Vitamin E — Why You Need It

02B46700Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which helps destroy and neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are chemical compounds that accelerate aging and disease progression by damaging cells.

Vitamin E also:

—Plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system by thwarting bacterial and viral invaders and helping red blood cells, which deliver oxygen throughout the body, develop properly.

—Can help fight cancer by blocking the activation of an enzyme that helps the disease survive.

What makes us lack Vitamin E in our diets?

“Many of us eat a meat-rich, plant-poor, heavy processed diet. In refining grains, vitamin E levels suffer the most,” says Dr. Bazilian, DrPH, RD.

Serious vitamin E deficiency is rare, however scientists at Tufts University determined that only 8 percent of men and 2 percent of women are meeting the optimal vitamin E requirements.

Dr. Bazilian says that 15mg per day of vitamin E is a good number to shoot for if you are in good health.

What foods contain Vitamin E?

Note: Remember to always try to get your vitamins through food first, and not solely through supplements! This is especially important because some supplements don’t provide the right combination of nutrients in your body in order for the vitamin to be optimally beneficial. There are also multiple forms of certain vitamins, and only taking one form of them may actually not be great for your health. If you do take a supplement, do your research and make sure it’s of a form that most closely mimics its form in food.

You can find vitamin E in:

—Foods containing fat, such as nuts, seeds, flax oil, olive oil, and avocados

—Whole grains and dark leafy greens

Source: “When Nutrients Go Missing”, Experience Life magazine, October 2013, page 42. Paraphrased by Balancing Your Health.

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