Vitamins are an indispensable part of your daily life to serve as fuel to your body for physical activities. It strengthens your immune system, keeping your body strong and healthy by preventing the development of unwanted diseases.
Essentially, there are hundreds of reasons why vitamins are required to keep you moving forward each day. However, there is more to these roles that can impact your body’s long-term development. Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K all work together to support and sustain the body’s energy needs and to have a healthy immune system.
In this article, we will help you better understand the significant functions of foods rich in vitamin E to your overall health and how to get the most out of it in each and every meal that you consume.
Vitamin E benefits for your health – what you need to know
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that your body needs for health, energy and beauty. It is composed of two different elements called tocopherols and tocotrienols which are important in protecting to the skin by strengthening its barrier. It is well-known as an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative stress in the body.
So what’s more that vitamin E can offer to your health?
Aside from its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that carries plenty of health benefits that go beyond keeping the body strong. From keeping your skin smooth and young-looking, foods high in Vitamin E also benefits your vision, reproduction, blood circulation, brain and hair. It also works to protect you from certain types of heart disease, cancer and a lot of degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.
According to a study, patients that are given a certain dose of vitamin E showed a decline in the progression of the disease. In a report from Manchester Metropolitan University, researchers have found that patients diagnosed with the disease have “lower levels of vitamin E,” which may make it a risk factor in the further progression of the condition.
How much vitamin E should you take?
Vitamin E is a crucial component to maintain the health of the eyes and immune system. It is more than just an antioxidant that fights free radicals to improve skin health and give it a glowing look. Thus, making sure that you are taking the required dose of vitamin E is essential.
Ideally, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults is to take 15 mg of vitamin E daily to ensure that it supplies the needed amount by the body. Although lactating women require a slightly higher amount of 19 mg daily to sustain their body needs.
So can the body go beyond the recommended amount of vitamin E?
Just like any other vitamins and minerals, there is a specific amount that the body can tolerate. High doses of vitamin E can also be bad for your body. Thus, it is best to consult your doctor to learn more about the amount that your body can tolerate.
Below is the list of the amount of enough Vitamin E intake per age:
- 1-3 years old – 200 mg per day
- 4-8 years old – 300 mg per day
- 9-13 years old – 600 mg per day
- 14-18 years old – 800 mg per day
- 19 years old and above – 1,000 mg per day
Comparing Vitamin E Supplements With Natural Foods Rich in Vitamin E
Now that you know the adequate intake of vitamin E your body needs daily, let’s take some time to discuss some good vitamin E sources. This way you have a better idea of developing a complete meal plan that will provide you with the most amount of nutrients from vitamins that your body needed.
There are various ways how you can acquire vitamin E to supply your body – by taking supplements or through naturally occurring foods. Although both have the same purpose, there is a thin line that separates the two.
Vitamin E supplements
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that naturally occurs in the everyday meals that you eat. But in some cases, there are several people that develop vitamin E deficiency due to low intake of the vitamin. This is where the role of vitamin E supplements comes in.
Keep in mind that the purpose of vitamin E supplements is not to completely replace nutrients coming from food. If you are a healthy individual then having a balanced meal is already enough vitamin E for you. Simply put, supplements are intended to make sure that you are getting enough nutrients that your body requires in order to avoid deficiency and prevent it from worsening.
How to know which vitamin E supplement is best for you?
Choosing vitamin E should not only revolve around it serving as a dietary antioxidants. If you’re thinking about getting vitamin E supplementation to help your body’s defense against free radicals, here are some things to consider before you purchase.
- Choose the form of supplements (soft gel, capsule, chewable, or syrup) that you wanted to take.
- Look into the label and ensure that the supplement is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Check the dosage level is recommended intake for you to avoid overdose.
- Make sure to check the USP (United States Pharmacopeial Convention) verification of the supplement before purchasing.
- Don’t forget to look into the label to know the ingredients and other nutrients that come in the package.
Naturally-rich Vitamin E foods
Just like any other vitamin, vitamin E can be found and is naturally occurring in many foods like oil, vegetables, and fruits. These fat-soluble compounds in your food, compared to supplements, are likely to provide you are more complete and whole nutrients essential for your growth and protection.
Unlike supplements, vitamin E that are already present in the food you eat is way easier for the body to absorb. In addition, foods also contain other vitamins and minerals which are crucial to keep your body organs properly functioning. This is a way better solution than heavily relying on supplements and eating poorly.
Although vitamin E supplementation is now growing in popularity, the best way to provide the body with vitamin E is by eating vitamin E-rich natural foods in their natural state. The vitamin E of foods is reduced when they go through the process of cooking. It is therefore wise to eat foods that are fresh in order to obtain as much vitamin E from them as possible.
Vitamin E consumption is an essential part of your daily meal and should not be overlooked. Here are some common foods high that are rich in vitamin E that you can eat fresh:
1. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are one of the most abundant sources of vitamin E. Most people find them very tasty when cooked. But to get the most vitamin E from them, you should cook them lighter or you can use them as an ingredient in your salads.
This leafy green has a pepper taste which is a great vegetable to incorporate into your meals. Aside from these, it contains the body’s daily needed amount of vitamin K, which is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green that is often used in Mediterranean cuisine. It is one of the most nutritious vegetables available and it is high in vitamin E. A 175 gram serving of cooked swish chard contains 22% vitamin E, which boosts the body’s immunity to free radicals.
Everything from its leaves to its stalk is loaded vitamins C and A that keep the body healthy and strong. What’s even better about this vegetable is that it can be grown even in poor soil, with little water and light.
Spinach is a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, chlorophyll, and other essential nutrients that keep us in good health. It is one of the cheapest and most common vegetables all year round.
Spinach is widely available, both fresh and canned, and can be eaten with or without other foods. Cooked spinach is beneficial to eye health, as well as reducing oxidative stress, blood pressure, and chronic diseases.
Another big benefit of eating cooked spinach according to healthline.com is that it may play a role in cancer prevention as it contains two components, MGDG and SQDG, which may slow down cancer growth.
4. Kale and Collard Greens
On occasions that you wanted to try different leafy greens to add to your meal kale and collard will be the perfect alternative food to eat. These greens belong to the same species as cabbage and broccoli. They are also a rich source of vitamin E. Mixing these two on your favorite salad help compliment not only the taste but also the nutritional value of the vitamin E it contains.
Unlike mustard, which is also a great source of vitamin E, kale and collard leaves are more packed with nutrients and antioxidants that you need to prevent developing chronic diseases. Also, these vegetables have a more accentuated leafy and bitter taste making them a great addition to your healthy meal plans.
Nuts and almonds are good natural sources of vitamin E whether as a snack or as an ingredient in your favorite meal. They are the type of foods that you can eat everywhere because they are small and easy to contain and carry.
In fact, even if you are on a diet, nuts are a great snack to eat. Although high in fat and calories, nuts can aid in weight loss. According to WebMD.com, the fat and fiber in nuts help people feel fuller, which makes them less hungry.
Here are the other type of nuts that you should also try:
- Macadamia nuts
6. Papaya and Kiwi
Most tropical fruits are loaded with vitamin E. But papaya and kiwi are among the most abundant of them anywhere. These two are also high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, which support boosting the immune system to keep your body healthy.
These two fruits are a great combination for your smoothie and shake to make your meal more healthier and improve you appetite.
7. Red Bell Pepper
This important cooking ingredient does not only work to add food flavor and aroma; it is also rich in vitamins E, C, and other antioxidants that work to keep you healthy and energized. Again, it is best not to overcook them to preserve their vitamin E content.
These are some of the most common natural food sources that are high in vitamin E. Eat them regularly for health and energy, and to obtain protection from cell damage and oxidative stress.
Despite popular belief, pumpkin is a fruit in the Cucurbitaceae family, not a vegetable. However, its nutritional content is more akin to that of a vegetable than a fruit. And just like the other foods on this list, pumpkin is high in vitamin E, C, and other antioxidants, all of which could help to lower the risk of chronic disease.
What makes this orange fruit even more ideal meal, is that it is low in calories. Moreover, everything that makes up this fruit from its seeds, leaves and juices can be beneficial for the overall health of the body. You can also enjoy a more flavorful meal by blending a pumpkin into a soup, dessert, salad, or even as a healthier substitute for butter.
Asparagus is a popular vegetable that is high in vitamins E, B6, C, and K. This food, in addition to being high in vitamins and minerals, is low in calories and can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on your preference.
It is also a good source of fiber which is beneficial to improving the digestive health of the body and prevent cardiovascular disease from developing. Half a cup of asparagus already contains 1.7 grams of fiber or 7% of the needed of your body. According to several studies, fiber-rich vegetables are great for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
Avocado is one of many fruits that are high in vitamin E and low in sugar content that is readily available on the market. According to Medical News Today, a 100-gram serving of this fruit already contains 2.07mg of vitamin E. It also has a higher potassium content compared to bananas making it a great addition to our daily meals and snacks or even as a spread.
Avocados are packed with nutrients needed by your body; it is recommended to eat them while they remain fresh to get the most out of their nutritional value. What makes this an ideal meal is that you can eat it on its own or add it to your favorite desserts and meal.
Vitamin E deficiency
Taking less than the recommended amount of vitamin E is just as bad for your health as taking high doses. Essentially, you do not want less and excessive vitamin E intake and risk your health. Since foods high in vitamin E are easily found in any market or grocery store, there is no excuse as to why you should not enjoy it with every meal.
Deficiency in vitamin E is commonly rare among healthy people and usually comes unnoticed – unless checked by a professional. Cases of deficiency are commonly caused by poor indigestion and difficulty in the absorption of fat in the body. To be fully absorbed by our bodies, vitamin E requires an adequate amount of fat for the digestive system to fully function properly.
Due to the lack of fat to absorb vitamin E in the intestinal lining, people who suffer from fat loss will be more susceptible than others to develop the deficiency. Although rare, deficiency still occurs to:
- People with ataxia, a rare genetic condition
- People with digestive issues and cystic fibrosis
- People who are on low-fat diets
- Infants that are born with low weight
- People that have undergone gastric bypass surgery
Deficiency to Vitamin E can lead to a weakened immune system, as well as skin health issues, loss of body control, vision problems, and may form other diseases like anemia. Although vitamin E deficiency is typically not visible unless examined. There are several symptoms that you should keep in check to prevent it from occurring.
Knowing the early signs is the key to preventing the problem from becoming a worse condition. If you are experiencing any of these, make sure to visit a doctor to receive a proper diagnosis. A professional will be able to provide you with the right medication and vitamin E dosage to supply your body.
Here are symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency that you should know:
- You might feel weak and unable to walk all the time.
- Your muscles begin to numb and tingle.
- You are having poor eyesight.
- You feel ill most of the time
- You have issues with body coordination and balance.
- There is significant thinning on your inner eye’s lining
Live Healthy and Choose the Natural Options!
Picking foods high in vitamin E is one of the most important eating habits that you should prioritize and practice to keep yourself from developing unwanted diseases. Thus, it is best to choose a healthy diet that will provide you with the vitamins and minerals needed to nourish your body.
Eat healthy habits to stay healthy
- Eat a variety of high in vitamin and mineral fruits and vegetables for 2 to 3 meals a day.
- Avoid eating junk foods and processed foods that are high in trans fat, sodium and sugar.
- Use vegetable oils that are rich in Omega 6 when cooking your meals.
- Choose whole-grain and high-fiber to lower the risk of heart disease.
- Reduce drinking soda or sugary drinks and start drinking fat-free milk and dairy products
Don’t forget that the key to a healthy lifestyle is to choose natural foods high in nutrients. This will ensure that you receive the most vitamins you need to avoid the development of chronic disease and have a stronger and healthier body.
Keep your body strong and energized and to learn more on how to do that and eat healthy nutritious foods, check out our food posts on our blog.