Vitamin E has been getting a lot of good press in the last few years. This antioxidant vitamin is thought to help promote healing, keep skin hydrated, and much more!
Antioxidants are good for you because they help clear free radicals out of your body. Free radicals are the leftovers from your body’s oxygen use that can damage cell walls and cell structures. Too much cell damage can increase your chances of serious diseases; antioxidants help clean the free radicals out of your body.
Vitamin E can help protect other compounds (like polyunsaturated fats and vitamin A) from being damaged by free radicals and oxidation reactions. What else does vitamin E do?
- Protect lung cells and limit damage from air pollution
- Guard your heart against heart disease
- Prevents vegetable oils from turning rancid
- Protects vitamin A in foods from being oxidized
- Prevents artery clogging by keeping bad cholesterol from oxidizing
- Protects cells from damage that can turn into cancer
- Relieve symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease
- Enhances insulin function and improves blood glucose metabolism — which makes vitamin E great for people with diabetes!
- Slow mental degeneration due to aging
- Help cuts heal faster by minimizing oxidation and keeping wounds moist
- Reduce symptoms of menopause
However, vitamin E doesn’t control physical signs of aging like wrinkles and grey hair. It won’t make you live longer, either! But it can help you live better.
It isn’t always easy to get enough vitamin E in your diet. Oils and margarines made from corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, and wheat germ are good sources of vitamin E. You can also get this powerful vitamin from nuts and seeds, like hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains have some vitamin E, but cooking at high temperatures destroys vitamin E. Look for fresh or lightly cooked/lightly processed foods for best vitamin E content.