Vitamin E is an antioxidant that aids in protecting the body from the harmful damages of free radicals, which are destructive substances that can damage cells.
Free radicals may also increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. Eating Vitamin E rich foods therefore increases the body’s antioxidant levels and helps to combat the damage caused by free radicals.
Vitamin E plays a major role in the following:
- Dissolving clots in the body
- Heart functioning
- Opening up new channels of blood supply
- Improving the function of muscle tissues
- Dilating blood vessels whilst strengthening the blood capillary walls
- Resisting infection and effects of pollution
- Aiding in the growth and development of new skin, and preventing the formation of several scar tissue
- Acts as a natural diuretic
- Delaying the aging process
- Increases fertility in men
Insufficient Vitamin E
Insufficient intake of vitamin E can affect the eyes, and the central nervous system. It can also cause the formation of the so-called disease “hemolytic” anemia.
Although vitamin E deficiency is not that common, it can highly develop in individuals who are incapacitated of absorbing fat normally. This is a consequence of the fact that vitamin E needs dietary fat in order for it to be absorbed, which is why it is included in the list of fat-soluble vitamins. People who don’t have sufficient consumption of vitamin E may have higher risks of developing cancer and heart diseases.
Vitamin E Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
The intake recommendations for vitamin E as well as other vitamins and minerals are given in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) that was formed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the formerly called National Academy of Sciences, which is now referred to as the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies. DRI is the universal name for a set of reference values that are used to assess and plan the nutrient consumption of healthy individuals. Such values vary depending on the gender and age.
The recent recommended dietary allowance:
FEMALES (mg/day); IU/day
MALES (mg/day); IU/day
|Infants 0-6 months||4 mg (6 IU)||4 mg (6 IU)|
|Infants 7-12 months||5 mg (7.5 IU)||5 mg (7.5 IU)|
|1 to 3 years||6 mg (9 IU)||6 mg (9 IU)|
|4 to 8 years||7 mg (10.5 IU)||7 mg (10.5 IU)|
|9 to 13 years||11 mg (16.5 IU)||11 mg (16.5 IU)|
|14 to 18 years||15 mg (22.5 IU)||15 mg (22.5 IU)|
|19 years and older||15 mg (22.5 IU)||15 mg (22.5 IU)|
|Pregnant||15 mg (22.5 IU)||–|
|Lactating||19 mg (28.5 IU)||–|
Vitamin E Rich Foods
Nutritional elements such as vitamin E are commonly found in organic foods such as fruits and vegetables. Some of the known vitamin E rich foods include the following:
- Swiss chard. A green leafy vegetable that is an excellent source of vitamin E. Most individuals include Swiss chard in their daily regimen meal, as it is quite rich in antioxidants.
- Mustard greens. This is a hot tasting green that can greatly contribute to a nutritious meal. It is one of the primary carriers of vitamin E and is commonly used in salads to get the best out of it.
- Collard greens and Kale. These are leafy greens that are good sources of vitamin E, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals.
- Spinach. This green leafy vegetable is basically an all-around health booster as it is not only rich in antioxidants and the E vitamin, but is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, vitamins A and C, and choline.
- Nuts. Cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts and other varieties of nuts contain adequate amounts of vitamin E and many other essential nutrients as well. Nuts are the so-called “healthy-on-the-go” as they can be eaten almost anywhere while getting the vital nutrients.
- Broccoli. This vitamin E rich green veggie is best to be eaten fresh, such as in salads.
- Tropical fruits. These fruits are very common in the eastern part of the globe. Tropical fruits such as kiwi and papayas are good sources of vitamin E.
- Red bell peppers. Aside from adding excellent flavor to one’s dish, bell peppers are good sources of vitamin C, E and many other powerful antioxidants.
- Wheat. This is a good source of vitamin E and is one of the most common vitamin E rich food sources taken by American individuals.
- Oils. Olive oil, sunflower oil, and many vegetable oils are highly rich in vitamin E. Nutritionists suggest that oils should be kept away from sunlight to help keep them fresh.
Go here for a list of Vitamin E rich foods.