Benefits of Vitamin E

What Is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important to the body. Because it is friendly to fat it can enter cells and work there. It contains components that enhance the immune system. This is what makes it an antioxidant.

In the body, antioxidants fight the effects of free radicals (by-products of cellular metabolism). Free radicals lead to signs of aging, cancers and other detrimental effects on the body. But, this is not the only source of free radicals. They enter the body through air pollution, smoking, UV radiation, toxins and stress. Vitamin E can help protect the body from free radical damage from outside sources.

What else does vitamin E do? It can help with anemia, sunburn, rheumatoid arthritis and increased immune function in older people.

So what does this mean for the skin? As an antioxidant it can help create a protective barrier on the skin to keep away the effects of the sun, pollution and other external sources.

Many lotions, creams and make-up contain vitamin E. This may help the skin to absorb more vitamin E and thus toughen it up for whatever may come against it. Vitamin E comes in two forms, an alcohol form and an acetate form. The alcohol form is more potent in protecting the skin.

Sources of Vitamin E

Not only do creams and other beauty products provide the skin with vitamin E, but it also comes from food sources. In fact, food sources are the best because they work from the inside out. The recommended daily allowance is only 15 mg, but we don’t usually even get that much.

* Cereal – Look for cereals that are fortified. Read the label to see if they contain vitamin E. This includes oatmeal and cream of wheat.

* Nuts – While nuts are high in fat it is the healthier fats that the body needs for cellular function. Try hazelnuts to get a daily dose of vitamin E. Oils made from these nuts and even seeds (like sunflower seeds) are also a healthy source of vitamin E. Don’t forget peanut butter.

* Vegetable oils – Add them to recipes or use them to sauté veggies to get some vitamin E into your system.

* Leafy greens – They contain not only vitamin E but also A, C, K and beta-carotene. They are antioxidant powerhouses that are great for increasing the health and appearance of your skin.

* Tomatoes – These are rich in antioxidant lycopene but also vitamin E. Try making fresh tomato paste or eating tomato soup.

Vitamin E helps protect the skin, using it as a moisture barrier but also giving it a protective barrier from outside damage from sun, pollution and chemicals.