When we think about nutrients and vitamins that are good for our brain, we tend to focus on omega-3s. But, we shouldn't overlook other vitamins and minerals that can help boost our brain power. One vitamin that has benefits for the brain is vitamin E. Below, we explore the benefits of vitamin E and foods high in vitamin E.
Benefits of Vitamin E
- Antioxidant: as a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E protects cells in the body from damage from free radicals. Free radicals are thought to be mediators of oxidative stress, high levels of which can increase risk of Alzheimer's and cognitive decline.
- Low levels linked to poor cognitive functioning. Previous research has shown that low levels of vitamin E are associated with poor cognitive functioning, meaning that vitamin E can play a crucial role in how the brain functions.
- Low levels found in those with Alzheimer's. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin E were found in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimer's. As vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects from free radicals, vitamin E is thought to protect neurons in the brain from the oxidative stress that can lead to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's.
Foods High in Vitamin E
The best way to make sure you're getting your daily dose of vitamins is through a healthy and balanced diet. Below are foods that are high in vitamin E:
- Leafy green vegetables
While a healthy, balanced diet rich in brain-boosting nutrients is important, it's key to remember that exercise, sleep and an overall healthy diet are all important to health and well-being. We all know that exercise can boost our mood (love those endorphins!), and it has been shown to improve cognitive functioning. Similarly, sleep is key to a healthy, functioning brain (sleep deprivation has been found to cause cognitive impairment similar to intoxication). In addition to a well-balanced diet, it's important to prioritize whole foods and limit processed foods.