THE E WORD
After the age of 30, our immune functions start to become weak. A person leading a sedentary lifestyle, irregular eating timings, regular restaurant meals, exposure to pollution and pesticides accelerates the aging process. These factors stress your body which stimulates the release of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with a missing electron which promote cellular damage. These free radicals age us from within and the toxins we breathe in damage our body. When this happens, our immune system deteriorates and there is a decline in the number of white blood cells which fight infections.
Whether you are disease prone or not depends upon your immunity levels. The amazing thing is that so much of this damage can be controlled and reversed too. But we do not have to overlook the damage happening in the initial place.
Intake of certain vitamins will help you to fend off the anti-ageing attack. The role of Vitamin E is crucial in the fight against the free radical attack. Vitamin E is a super antioxidant. Growing old causes our arteries to harden and clog and cause arteriosclerosis. The bad LDL cholesterol gets oxidized by free radicals and enters the arterial wall and forms plaque which clogs the arteries. It blocks the oxidation of the LDL and thus protects it from entering the arterial wall and prevents clogging and narrowing of the arteries. It also helps to rev up the immunity and infection fighting capacity of the body. It prevents the fat in the body from being oxidized by the free radicals. It reduces the risk of cancer. It can slow down the development of cataract.
How much of Vitamins to take: You need a minimum dose of 100 mg vitamin E to get some sort of protection against heart disease. But 400 mg is what is generally prescribed by doctors. However, a person on anti-coagulants should check with their health care practitioner before taking Vitamin E supplements. It’s important to know that there is no toxic effect of large vitamin E dosage (except people with a heart condition) yet it’s always good to ensure that your intake is in moderate quantities.
Natural sources of Vit E: Since it is fat soluble & comes mainly from plants, its concentrated in vegetable oil, groundnuts, almonds, soya beans, wheat germ, cashew nuts, seeds, olives and green leafy vegetables. Cook your food in oils rich in corn, sunflower or soybean. It’s usually good to have it in pill form rather than natural sources as one would have to eat 2 to 3 cups of peanuts daily to get the requisite dosage. The caloric value of the diet too would become high then which is not recommended.
Vitamin E is the wonder cure for ageing and ailing skin too. It protects the body tissue from the damage of oxidation. A diet rich in this vitamin contributes to keeping the skin supple and glowing. It decreases pigmentation in the skin with good results.
Along with this vitamin, other vitamins like A and C too help in building a good immunity and fighting off infections. Vitamin E in fact enhances the activity of Vitamin A.
We should also follow good food habits, to keep ourselves healthy, such as:
- Shun foods that are easily oxidized like all fried foods, high fat meats, cakes etc. By feeding your body cells with antioxidants, one can easily slow down ageing and have good immunity levels.
- Drink wheat grass juice. The young leaves of wheat grass are a good source of nutrients. They are rich in chlorophyll, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, beta – carotene and a host of other nutrients which help to boost immunity.
- Sunlight – The ultra violet rays from the sun help to fight infection and fungal diseases. 20 mins per day seem to be beneficial amount. It’s a booster for body’s immunity and helps fight bacterial and viral infections.
So, Stay healthy and always stress on the E!!!