E diet?

Nutrition team

Vitamin E is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin E works hand-in-hand with many other vitamins, acting as a preservative to vitamin A both in the body and in its food sources. This makes vitamin E a useful preservative for the food industry. The action of vitamin E is also enhanced by ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and selenium. Its levels in the body are dependent on proper levels of zinc. Therefore, it’s important to get an adequate intake of all of these nutrients.

The majority of the benefits of vitamin E come from its antioxidant activity. Vitamin E can protect against the oxidation of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and slow the development of arteriosclerosis (clogging of the arteries). This antioxidant activity helps maintain the integrity of cell membranes and guards against prostate and other cancers. It may help even slow the aging process and guard against damage from cigarette smoke and other pollutants.

Vitamin E promotes normal red blood cell formation and normal clotting of blood while promoting normal growth and development. It could also have a role in many common health problems including circulatory disorders, skin and joint problems, diabetes-related nerve complications, endometriosis, immune-system function and impaired memory.

The main sources of vitamin E in your diet are vegetables and seed oils including soybean, safflower and corn; sunflower seeds; nuts; whole grains and wheat germ. Leafy vegetables also supply an appreciable amount of this nutrient.

Refining grains reduces their vitamin E content, as does heavy processing, storage of food and cooking at high temperatures. Therefore, white breads, white rice and pasta and cooking fats are not regarded as a vitamin E sources. This makes it difficult to obtain an adequate supply in the diet. Fresh and lightly processed foods and those that aren’t overcooked, are your best sources.

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