Ever wondered why leading cosmetic companies add Vitamin E to their products? One very good reason is that Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant protecting our cells against oxidative damage from free radicals thus maintaining healthy skin.
Vitamin E α-Tocopherol
Vitamin E is a group of eight lipid-soluble compounds synthesised by plants, tocopherols and tocotrienols. α-Tocopherol accounts for 90% of the vitamin E in human tissues and acts as an antioxidant (i.e., stops the chain reaction of free radicals producing more free radicals). Vitamin E protects cell membranes, proteins, and DNA from oxidation and thereby contributes to cellular health.
Sources of Vitamin E and Storage
Vitamin E in the α-tocopherol form is found in edible vegetable oils, especially wheat germ, and sunflower and rapeseed oil. Other good sources of vitamin E are leafy green vegetables (i.e., spinach, chard), nuts (almonds, peanuts) and nut spreads, avocados, sunflower seeds, mango and kiwifruit. Vitamin E is stored in the liver and is safe even at high intakes.
Primary Natural Sources
One of the best source of vitamin E is almonds while leafy green vegetables such as spinach and Swiss chard are popular as well. Other excellent sources include animal products like cheese and eggs or plant oils.
Bioavailability of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient. As such, absorption of this vitamin is enhanced in the presence of fat in a meal. Risks related to inadequate or excess intake of vitamin E Individuals whose diets consist mostly of starchy staples – with inconsistent intake of edible oils or other vegetable sources of vitamin E – are at a higher risk of inadequate vitamin E intake.
Deficiency of Vitamin E
Vitamin E deficiency is not common. When deficiency of Vitamin E is present it leads to red blood cell breakage and nerve damage. Recent studies from Bangladesh link low vitamin E blood levels to an increased risk of miscarriage. In other studies vitamin E supplementation has been successfully used for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition widespread in overweight and obese people. Excessive intake of vitamin E from food is very rare.
Here is a healthy recipe to incorporate vitamin E into your breakfast.
1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
4 Slices whole grain toast
Salt and pepper to tast
First, mash the avocado, lemon or lime juice and pinch of salt together and set aside. Next, fry the eggs in a pan over medium heat and toast the whole grain bread. Then spread the avocado mixture evenly on the toast and place the fried egg on top. Season with salt and pepper to your liking or get creative with hot sauce, cheese, cilantro or other herbs.