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How can I get more vitamin E in my diet?

How can I get more vitamin E in my diet?

If you read the recent article on vitamin E in the Food in the News section of our website, you already know that vitamin E - from foods, not supplements - offers significant protection against breast cancer. The reason that foods containing vitamin E are more beneficial than supplements is that supplements often contain only one vitamin E fraction called alpha tocopherol acetate, while natural vitamin E, as it is found in foods, contains a whole spectrum of fractions that work together synergistically. Test tube studies of breast cancer cells indicate that vitamin E fractions called tocotrienols, specifically the alpha- gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol fractions, and to a lesser extent the delta- and gamma- tocopherol fractions, are the components in vitamin E with potent anti-cancer effects.

Many of vitamin E’s nutrition and health benefits are attributed to its role as an antioxidant. Although humans must breathe oxygen to stay alive, oxygen is a risky substance inside the body because it can become overly reactive. When oxygen-containing molecules become too reactive, they can start damaging structures around them. In chemistry, this imbalanced situation involving oxygen is called oxidative stress. Vitamin E helps prevent oxidative stress by working together with a group of nutrients that prevent oxygen molecules from becoming too reactive. This group of nutrients includes vitamin C, glutathione, selenium, and vitamin B3. As a potent antioxidant, vitamin E is believed to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.

It is clear that eating foods rich in vitamin E can make an important contribution to your health. Fortunately, getting more vitamin E in your diet may be easier than you think. Simply include a few of the following excellent and very good sources of vitamin E into your diet every day: mustard greens, chard, sunflower seeds, broccoli, olives, kale, almonds, and papaya.

Below are several suggestions for meals, side dishes and snacks that are packed with vitamin E.

1. Healthy sauté a mixture of dark leafy greens (mustard greens, chard, and kale and serve as a side dish with any meat, fish or vegetarian entrée.

2. Make a habit of adding sunflower seeds to green salads and hot cereal.

3. Add chopped almonds to baked goods, hot cereal and green salads.

4. Choose almond butter instead of peanut butter for sandwiches and toast. For a delicious and quick snack, stuff celery sticks with almond butter.

5. For a wonderful and unique salsa, mix diced papaya, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and ginger together. Serve atop a seafood entrée.

6. Sprinkle papaya with fresh lime juice and enjoy as is or slice a small papaya lengthwise and fill with fruit salad.

7. Add chopped olives to green salads and pasta sauces, or eat whole as a snack.

8. Eat broccoli several times a week. Steamed broccoli is a wondeful accompaniment to an

entree, and is delicious as part of a stir-fry.

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