Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. It is a group of eight different compounds that have antioxidant properties and can be found in both plant and animal-based foods. This nutrient is important for maintaining healthy skin, eyes, and immune function, and it has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. However, deficiencies in this important nutrient can lead to a range of health problems. In this article, we will discuss the importance of Vitamin E and highlight 7 foods that are rich in this essential nutrient.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that acts as an antioxidant in the body. This means that it helps to neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to ageing and disease. It can be found in various foods, including nuts, seeds, oils, and leafy green vegetables. The highest concentrations of Vitamin E are found in nuts and seeds, such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. Vitamin E is also found in oils such as olive oil, soybean oil, and canola oil, and another source is leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale.
One of the primary functions of this Vitamin is to act as an antioxidant in the body. This means that it helps to neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to ageing and disease.
It is essential for maintaining healthy skin. It helps to protect the skin from sun damage, reduces inflammation, and supports healthy collagen production. Vitamin E is often found in skincare products due to its skin-protective benefits.
This Vitamin plays a crucial role in eye health. It helps to protect the eyes from oxidative stress and age-related damage and has been linked to a lower risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Immune System Support
Vitamin E supports a healthy immune system by promoting the growth and activity of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off infections and diseases.
Problems of Vitamin E Deficiency
Deficiencies of this Vitamin can cause a range of health problems, including:
- Neurological Problems: Its deficiency can cause neurological problems, such as difficulty walking, muscle weakness, and vision problems. In severe cases, it can lead to nerve damage and even death.
- Anaemia: Its deficiency can also cause anaemia, which is a condition characterized by a lack of red blood cells. Anaemia can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
- Eye Problems: Its deficiency can lead to eye problems such as retinopathy, which is damage to the retina that can lead to vision loss.
- Skin Problems: Its deficiency can cause skin problems such as dryness, cracking, and irritation.
Seven foods that are rich in Vitamin E.
Almonds are one of the most well-known sources of Vitamin E. They are a great snack option and can be easily added to your diet in many ways. Just one ounce of almonds contains around 7.4 milligrams (mg) of this Vitamin. Which is approximately half of the daily recommended intake of the vitamin.
Sunflower seeds are another excellent source of Vitamin E. They are crunchy, and tasty, and can be enjoyed on their own or added to salads, yoghurt, or smoothies. One ounce of roasted sunflower seeds contains around 7.4 mg of Vitamin E.
Spinach is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. It is also an excellent source of this vitamin, containing approximately 2 mg of Vitamin E per cup of cooked spinach. It is also high in other essential nutrients like iron, folate, and Vitamin K.
Avocado is a popular fruit that is rich in healthy fats and several essential nutrients. It is also an excellent source of this Vitamin, with one medium-sized avocado containing around 2.1 mg of Vitamin E.
Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious root vegetable that is loaded with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. One medium-sized sweet potato contains around 4.2 mg of Vitamin E.
Peanut butter is a popular and delicious spread that is packed with protein, healthy fats, and several essential vitamins and minerals. Two tablespoons of peanut butter contain around 2.9 mg of this Vitamin.
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat germ oil is a concentrated source of this Vitamin. It contains approximately 135 mg of Vitamin E per 100 grams. It is best consumed in small amounts as a supplement, as it is high in calories and can easily contribute to weight gain.
For you: Sources and Importance of Vitamin D
So, now we all know that this Vitamin is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in maintaining overall health. Its antioxidant properties protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, and it has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Deficiencies of this Vitamin can cause a range of health problems, including neurological problems, anaemia, eye problems, and skin problems. Therefore, you must have a good diet that includes a good variety of Vitamins. To ensure that you’re getting enough Vitamin E in your diet, it’s important to eat a variety of foods.