Give me an ‘E’!

As I was munching on a salad with avocado, sunflower seeds and olives the other day, it struck me that I was getting an excellent dose of vitamin E at that very moment. I then recalled that I had whipped up a what-is-vitamin-E? snippet for a nutrition course some time ago. So, I’ve dusted off this little E-gem to share with you.

And, naturally, I’ve added a smoothie recipe that blankets you in vitamin E at the end of this fascinating read.

Without further ado…

What is vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble micronutrient with tremendous antioxidant properties, important to protect us against exposure to pollution, processed foods, and chemicals. There are two families of vitamin E compounds: tocopherols (most common and most studied) and tocotrienols.

What does vitamin E do for us?

Acts as…Antioxidant

  • provides protection against oxidative damage by modifying and stabilizing blood fats
  • blood vessels, heart, and entire body are protected from free radical damage
  • also acts as antioxidant in foods, preventing rancidity (food preserver)


  • reduces platelet aggregation and stickiness by minimizing thrombin production (works better than aspirin!)
  • therefore…helpful pre- and post-surgery; also helps in prevention of artherosclerosis

Plays a role in…Cellular Respiration

  • helps heart and muscle respiration by improving functioning with less oxygen
  • therefore…improves stamina, endurance and reduces cardiovascular disease

Provides…Reproductive Support

  • provides relief from premenstrual syndrome, menstrual pain, and various menopausal issues; assists with problems of impotence, infertility; provides miscarriage protection; protects breasts and testes

Is great for…Wound Healing

  • used internally and externally for repair of skin lesions, ulcers, burns, abrasions, dry skin and scars; apply topically to cuts to minimize oxidative reactions and to keep moist

Vitamin E has the potential to promote health and prevent/treat diseases such as: heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. It enhances immunity in the treatment of viral illness (e.g. reduces pain from shingles).

Where can I find vitamin E?

Best sources come from plants: grains, seeds and nuts (especially almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts). Shrimp, sardines, and eggs will give you an E boost, too, as will olives, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, kiwi, avocado and mango. Animal sources are poor sources. Note that over 50% of Vitamin E is lost during refining of grains, nuts and seeds; use cold-pressed vegetable oils, especially extra virgin olive oil. Also, be sure to get your vitamin C-rich foods too – vitamin C helps to recycle vitamin E so it can keep on neutralizing free radicals over and over again. That’s a good thing!

It is best to get your vitamin E via food.

VitE Heart

Now. Try this simple yet tasty smoothie to get a wonderful dose of E.

Simple Smooth-E


1 cup almond milk

2 cups leafy greens (try spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or a combination of these)

1/2 avocado

2 small kiwis, peeled

1 cup frozen mango

Few drops of stevia, if needed, to taste

Sprinkle of sunflower seeds for added E-punch (optional)


Place milk and greens in high-powered blender; whirl until smooth. Add avocado and kiwis; blend. Add frozen mango and blend until creamy-smooth.

Share this one – it’s got some heft. Pour into 2 glasses, and sprinkle sunflower seeds over top, if desired.



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