benefits of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, which plays a role as an antioxidant in the body. It also helps to prevent free radical damage to specific fats in the body that are critical for your health. Vitamin E is an important vitamin that is required for the proper function of many organs in the body and is extremely useful in naturally slowing aging. It is found in many foods including certain oils, nuts, poultry, eggs, fruits, and wheat germ oil. It is also available as a supplement. Vitamin E benefits include treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels; such as chest pains, high blood pressure, and blocked or hardened arteries.
The highest safe level of vitamin E supplements for adults is 1,500 IU/day for natural forms of vitamin E, and 1,000 IU/day for the man-made (synthetic) form.
Infants (adequate intake of vitamin E)
0 to 6 months: 4 mg/day
7 to 12 months: 5 mg/day
1 to 3 years: 6 mg/day
4 to 8 years: 7 mg/day
9 to 13 years: 11 mg/day
Adolescents and Adults
14 and older: 15 mg/day
Pregnant teens and women: 15 mg/day
Breastfeeding teens and women: 19 mg/day
Eating vitamin E in foods is not risky or harmful. In supplement form, however, high doses of vitamin E might increase the risk for bleeding and serious bleeding in the brain. High levels of vitamin E may also increase the risk of birth defects. Low intake may lead to hemolytic anemia
Keep in mind that because vitamin E is fat-soluble, supplements work best when they are absorbed with food, and the American Heart Association recommends obtaining antioxidants, including vitamin E, by eating a healthy and well-balanced diet that is high in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Getting your vitamins from the food you eat is always a better alternative than using a supplement because it is difficult to over-consume vitamin E when getting it from your regular diet.
Functions of Vitamin E
- Balances Cholesterol
Vitamin E serves as a protective antioxidant that fights cholesterol oxidation.
- Fights Free Radicals
Free radicals fight and break down the healthy cells in your body and this can lead to heart disease and cancer. These molecules form naturally in your body and they can cause severe damage when they accelerate or oxidize. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has the power to reduce free radical damage, fight inflammation, and therefore to help to naturally slow aging in your cells and fight off health issues like heart disease.
- Prevents Disease Development
Studies have shown that Vitamin E can significantly increase immunity, therefore helping to prevent both common illnesses and serious conditions from forming (4).
- Repairs Damaged Skin
Vitamin E helps to strengthen the capillary walls in your skin and to improve moisture and elasticity, acting as a natural antiaging nutrient within your body. Studies have shown that Vitamin E helps to reduce inflammation both within your body and on your skin, helping to maintain healthy, youthful skin.
- Prevents skin cancer
Taking vitamin E with vitamin C fights skin inflammation after exposure to UV radiation and can also be useful in decreasing signs of acne and eczema. Vitamin E also helps the healing process in the skin.
- Thickens Hair
Vitamin E helps to decrease environmental damage to your hair. It can also promote circulation to the scalp. Vitamin E oil can retain the natural moisture in your skin, which will help your scalp from becoming dry and flakey. This oil will also make your hair look healthier and fresher. You can apply a few drops of vitamin E oil on your hair, especially if it is looking dry and dull.
- Balances Hormones
Vitamin E can help to play a crucial role in balancing your endocrine and nervous system, naturally working to help keep your hormones balanced.
- Helps PMS Symptoms
Taking a vitamin E supplement 2-3 days before and 2-3 days after a menstrual period can reduce the cramping, anxiety, and cravings that are related to PMS. Vitamin E can decrease pain severity and duration, and it can reduce menstrual blood loss. It does this by balancing your hormones naturally and it helps to keep your menstrual cycle regulated.
- Improves Vision
Vitamin E may help decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is a common cause of blindness. Keep in mind, in order for vitamin E to be effective for vision, it must also be consumed with adequate intakes of vitamin C, beta carotene, and zinc. It has also been found that taking high doses of vitamin E and vitamin A daily seems to improve healing and vision in people undergoing laser eye surgery.
- Helps People with Alzheimer’s disease
Vitamin E may slow down the worsening of memory loss and functional decline in people with moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease. It may also delay the loss of independence and the need for a caregiver or assistance. Vitamin E, taken with Vitamin C, can also decrease the risk of developing several forms of dementia.
- Improves Effects of Medical Treatments
Vitamin E is sometimes used to lessen the harmful effects of medical treatments such as radiation and dialysis. This is because it is a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals in the body.
- Reduces side effects of drugs.
Vitamin E is also used to reduce unwanted side effects of drugs that may cause hair loss of lung damage.
- Improves Physical Endurance and Muscle Strength
Vitamin E can be used to improve your physical endurance. It can increase your energy and reduce the level of oxidative stress on your muscles after you exercise (8). Vitamin E can also improve your muscle strength. Vitamin E eliminates fatigue by promoting blood circulation; it can also strengthen your capillary walls and nourish your cells.
Sources of Vitamin E
Almonds are one the best vitamin E foods. Just an ounce of almonds offers a whopping 7.4 milligrams of vitamin E.
Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of anti-oxidant vitamin E; contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol-gamma per 100 g (about 237% of RDA).
A quarter cup serving of sunflower seeds contains over 60% of the daily value of vitamin E.
Sesame seeds increase your levels of Vitamin E, which plays a vital role in fighting disease.
Mustard greens are high in vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, and vitamin C. Eating just one cup of boiled mustard greens contains about 14% of daily dietary requirements.
Spinach is a good source of calcium, folate and Vitamin E. One cup of boiled spinach will provides with approximately 20% of the daily needs.
Swiss chard is high in vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C and vitamin E. One cup of boiled Swiss chard provide with almost 17% of the daily recommended values.
One cup of boiled kale can give almost 6% of the daily vitamin E requirements.
An half of an avocado holds more than 2 mg of vitamin E.
One cup of steamed broccoli will provide with 4% of the daily requirements.
Papaya is known as one of the best vitamin C foods, but it’s also high in Vitamin E. One papaya will give approximately 17% of the daily needs of Vitamin E.
One serving of pine nuts contains 2.6 mg of vitamin E.
One cup of olives can give you approximately 20% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin E.
One cup of turnip greens will provides plenty of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and approximately 12% of the daily requirements of vitamin E.
Most plant seed oils are very good sources for Vitamin E as well. The best oil with vitamin E is Wheat germ oil. One tablespoon of wheat germ oil holds 100% of the daily Vitamin E requirements. Sunflower oil is another excellent option, as it provides over 5 mg of the vitamin, and can easily be used for cooking. Other great Vitamin-E-rich oils include hempseed oil, coconut oil, cottonseed oil (with almost 5 mg of vitamin E), olive oil and safflower oil.
One ounce of hazelnuts can provide you with approximately 20% of our daily requirements of vitamin E.