When it comes to eating for brain health, the focus tends to land on omega-3s. While it’s true that the fatty acids are 100 percent linked to boosting cognitive health, some psychiatrists are rightfully pointing out that a lot of people are forgetting another nutrient that’s good for your brain, in a major way: vitamin E.
As put forth by Dr. Drew Ramsey, a psychiatrist at Columbia University: “Vitamin E is a firefighter. Every second, thousands of “fires” erupt on the surface of your cells, and the dedicated job of vitamin E is to put those fires out”. “Your brain is particularly vulnerable to fires because it contains high concentrations of omega-3 fats, and these fats are very easy to oxidize.”
According to Dr. Ramsey, 96 percent of people don’t eat enough foods with vitamin E to reach a recommended 15 milligrams daily. Not getting enough can not only lead to impaired cognitive function, but it is also linked to depression. The good news is, there are a lot of choices full of the nutrient.
What are the top foods with vitamin E?
Avocado is unbelievable, as it contains both healthy fats and vitamin E. One cup of sliced avocado has 21 percent of the vitamin E daily requirement.
- Sunflower seeds
Adding a mere one-fourth of a cup of sunflower seeds to your salad has 7.4 milligrams of vitamin E. This is 37 % of what you need for the whole day.
According to the US National Institute of Health, almonds and hazelnuts in particular are good sources of vitamin E, with 6.8 milligrams and 4.3 milligrams, respectively. Like avocado, nuts are also a good source of healthy fat, so incorporating them into your diet benefits your brain in more ways than one.
Broccoli is a vegetable rich in vitamin E, with 1.6 milligrams per serving, or 6 percent of the daily requirement. Adding a cup of broccoli to your next salad will help increase fiber intake as well.
One serving of spinach has 3 percent of the recommended daily requirement. As you may have noticed, spinach goes well with almost all of the foods suggested above; that’s pretty cool, I think.
- Olive Oil
This Mediterranean diet staple is full of vitamin E – 13 percent of the recommended daily intake in one serving. Drizzle a tablespoon on top of your salad, fish, or eggs for a nutrient-rich meal.
That’s it for now; se you all the next time.