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Health Benefits of Vitamin E Rich Foods

Updated on March 22, 2011

Vitamin E and Your Body

The term "Vitamin E" refers to two different fat-soluble compounds that are present in nature and can also be synthetically made. The two compounds that make up this essential vitamin are tocopherols and tocotrienols. While these compounds are very much alike, tocopherols are more commonly found naturally while tocotrienols can also be found naturally in sunflowers and other oils.

Vitamin E in both forms helps your body by providing protection for your cells as well as acting as an antioxidant. This vitamin is important for maintaining a healthy body, and also for keeping hair and nails nice and clear. It is recommended by the Institute of Medicine that an average adult should take in about 15 milligrams of vitamin E every day for good health.

Vitamin E is an important part of your diet.
Vitamin E is an important part of your diet.

Benefits of Vitamin E

There are many health benefits that are a result of daily vitamin E intake. These benefits do not come instantly but rather after taking the vitamin steadily for one to two weeks. The most prevalent health benefits of taking vitamin E regularly are:

  • Improves health of skin and nails
  • Helps heal scar damage and skin irritation
  • Increases immune system function
  • Delays/Prevents Coronary Heart Disease
  • Improves hormone balance and reproductive function

While vitamin E intake is important for anyone to maintain a healthy body, it is especially important for those suffering from diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Cystic Fibrosis. These diseases make absorbing vitamins naturally extremely difficult so it is suggested that those with one of theses diseases take vitamin E supplements in addition to normal vitamin E intake.

Sunflower seeds and oils provide large amounts of natural vitamin E.
Sunflower seeds and oils provide large amounts of natural vitamin E.

Common Vitamin E Rich Foods

There are many different foods that naturally contain high levels of vitamin E. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamin E then you should try incorporating some of these foods into your daily diet.

Grains and Nuts:

  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Breakfast Bars
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Peanuts

Vegetables:

  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus

Fruits:

  • Papayas
  • Mangoes

Other Sources:

  • Shellfish
  • Pie Crusts
  • Cooking Oils

All of these foods listed above contain relatively large amounts of natural vitamin E. If you think that you need more vitamin E or if you are suffering from vitamin E deficiency then you should try to incorporate more of these foods into your diet.

Other Ways to Supplement Your Diet With Vitamin E

Gel Capsules:

If for one reason or another you are not able to get sufficient vitamin E from the foods that you eat, there are other ways to supplement your intake of this essential vitamin. The first and most widely used way is to take a vitamin E capsule much like you would take a multivitamin. You take this capsule once every day and your vitamin E needs are taken care of. These capsules are generally inexpensive and usually come in bulk so there is no need to constantly be buying more. I would suggest taking vitamin E capsules on a regular basis if you have skin irritations, certain diseases (as mentioned above), or if you think you might have a vitamin E deficiency.

Vitamin E Creams:

Another, less commonly used way to increase your vitamin E intake is with a vitamin cream. This method is most affective if you are trying to treat skin irritations or scars. The cream is simply applied to the area of the skin that needs to be replenished and rubbed in much like a lotion. Vitamin E creams also claim to assist in fighting off signs of aging including wrinkles and crows feet. Although this method of using vitamin E is not commonly used, makers of the creams stand behind their products and insist that if you start a vitamin E cream regiment, you will see amazing results that will last a long time.


Vitamin E Deficiency

How do you know if you have a vitamin E deficiency?

There are a variety of symptoms that an adult will have if in fact they are suffering from a vitamin E deficiency. Common symptoms that result from a lack of natural vitamin E include the following.

Symptoms:

  • Fertility issues and lack of sex drive
  • Cataracts
  • Anemia
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Brain and Liver disorders
  • Low red blood cell counts

Some of these symptoms are mild, while others such as brain and liver disorders are major issues. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms of vitamin E deficiency you should see you doctor in order to be properly diagnosed. If a vitamin deficiency of any kind is left untreated, the long term consequences could be life threatening. Never just assume that these symptoms are the result of one certain thing. Always consult a doctor to determine the right course of action.

Foods that are high in vitamin E will have great health benefits for your body and mind.
Foods that are high in vitamin E will have great health benefits for your body and mind.

Vitamin E: Essential for a Healthy Body

The lasting health benefits of taking vitamin E regularly have long been known in the health and nutrition community. It is a very important part of our diet and provides essential nutrients that our bodies need in order to operate efficiently. Even if you think that you already get enough vitamin E in your diet, you could always improve the health of your skin and nails by trying a gel capsule regimen along with your daily multivitamin.

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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Thanks for sharing this information. So, I don´t have to buy Vit.E capsules, just eat avocado which is one of my favorite fruits. Have a great weekend!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma City

      A healthy diet, balanced in vitamins and minerals is so important to our best health. Thanks for pointing out the benefits of this fat soluble vitamin.

    • wsupaul88 profile imageAUTHOR

      wsupaul88 

      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Glad you enjoyed it mathair, it was very interesting doing the research before I wrote it as I was not to terribly aware of how important vitamins are for our bodies.

    • mathair profile image

      mathair 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      Great information - Thank you

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