Plant Nutrition: Vitamin E Benefits
Are you tired of hearing, “You are what you eat?” As much as you might hate cliches, this one is true. Eating the right foods, like foods with vitamin E, can make you healthy and happy.
Why Vitamin E?
Lately, vitamin E is on everyone’s radar. If you look through fitness magazines or on health news programs, you are likely to learn about vitamin E benefits. It’s a popular vitamin that’s taken center stage.
When you consider the vitamin E benefits, it’s easy to understand why the nutrient is so popular. It does things like protect your skin and limit the effects of aging. However, there’s much more to the nutrient that great skin.
When you want to get the benefits of certain vitamins, you often need to supplement with pills. Fortunately, vitamin E comes in high concentrations in natural sources. There are eight compounds in vitamin E, and all of them are naturally occurring. By eating certain plant-based foods, you can get enough vitamin E in your diet to experience the benefits.
Which Foods Contain Vitamin E?
You don’t need to bend over backward to get enough vitamin E in your diet. In fact, incorporating the vitamin into your diet is easy.
Here are a few common foods that contain vitamin E:
- Nuts of every kind
- Wheat germ, which contains 100% of your daily serving of vitamin E in one tablespoon
- Swiss chard
- Turnip and beet greens
There are other foods that can give you enough vitamin E in your diet. However, with foods that contain high concentrations of the vitamin-like wheat germ, you don’t need to worry too much. It’s likely that you can get enough vitamin E from eating only a small portion of the foods listed above.
Do You Have A Vitamin E Deficiency?
Are you worried you’re not getting enough vitamin E in your diet? If so, there are a few things you should know. First, you should know that it’s uncommon for people to have a deficiency in this nutrient.
As an important part of your bodily functions, vitamin E is crucial to your body. Without it, you could suffer. According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E for individuals over 14 years of age is 15 milligrams1. Women who are breastfeeding need slightly more, which equates to about 19 milligrams.
For those who are infants and up to six months of age, the recommended intake is 4 milligrams. Babies between six months and one year should receive six milligrams. Those who are between four and eight years of age should receive seven milligrams. Finally, children between the ages of nine and 13 should receive 11 milligrams each day.
Symptoms Of A Deficiency
Most individuals get enough vitamin E in their daily diet. However, you can ensure that you’re receiving enough by eating foods rich in the nutrient.
If you do have a vitamin E deficiency, you’ll know it by the symptoms. Anemia, skeletal myopathy, ataxia, retinopathy, nerve damage, peripheral neuropathy, and compromised immune response are all symptoms of a deficiency.
People who have abetalipoproteinemia and fat malabsorption are more susceptible to a deficiency of this nutrient. Additionally, infants are more at risk.
Vitamin E Benefits
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant. As such, it protects your cell membranes from damage by free radicals. It also prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. Although those benefits alone are enough of a reason to eat foods with vitamin E, there are more benefits.
Here’s a closer look at some of the many vitamin E benefits:
1. Moisturize Your Skin
You can find this nutrient in most moisturizers. Because it has moisturizing properties, taking the vitamin can keep your skin from drying out or flaking off.
2. Healing Your Wounds
When you have a wound, it can take awhile for it to heal. However, vitamin E can speed up the healing process. By supplementing with vitamin E, your body gets some extra help healing wounds2. The vitamin works on a cellular level to impact your connective tissue.
3. Preventing Skin Cancer
In one study, those that received vitamin E had a smaller chance of developing skin cancer. When researchers exposed them to ultraviolet light, the ones who took the supplements were less likely to develop skin cancer3.
It’s not difficult to understand why vitamin E can prevent skin cancer. In humans, antioxidants are known to prevent cancer. Because the nutrient is an antioxidant, there is a likelihood that supplementing with the vitamin can prevent cancer.
4. Improve Eczema
Eczema is a skin condition that leaves people with itchy, dry, and flaky skin. It’s very uncomfortable and causes distress to many.
Fortunately, vitamin E can help with eczema. Research shows that getting more vitamin E can improve some of the discomforts of eczema.
5. Improve Psoriasis
Another common skin condition is psoriasis. Although it’s not a miracle cure, supplementing with vitamin E can improve mild psoriasis. It could alleviate some of the discomforts and be a substitute for costly prescription medications.
6. Decrease Wrinkles
By keeping your skin moist, vitamin E can reduce your wrinkles. Your skin could have fewer wrinkles and make you look younger.
7. Maintain Healthy Nails
If you want healthy nails, you might need to supplement with vitamin E. Those who suffer from yellow nail syndrome can keep the condition at bay with the vitamin. As a result, vitamin E can prevent cracked, yellow, and peeling nails. It also may prevent cracked cuticles.
Getting The Most From Your Vitamin E
Unlike many other vitamins and nutrients, vitamin E is easy to supplement. With a small change to your diet and by taking vitamin E supplements daily, you can get the most vitamin E benefits. Then, you can be on your way to a healthier you!
References: 1. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/, Vitamin E 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25124164, Vitamin E and wound healing: an evidence-based review, 2016 Jun;13(3):331-5. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12295. Epub 2014 Aug 14 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11341050, Effects of topical and oral vitamin E on pigmentation and skin cancer induced by ultraviolet irradiation in Skh:2 hairless mice, 2000;38(1):87-97