As the weather heats up, and we wear less clothing, our thoughts turn to sun protection for our skin.
Whilst it’s important to use a good sunblock, cover up and avoid the hottest part of the day to protect our skin – there are also ways of protecting ourselves from the inside out! And that’s by making sure we are getting enough Vitamin E in our diets.
In this post I am going to look at the healing benefits of Vitamin E, how it’s good for skin health and how to get enough of it through our diets.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in protecting our cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage our cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
They are generated naturally in the body as by-products of various cellular processes, such as metabolism and immune responses. They can also be formed through external sources, such as exposure to environmental pollutants, tobacco smoke, and certain medications.
Whilst our body has mechanisms to neutralise and remove free radicals, an excessive amount or an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant defences can lead to an accumulation of oxidative stress, which is linked to various diseases and ageing.
The good news is, that Vitamin E helps to neutralise these free radicals and protect our cells from damage.
Vitamin E and skin health
Besides its role as an antioxidant, vitamin E also has essential benefits for skin health, helping to improve skin hydration, reduce inflammation, and protect against UV damage. As we get older this becomes even more important to combat premature aging.
Look at any skin care product and you will often find Vitamin E in the ingredients. It’s often used in skincare products to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and to promote a more youthful, radiant complexion.
Yet, we can also improve and protect our skin by getting vitamin E through our diet.
Good food sources of Vitamin E
As a nutritionist and health coach, I always recommend cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, and eating a balanced diet with a variety of plant-based foods, and good quality animal products. Do this and you will be getting most of the vitamins and minerals you need.
To get plenty of vitamin E, ensure you include nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and olive oil in your diet. Good sources include:
- Nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Leafy greens and vegetables such as salad greens, kale and spinach, broccoli and asparagus
- Red peppers
- Mango, kiwi, and berries
- Butternut squash
- Fish and seafood such as trout, shrimp, and octopus
- Vegetable oils such as olive oil
You can also take a good supplement to help ensure that you are getting enough of this important nutrient.
Don’t forget that in addition to getting enough vitamin E in your diet, it’s also essential to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. This means wearing protective clothing, such as hats and long-sleeved shirts, and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Personally, I prefer to use SPF 50. Also, try and avoid sun exposure during the hottest part of the day.
By incorporating vitamin E-rich foods into your diet and taking steps to protect your skin from the sun, you can help protect your cells and improve your skin health.
If you have any questions or concerns about your vitamin E intake or skincare routine, get in touch.