Vitamin E (Why Fat Is Friendly)
Vitamin E is another extremely essential vitamin to the human body, but very often neglected probably because there isn’t much research on it when comparing it to others such as vitamin C or vitamin B. It is a fat soluble vitamin so we must eat good healthy fats in order to store this much needed nutrient. The body knows how to recycle vitamin E, but like everything else recycling only takes you so far. We need to replace it with food intake. Food sources such as spinach, asparagus, swiss chard, broccoli and kale are wonderful sources of this nutrient but you’ll notice they are vegetables and have no fat. If you eat this in your salads be sure to have some fats with it such as olive oil in your homemade dressing and an avocado on top of the salad and you will be sure to absorb and utilize vitamin E. The olive oil and avocado actually have some vitamin E that we can extract from them so it makes sense to eat salads. Other sources of vitamin E are tomatoes, shrimp and the best of all food sources by far are sunflower seeds. Back to what this nutrient actually is and its role in our body. Similar to the vitamin B complex, the vitamin E family consists of two groups known as tocopherols and tocotrienols. The most well known is alpha tocopherol because it is the most active subunit of the family. However recent research is starting to provide evidence that some of the lesser known ones such as gamma tocopherol may have more potency in regards to human health. The primary role of vitamin E in the human body is to protect our fats from getting oxidized which could cause potential damage to our cells since every cell has a membrane made from fats or lipids. Most importantly it prevents oxidized LDL (low density lipoprotein), which is an important protein needed to transport cholesterol to and from the liver for proper use. Yes I said it, we need LDL. It is not bad! It becomes bad when we have too much of it and not enough HDL(high density lipoprotein) that cleans up the oxidized LDL and not enough vitamin E. Most of America if I had to guess have too little HDL and are not eating or better yet not absorbing enough vitamin E. There is a big stipulation in all of this however. Vitamin E works best when its best friend is in abundance, Selenium, which can be found in fatty fish and Brazil nuts. I don’t know about you, but this is making me want a big salad with dark leafy greens, a homemade olive oil based dressing, sliced avocado, topped with a nice piece of salmon, and sprinkled with some unpasteurized goat cheese and chopped strawberries. Yum!