Vitamin E: A Micro Nutrient with 'Macro' Benefits!

When I started Medical School more than ten years ago, one of the first things they taught us in Biochemistry was nutrition. And in nutrition, one term that caught my fancy was Micro Nutrient

So what is a micro nutrient? Also, what is a trace element?
Are both the same?
Micro simply means 'small' or rather, here it would mean a 'small quantity'. A micro nutrient is a component of our diet that is required in small amounts, i. e the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is a very small quantity compared to other ingredients. Micro nutrients include vitamins, and trace elements include micro minerals such as Zinc, Iron, Selenium, etc. (the list is quite long).

Now, when you talk about vitamins, anyone will tell you that carrots will give you Vitamin A, or sunlight will make your bones strong. But Vitamin E? Eh, there's something called Vitamin E? Woh kya cheez hai! 
Happiness on my plate: Mangoes & Eggs, rich sources of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a baby micro nutrient, needed for a wide range of functions in our body. 
The data on how much Vitamin E is needed is quite limited. For Indians, the RDA is given by the ICMR guidelines (ICMR = Indian Council for Medical Research).

Where can you get Vitamin E from?
Fortunately, not tasteless stuff that you'll be forced to eat. In fact, some of the yummiest foods contain Vitamin E- mangoes, almonds, broccoli, papaya, peanuts etc. Also, sunflower oil, wheatgerm oil are rich sources of vitamin E. Besides, no one ever complained of too much of Palak Paneer ever, did they? For those who like fancy stuff, you have parsley, kiwi fruit, hazelnuts, apricots, etc.
Soak almonds overnight to make the nutrients more accessible and digestible by the body.

Almonds from the beautiful Kashmir valley (2014)

Why do we need this vitamin in our daily diet? 
For an all-round healthy functioning. It makes your skin glow (it really does- my personal experience!), it makes your hair shine. Are these not reasons enough?
On a more serious note, vitamin E is required for many important processes. It is an important antioxidant, which means it protects each cell of our body from the damage caused by daily wear and tear. It protects cells from ageing, meaning you continue to feel (and look) younger. With the rising stats of infertility, research has shown Vitamin E supplements positively affect sperm health and cervical mucous health, which simply means supplementation with Vitamin E makes it more likely for someone to conceive. Also, it is very effective in those women who have pre-menstrual heaviness/pain in the breasts ( I personally know someone who takes the very same brand, #Evion, for this indication). It prevents platelets from clumping together, meaning it protects against clot formation in our blood vessels.

Steaming hot, clear soup with broccoli to beat the Exam stress (2015)
Broccoli is a good source of Vitamin E

How has it helped me?
I do feel more fitter and energetic since I regularly started eating soaked nuts on an empty stomach each morning. I've been told my skin looks and feels softer! Or maybe, it is the Vitamin E night cream that I've been using since a year. I don't really know how effective topical application of Vitamin E is, but it sure seems to be working.

Why supplements?
Too busy to remember to soak almonds overnight? Is your schedule too hectic to germinate wheat at home and then get it's oil out? (Because you want to have it in the most organic way possible) And who really cooks with palm oil? Well, then you could make Vitamin E supplements like #Evion  a part of your diet. 

One would tend to think that since a small quantity of these substances is needed anyway, skipping it may not really matter. However, this is FAR from true!
Micronutrients are akin to atom bombs- make a huge impact on our health and well being with their inconspicuous presence in our system. 

This post is a part of the My Vitamin E Mantra Contest
#Evion #EvionSupplements

Bonus Picture: Some really awesome Khubaani ka Meetha from Hyderabad.
Apricots are great sources of Vitamin E.


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