Supple and flawless skin, better protection from sun, damage free cells, healthier heart, liver and kidneys…The list of benefits is endless. Wondering which ingredient offers us with a host of such amazing benefits?
It’s none other than Vitamin E, which works wonder for our hair, skin and health. Discover the plethora of goodness this wonderful vitamin has to offer and the food sources which you can consume to reap the benefits.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. It naturally exists in eight diverse forms categorized into Tocopherols & Tocotrienols. Each sub categorized into alpha-, beta-, gamma-, delta- Tocopherol & Tocotrienol. In human beings, the most active form of Vitamin E is alpha-tocopherol.
Vitamin E is extremely crucial for our health as it helps in fighting and preventing several health and skin conditions. Infused with antioxidant properties it aids in maintaining a youthful glow by warding off free radicals. Thanks to the presence of useful fats in Vitamin-E, it also offers the benefits of sun-protection. In addition, it works to maintain a healthier heart, liver and kidneys.
The daily Vitamin E requirement of an adult is almost 15 mg. Since, human body cannot produce Vitamin E naturally it should essentially be consumed from external sources. You can obtain this Vitamin from either natural or synthetic supplements.
Let’s look into the benefits of Vitamin-E to first understand its role in our body.
Benefits Of Vitamin E:
Vitamin E offers innumerable health and skin care benefits. Some of these benefits are as follows:
- Infused with natural antioxidant properties, Vitamin E protects our body cells from damage. This helps in preventing several health problems pertaining to digestive, cardiovascular and cancer (breast, prostate and colon).
[ Read: Antioxidant Benefits ]
- This vitamin guards our system’s immunity ensuring a healthier liver and kidney functioning.
- Vitamin E rich foods help in delaying aging process and also help in preventing skin pigmentation.
- They moisturize while nourishing your skin & hair, giving you a completely revitalized look.
- This vitamin is extremely helpful for women. It helps combating menstrual cramps and Dysmenorrhea. It also aids in a complication-free pregnancy.
- Vitamin E protects your body from environmental damage. It also stops the production of free radicals – a chief contributor to several chronic diseases. In addition, it accelerates the healing process while stimulating the generation of new cells.
- It reduces the odds of blood clotting in the body plus works to improve the functioning of muscle tissues. And for all those of you who want to shed a kilo or two, Vitamin E has several weight loss benefits too.
- In men, Vitamin E is also found to be very effective in improving fertility.
- Medical experts are also researching on the role of Vitamin E in preventing mental disorders like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
A useful vitamin like this should be easily available in our daily food. Let’s look at the top food sources of Vitamin E.
Vitamin E Rich Foods:
As soon as we think of Vitamin E, we think of almonds. They are among the richest natural sources of this vitamin. A 100 gram serving of almonds provides 26.2 milligrams of Vitamin E. Although it’s always advisable to consume raw almonds, you can take them as almond oil or almond milk as well.
2. Raw Seeds:
Raw seeds of sesame, pumpkin or sunflower are excellent sources of Vitamin E. Either use seeds as a snack in itself or garnishing on salads and soups. Just ¼ cup of sunflower seeds will supply 90.5% of your daily Vitamin E requirement.
3. Swiss Chard:
This green leafy replenishes your body with several essential Vitamins including Vitamin E. Commonly known to be highly rich in Vitamin E, Swiss chard offers virtually 17% of your daily recommended values.
4. Mustard Greens:
Just like Swiss chard, Mustard greens are highly nutritious providing many health benefits. They are one of the top carriers of Vitamin E, Folate and Vitamins A, C, & K. Although they taste best when well cooked, we recommend using them in salad or considering par-cooking them, so as to retain most of their benefits.
As a kid, Spinach may not have been your favourite snack but it’s true that Spinach is a complete health booster. Naturally loaded with Vitamin E plus many other Antioxidants & essential nutrients such as calcium and folate, spinach is one of the simple veggies to be incorporated in your routine diet. Consider adding it in salad or sandwiches to make them extra-healthy.
[ Read: Foods Rich in Vitamin C ]
6. Turnip Greens:
While Turnip greens taste a little bitter, they have a great share of Vitamin E and several other vital nutrients. Similar to other leafy veggies on the list, just 1 cup of Turnip greens can fill you up with Vitamin E, A and C. Moreover, it provides sufficient folate as well.
High in numerous other fundamental nutrients, Kale is one more excellent provider of Vitamin E. Consuming one cup of boiled Kale on daily basis means you’re getting 6% of your every day Vitamin E requirement.
[ Read: Vitamin B Sources ]
8. Plant oils:
Vitamin E foods are also many plant seed oils. Among all Wheat germ oil has the highest Vitamin E content. Just one tbsp of wheat germ oil is believed to provide 100% of your daily Vitamin E requirement. Sunflower oil is another great alternative that tends to provide over 5 milligrams of this Vitamin. Additionally Hemp Seed, Coconut, Olive, & Cottonseed oils are also rich in Vitamin E. It is always recommended to buy these oils cold-pressed, unrefined and organic.
Hazelnuts contain Vitamin E and a lot of other great nutrients. Try including one ounce of hazelnuts in your routine diet, it will be enough to fill your daily dietary requirement. You may also want to use hazelnut milk instead of raw nuts.
10. Pine Nuts:
Known as a primary constituent in pesto, pine nuts can be great Vitamin-E rich addition to your fruit salad. One ounce of pine nuts contains 2.6 milligrams of Vitamin E. Pine nut oil also offers same nutritional benefits.
[ Read: Foods rich in vitamin B ]
This is one of my favourites, one of the healthiest and most delicious Vitamin-E rich foods on the planet. Avocados represent Nature’s creamiest, oil-rich fruits. Just half an avocado naturally boasts over 2-milligrams of Vitamin E. One can easily incorporate avocado into salads and sandwiches. Moreover, it can also be mashed-up as guacamole to make it yummier.
Broccoli is known as the best detox food & it is one of the healthiest Vitamin E rich foods. Just one cup of broccoli efficiently completes 4% of your daily requirement satisfied.
Parsley is one more wonderful source of Vitamin E. You can add this excellent spice to your salads or dishes to make them rich in Vitamin-E. Though fresh parsley is better, you can also use dried ones readily available in the market.
[ Read: Vitamin B6 Rich Foods ]
Papaya is extremely benefiting among the Vitamin-E sources. Although it is most commonly known as Vitamin C rich fruit, it has remarkable content of Vitamin E too. One fresh papaya can meet your 17% daily Vitamin E requirement. You can add fresh papaya to fruit smoothie to get an extra healthy yummy snack!
Olives remind me of James bond & Martinis! Use it as a fruit or oil, olive is a great way of getting your daily Vitamin E. Add them to pizzas, salads, pastas or consider using them alone with bread.
16. Dried Apricots:
Commonly used as a snack, Apricots hold moderate amounts of edible fiber as well as a number of essential Vitamins including Vitamin E. You can also blend them into a fruit salad.
17. Taro Root:
Inedible when raw, taro root is best cooked, boiled or integrated into breads. A 100 gram serving of taro root provides you with 2.9 milligrams of Vitamin E. You can consider using it as a substitute to potato.
Wheat plant is also a Vitamin E rich ingredient. Nutritionists believe that processed wheat often lacks essential nutrients because of the removal of germ which contains a major portion of the nutrients. However, it is still a rich source of E Vitamin.
19. Red Bell Peppers:
Red coloured vegetables especially red bell peppers are a splendid source of Vitamin C, E and Antioxidants.
Margarine often contains corn oil which offers your body 8 mg of Vitamin E per tbsp. if you wish to increase your Vitamin E intake on daily basis, use margarine. Always ensure to buy a brand containing corn oil elements. But, remember to go easy on the use of margarine as it is high in fat and may lead towards obesity if consumed unwisely.
21. Dried Herbs:
Basil and Oregano have long been used in pizzas and pasta sauces, but you can also use them as salad toppings or think about incorporating them in sandwiches. A 100g serving of these herbs contain 7.38mg of Vitamin E. Other Vitamin E dense dried herbs are Sage, Thyme, Cumin and Parsley.
22. Kiwi and Mango:
Kiwis and mangoes are two significant sources that you may consume to increase your vitamin e intake. Half cup of sliced mangoes supplies 0.7 mg of Vitamin E and a medium sized kiwi contains 1.1 mg. You can eat these fruits plain or add them in a fruit smoothie to get their best. You can also them into a fruit salad after mixing up with yogurt.
23. Pistachios and Peanut Butter:
Pistachio is another great snack you should include in your routine diet to get a good Vitamin E dosage. Best when consumed raw, as roasting kills many of their nutrients and vitamins. Peanut butter is also a considerably good source; it supplies about 2.5 mg of Vitamin E per two tbsp.
24. Red Chilli and Paprika:
Spices like red chilli and paprika not only add taste to your cuisine but also fills it up with Vitamin E & other vital Antioxidants. One tbsp of red chilli powder or paprika provides you with 2.1 mg of Vitamin E.
Call them a fruit or a vegetable; Tomatoes invariably make their way into our diet in some form. They also provide you with Vitamin C, Iron and Fiber along with Vitamin E. One medium tomato is known to contain 0.7 mg Vitamin dosage.
Some other food sources of Vitamin E include lean meat, dairy products, eggs, corn, sweet potatoes, yams, lettuce, lily, cabbage, fortified cereals and cod liver oil.
We have surely learnt where Vitamin E comes from but what happens when we don’t have enough of this vitamin in our body? Let’s look at the down side of not having enough Vitamin E.
Health Risks Associated with Vitamin-E Deficiency:
The lack of Vitamin E in the body may cause severe damage to your health. Some of the common health risks associated with the shortage of this Vitamin are as follows:
- Many premature babies having low birth-weight are more susceptible to develop anaemia because of the deficiency of Vitamin E.
- Lack of this Vitamin in the body may also bring about several reproduction related disorders.
- Those who lack Vitamin E often complain about inability to concentrate or stay active. Low libido may also be an outcome of Vitamin E deficiency.
- Inadequate consumption of Vitamin E may affect the central nervous system and the eyes adversely. Moreover, it also has close relationship with cancer and heart diseases.
One should go easy on the consumption of Vitamin E as just like its deficiency, its overdose may also lead to several issues.
Risks Associated with Overconsumption of Vitamin E:
Overconsumption of Vitamin E especially from supplements, can lead to excessive bleeding, or haemorrhaging in women. Thanks to its fat-soluble nature, it may also lead to Vitamin E toxicity if consumed unwisely.
Always remember to have a rich wholesome meal full of all nutrients in moderate levels!
Hope you will now include some of the food sources that are rich in this vitamin and reap the multitude of benefits it offers. Do share your views with us in the comments section below. Till then, stay fit, stay healthy!
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