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E-ssential for Love

Thinking of a good quote on love to start this article in celebration of the month of hearts, I didn’t realize that many of the sayings about the most popular feeling on earth have much to do with the eyes and seeing. Take the following for example: “Love is blind;” “The eyes are the window to the soul;” “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder;” “Love is not looking at each other but looking in the same direction;” and one of my personal favorites, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” All these words of wisdom seem to speak of a universal truth about the relationship that exists between what we see and what we love. It kind of makes you think about how much care we put into our perception of everything around us, both literally and figuratively.

Ever since I was young, I was often told by my elders to eat foods rich in vitamin E to improve my eyesight. Aside from the obvious—not watching too much TV, turning in early, etc.—they frequently told me how a vitamin E rich diet contributes to actually caring for my eyes. Looking back (pun intended), I never knew how true such advice was and how “short-sighted” in terms of the many other benefits of vitamin E to the body. With vitamin E, after all, what you see is just the tip of the iceberg with what you get.

The tip of the iceberg, of course, is how vitamin E improves vision. It has been known to decrease macular degeneration, which is an eye disorder affecting the cells in the retina. When coupled with a healthy dose of vitamin A and C, vitamin E is effective in improving healing and vision especially in people undergoing eye surgery. This way, you’ll be sure to “ACE” any eye exam (sorry, but I just couldn’t help it).

Did you know that Vitamin E is also effective in balancing out cholesterol and hormone levels in your body? Cholesterol oxidation is dangerous to the body, and vitamin E prevents this from happening by acting as a protective antioxidant. This wonder nutrient helps in maintaining a healthy weight and regular menstrual cycle as well by keeping your hormones in check. Speaking of hormones, vitamin E supplements 2-3 days before and after one’s period reduces cramping, anxiety, and cravings related to PMS.

Even when it comes to your hair and skin, vitamin E has its advantages. Because it is a powerful antioxidant, it reduces hair damage from the daily harshness of the environment. Aside from this, vitamin E promotes circulation to the scalp and retains moisture in your skin. Part of its ability to keep your skin looking young and healthy, vitamin E shields you from harmful cigarette smoke and UV radiation, ultimately reducing the risk of acne, eczema, and skin cancer.

Best of all, did you know that this essential vitamin improves physical endurance and muscle strength, the effects of medical treatments, and your chances of fighting Alzheimer’s Disease? By increasing your energy and reducing oxidative stress on your body, vitamin E improves muscle strength. Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin E effectively lessens the harmful effects of medical treatments such as radiation and dialysis. Lastly, when taken with vitamin C, it can decrease the risk of developing several forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

As you can see (again, pun intended), there is definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to vitamin E. And to reinforce the integral connection between our eyes and our hearts, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to take a lovely dose of vitamin E to care for our eyesight (and so much more) because, after all, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”




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