While in outer space, astronauts are exposed to dangerously high levels of radiation from the sun. Exposure to these large amounts of ultraviolet light left them feeling sick and tired. NASA researchers discovered that high amounts of UV radiation were damaging their red blood cell membranes, resulting in anemia. When the astronauts’ diets were supplemented with vitamin E, the fatigue syndrome disappeared!
Some notable research findings on vitamin E, especially relating to the heart, include:
*Helps protect arteries and heart tissue from damage due to aging and/or toxic chemicals
*Helps to increase blood flow to internal organs
*Helps normalize blood clotting
Some top food sources include:
Sunflower seeds–just 1/4 cup contains 60% of the RDA of 400 IUs of vitamin E, along with 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 20 mg. of calcium, 10% of the RDA for iron, only 1 gram of sugar, and zero grams of sodium and cholesterol. They also contain 30% of the RDA for magnesium, a common nutrient deficiency, that helps relax muscles, including the heart. Eat them raw and unsalted.
Almonds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, avocados, cold-pressed wheat germ oil and pumpkin seed oil, wild-caught salmon, spinach, and other dark green, leafy vegetables.
If you live in an industrialized area with high levels of pollution, are exposed to high levels of toxic chemicals in the workplace, or even second-hand cigarette smoke, make sure that you’re getting sufficient vitamin E in your diet!
Ongoing radiation exposure can increase our need for vitamin E: television, video games, computers, cell phones, medical x-rays, etc.
A large number of American children are deficient in vitamin E! Their diets are usually high in refined grains like white flour, white rice, degerminated corn, etc., all of which have had the vitamin E removed.
Meats that contain nitrates like ham, bacon, salami, bologna, hot dogs, etc., are other common staples in children’s diets, as well as sugar, deep-fried foods, and all kinds of artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. Vitamin E is needed to help protect the body from the damaging effects of these toxic chemicals.
Food sources are always best, but if you need to supplement, beware that many vitamin E supplements are derived from genetically-modified soy, which could cause an allergic toxicity. Also, most synthetic supplements don’t contain the full spectrum of vitamin E, as do food sources.
Remember, deficiencies are cumulative, doing their damage little by little, over time. A severe vitamin E deficiency could increase the risk for health problems, including heart disease, hardening of the arteries, anemia, infertility, and autoimmune disorders.
Consider adding a handful of unsalted sunflower seeds and almonds, along with an extra serving or two of dark leafy greens, to your daily diet!
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Healthy Lifestyle Coach, CNC, CNHP
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care professional about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.