The health benefits of vitamin E

What is Vitamin E?

Off the top of your head, you can probably list at least three popular vitamins and minerals and the role they play in nutrition. Micronutrients are needed in minuscule amounts but provide major benefits for our bodies. For example, Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones, iron contributes to normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin, Vitamin C contributes to maintain the normal function of the immune system during and after intense physical exercise, and potassium (Vitamin K) contributes to the maintenance of bones. But what about Vitamin E?

As always, the best way to consume Vitamin E is through a healthy diet. It is found in a wide variety of foods, such as sunflower oil, almonds, peanuts, spinach, red peppers, asparagus, mango and avocado. Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. Since human beings don’t come packaged with all the vitamins and minerals we need, we need to make sure we get them from a good, balanced diet and when needed through proper supplementation.

What Does Vitamin E Do?

Let’s break down the science of vitamin E: this nutrient has strong antioxidant properties, meaning it helps in protecting our cells against the damaging effects of oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress can occur when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body.

The body’s cells produce free radicals during normal metabolic processes. However, cells also produce antioxidants that neutralise these free radicals. In general, the body is able to maintain a balance between antioxidants and free radicals.

Several factors contribute to oxidative stress and excess free radical production. These factors can include:

  • diet
  • lifestyle – lack of exercise, smoking and excess drinking
  • environmental factors such as pollution and radiation

Antioxidants are substances that neutralise or remove free radicals by donating an electron. The neutralising effect of antioxidants helps protect the body from oxidative stress.

A person’s diet is an important source of antioxidants.  Increasing your intake of Vitamin E rich foods such as red peppers, spinach, nuts and seeds will help your body rebalance its stores of antioxidants.

The Effects of Oxidative Stress on Cells in the Brain

Oxidative stress has a wide range of impacts that aren’t necessarily damaging. Physical activity-induced oxidative stress, for example, may have good, regulating consequences on the body. Long-term oxidative stress, on the other hand, harms the body’s cells, proteins, and DNA. This can contribute to ageing and may have a role in the development of a variety of age-related conditions.

The cells in the brain are called neurons, which enable proper cognitive function. They are built largely out of cholesterol and polyunsaturated fats. These cells like all other cells in our body can be sensitive to oxidative damage Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient, which allows it to cross the blood-brain barrier, naturally gathering in our brain through our diet and helping to protect these important fatty cells from oxidative stress.

How to Get Enough Vitamin E

Now that we know the facts, let discuss a healthy diet, high in vitamin E. The foods richest in vitamin E are nuts and seeds, whole grains, and vegetable oils, such as corn, soybean, and safflower oils.  It is also found in dark-coloured fruits such as blueberries, avocados and blackberries, and vegetables such as spinach and peppers.  You may also try fortifying your diet with Vitamin E through supplementation.  The ReMind formula can work along side an healthy diet and provide 15mg of natural Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopherol).