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Vitamin E: The Disease Fighting Nutrient

Good nutrition is one of the keys to a healthy, vigorous body. It’s really miraculous how each of the essential vitamins and minerals work in concert to keep

Strobist Experiments

Strobist Experiments (Photo credit: vissago)

you in the best possible health. Here, we have a brief discussion on the merits of one outstanding nutrient – vitamin E. You may know that vitamin E is important in maintaining a healthy heart. However, there’s a lot more to this vitamin than meets the mainstream eye.

First, we’ll take a look at some of the many functions of vitamin E as it pertains to good health. Antioxidants, such as vitamin E, serve as ‘free radical scavengers’, preventing the oxidation of cells, which can lead to a host of ailments, including cancer, especially of the breast, prostate, lung and gastrointestinal tract, as well as heart disease.

In all, getting your fair share of vitamin E has been shown to be a preventative of no less than 80 diseases! Deficiencies of vitamin E can manifest in several unpleasant ways. Among the conditions caused by vitamin E deficiencies, count in problems with fertility, sexual interest, deposits of fat in muscle tissue (can you say cellulite?) and dry skin. Vitamin E is an important consideration for diabetics, because it helps regulate insulin and helps prevent some of the complications of diabetes, such as heart disease. PMS? Vitamin E helps treat this as well. HBP? Yep, vitamin E reduces HBP. Other important functions of vitamin E include faster healing of burns, prevention – and dissolving – of blood clots, prevention of ‘age spots’, enhancement of immune system function, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s and increasing muscle strength.

With all of the benefits to be derived from getting copious amounts of vitamin E in foods you eat, this is a no-brainer. While you can boost your vitamin E levels with a supplement, getting an adequate amount of vitamin E in foods is easier than you might think.

When you plan your menus, keep vitamin E in mind. Natural sources of vitamin E in foods are more easily assimilated than some of the supplements on the market. Now, let’s take a look at the foods that are rich in vitamin E and see how easily you can integrate this super antioxidant into your daily menus. You’ll find that it’s easy to please every member of the family as you slip in a good quantity of vitamin E in foods they enjoy.

Sunflower seeds and almonds are rich in vitamin E and make good snacks. Slivered almonds can serve as a tasty topping for trout or any mild flavored fish, such as cod, also rich in vitamin E. Include a sprinkling of sliced almonds in a muffin. Every kid, barring allergies, loves a peanut butter sandwich, which is a good source of vitamin E and protein. Check the labels on the breakfast cereals you buy – most of the fortified cereals contain a good percentage of your RDA of vitamin E. When you make a chef’s style salad, you’ve got a great opportunity to bolster your intake of vitamin E in foods: include a half cup of cooked shrimp and half of an avocado and you’ve hit the jackpot on vitamin E for the day. The Antioxidant Miracle: Put Lipoic Acid, Pycnogenol, and Vitamins E and C to Work for You

Who doesn’t like a fruit smoothie to start the day? Toss in a teaspoon of wheat germ for every serving – the wheat germ is loaded with vitamin E – and it blends in imperceptibly. No one will ever know you’ve laced their delicious beverage with vitamin E!

When choosing cooking oils, go for the polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as corn, canola and soybean oils, all good sources of vitamin E in foods your family will not even detect as a healthy intervention on your part.

Tofu, a soybean product, is an inexpensive and rich source of vitamin E in foods. Tofu is a ‘chameleon’ food, which substitutes admirably for meat, taking on the flavor of a marinade or sauce. Serving a tofu-based entree just once a week adds to your vitamin E intake.

Cooking for the holidays? Sweet potatoes contain plentiful amounts of vitamin E! Mix in a little orange juice concentrate to your mashed sweet potatoes and top it off with the marshmallows.

You can see that it’s easy to get your fair share of vitamin E in foods. All it requires is a little planning. Think of the benefits!