Wondering which nutrient will come in the most handy this winter season? Vitamin E is definitely at the top of the list as the most abundant fat soluble antioxidant, scavenging free radicals that damage cells in the body. Because of its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E serves as a powerhouse nutrient in protecting against Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer.
Benefits of Vitamin E:
Protects skin from sun damage and pollution:
- In one study, people who supplemented with both Vitamin E and Vitamin C had less DNA damage after UV sun exposure. Topical application of the synergistic vitamins also decreased sunburned cells, damaged cells, and skin pigmentation after UV exposure.
- Vitamin E also serves as a natural remedy to skin irritations such as eczema and psoriasis due to its moisturizing and calming properties. If your skin needs some extra care this winter, consider adding vitamin E oil to your favorite non-toxic moisturizer.
Boosts the Immune System:
- A diet high in Vitamin E rich foods has been shown in clinical studies to improve cellular immunity as we age, protecting us against microbial pathogens, tumors, and other infectious disease.
Protects us from Cardiovascular Disease:
- Due to its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E reduces the formation of blood clots, improves blood flow, and prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, a contributor to atherosclerosis. Multiple studies have shown a decreased risk in cardiovascular events in those who consumed a diet high in Vitamin E.
Improves Neurological Health:
- Vitamin E has been speculated to improve cognitive health as it can protect the brain from damaged neurons, known to contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- Since oxidative stress is a potential cause of macular degeneration, a diet high in Vitamin E can potentially prevent damage related vision loss.
Since most of the research shows it is much more beneficial to get Vitamin E from food sources rather than supplement sources, it is best to just stick to what’s on your plate. Whole food sources of vitamin E include spinach, turnip greens, chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, bell peppers, asparagus, collards, kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Olive oil contains a moderate amount of vitamin E as well. It is best to eat these foods with plenty of healthy fats to boost the absorption of vitamin E, since it is a fat-soluble vitamin.
It’s antioxidant capabilities allow Vitamin E to play a vital role in protecting cell signaling, regulation of gene expression, and other metabolic processes. This makes it useful in thousands of chemical processes in the body. Vitamin E also serves in a synergistic role with selenium, improving levels of glutathione, fundamental to overall detoxification and cellular health. Fill your plate with those sources of Vitamin E this winter while you watch your health soar!
Amanda Miller, MS, RN is an Integrative Nutritionist at the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine. You can schedule an appointment with her by calling 310-451-8880 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org