The daily demands of life can be overbearing to such an extent that when stress becomes too much, it shows on the skin. Fortunately, there’s vitamin E which is a nutrient that’s vital for healthy skin. More than just a vitamin for your skin, it is also important for the healthy functioning of one’s vision, brain, and blood. Aside from supplements, there are vitamin E foods for one’s recommended daily intake. Here’s all you need to know about vitamin E, it’s benefits, and where to get it naturally.
What Is Vitamin E?
A fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E comes in four forms of which have specific molecular structures. It is actually made up of two compounds that are similar in structure, namely tocotrienols and tocopherols. The components of vitamin E are called isomer, each of which has distinct properties, characteristics, and benefits when formulated into food or drink.
As mentioned, vitamin E is vital to the health of one’s skin, vision, blood, brain, and reproduction. This vitamin also has properties of antioxidants which are substances that protect cells against free radical-induced damages. On the other hand, free radicals are molecules that are produced when the body is exposed to radiation or tobacco smoke. It plays a role in cancer, heart disease, and other known diseases.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin E?
While it is widely available as a supplement, vitamin E is naturally occurring in plant food such as nuts, fruit, wheat germ, certain oils, and grains. The known benefits of vitamin E include the prevention and treatment of heart and blood vessel diseases.
Here are just a few benefits associated with the consumption of vitamin E.
Works Against Free Radicals
Free radicals are molecules that target and destroy healthy cells in the body which can lead to illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Vitamin E, which powerful properties of antioxidants, reduces free radical-induced damage. Thus, it naturally slows down aging and fights inflammation as well as health problems such as heart disease.
Strengthens Hair and Repairs Skin
As it is a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E decreases the damage to one’s hair. It also promotes blood circulation in the scalp. Applying just a few drops to the hair can strengthen it, especially if it is dull and dry. As for the skin, vitamin E helps improve elasticity and moisture. Vitamin E reduces inflammation which in turn keeps the skin youthful and healthy.
Balances the Levels of Cholesterol
Cholesterol, which is made by the liver, is needed for the proper functioning of the nerves, hormones, and cells. Cholesterol levels in a natural state are healthy for the body, but it becomes dangerous once it oxidizes. An isomer of vitamin E that helps fight the oxidation of cholesterol is tocotrienol. Apart from fighting cholesterol oxidation, tocotrienol also slows down the progression of atherosclerosis which is the thickening of artery walls.
Helps Reduce Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome
Women who take vitamin E supplements three days before their menstruation are most likely to experience a reduction in anxiety and menstrual cramps. It also helps decrease the duration and severity of pain.
Improves Muscle Strength and Physical Endurance
If you wish to improve your physical endurance, then the consumption of vitamin E can certainly help. It increases your energy as well as reduces the level of oxidative stress that happens in the muscles after strenuous activity. Moreover, vitamin E improves the strength of one’s muscles and capillary walls as well as promotes blood circulation.
Decreases Risk for Macular Degeneration and Cancer
As one ages, one’s vision also changes. However, consuming vitamin E helps in reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss. Tocotrienol, a specific isomer of vitamin E, is also tied to cancer protection. Numerous studies done found proof that oral doses of this vitamin E isomer help suppress the growth of tumors.
Vital During Pregnancy
For the proper development of the infant during pregnancy, vitamin E is a critical nutrient needed. It helps in controlling inflammation and in protecting fatty acids. Experts claim that vitamin E is important during the first 1,000 days as it has a huge impact on the brain and neurologic development.
Foods Rich in Vitamin E
Vitamin E is naturally occurring in grains, nuts, and certain oils. It is also found in fruits and vegetables. For vitamin E foods, here are the top 11 which contain the most concentration of the nutrient.
- Sunflower seeds: contains at least 49 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamin E.
- Hazelnuts: contains 29 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Avocado: contains 28 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Butternut Squash: contains 18 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Wheat Germ Oil: contains 135 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Mango: contains 10 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Spinach: contains 4 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Peanuts: contains 16 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Kiwi: contains 18 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Broccoli: contains 15 percent DV of vitamin E.
- Almonds: contains 49 percent DV of vitamin E.
Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin E
The RDI of vitamin E varies for children, males, and females. For a specific breakdown on the recommended intake, refer to the list below.
- Ages 1 to 3 years old: 6 milligrams per day
- Ages 4 to 8 years old: 7 milligrams per day
- Ages 9 to 13 years old: 11 milligrams per day
- Ages 14 years old and above: 15 milligrams per day
- Pregnant Women: 15 milligrams per day
- Breastfeeding Women: 19 milligrams per day
- Ages 14 years old and above: 15 milligrams per day
Vitamin E is more than just a nutrient for your skin. It’s a crucial nutrient that helps in balancing the levels of cholesterol, fighting free radicals, developing a growing infant’s brain, improving physical endurance and vision as well as reducing the symptoms of PMS. While there may be readily available supplements, it is better to get more of this nutrient by consuming vitamin E-rich foods such as nuts, fruits, and grains on a daily basis.