There are eight distinct forms of vitamin E, but researchers believe that only one type, alpha-tocopherol, helps meet human nutritional needs.
Plenty of foods contain vitamin E, which means many people get enough of the vitamin naturally through their diet.
Nuts, seeds, and some oils tend to contain the most vitamin E per serving. Some dark green vegetables, a few fruits, and some types of seafood also contain vitamin E.
Many manufacturers now fortify cereals and meal replacements with vitamin E.
In this article, learn about which foods are high in vitamin E, as well as the health benefits of this essential vitamin.
1. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds make an excellent snack. People can also sprinkle them on yogurt, oatmeal, or salad. A 100-gram (g) serving of sunflower seeds contains 35.17 milligrams (mg) of vitamin E.
Sunflower seeds are packed with a variety of nutrients and can help a person get enough fiber to keep their digestive system healthy. A 100 g serving contains:
- 8.6 g fiber
- 20.78 g protein
- 645 mg potassium
- 325 mg magnesium
- 5 mg zinc
For every 100 g serving of almonds, there is 25.63 mg of vitamin E. People can snack on roasted almonds, add them to cereal and baked goods, or drink almond milk.
Almonds also contain:
- 21.15 g protein
- 12.5 g fiber
- 733 mg potassium
- 270 mg magnesium
Peanuts are a popular snack. There is 4.93 mg of vitamin E in a 100 g serving of dry-roasted peanuts.
People should be sure to buy plain, dry-roasted peanuts rather than those with extra salt and flavorings.
The same size serving also contains:
- 24.35 g protein
- 8.4 g fiber
- 634 mg potassium
- 14.355 mg niacin
4. Some oils
Some oils are very high in vitamin E, although aside from fat and calories, most contain little else in the way of nutrition.
A tablespoon of the following oils contains:
- Wheat germ oil: 20.32 mg vitamin E
- Rice bran oil: 4.39 mg vitamin E
- Grapeseed oil: 3.92 mg vitamin E
- Safflower oil: 4.64 mg vitamin E
A 100g serving of raw spinach contains 2.03 mg of vitamin E.
The same serving also contains:
- 9377 international units (IU) vitamin A
- 28.1 mg vitamin C
- 2.2 g fiber
- 558 mg potassium
7. Swiss chard
Swiss chard is a dark green leafy vegetable that contains 1.89 mg of vitamin E in a 100 g serving.
Like many leafy greens, Swiss chard contains a range of additional nutrients, including:
- 6116 IU vitamin A
- 81 mg magnesium
- 30 mg vitamin C
- 1.80 mg iron
- 379 mg potassium
- 1.6 g fiber
Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant, which means it helps protect the body from free radicals.
Free radicals are highly energetic molecules with an unshared electron. The body produces them naturally during many processes, such as converting food into energy.
Free radicals can also enter the body due to environmental factors, such as pollution, sunlight, or smoke.
Free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which is a process that triggers cellular damage and aging. So far, researchers think oxidative stress and cellular damage plays some role in several conditions, including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- cardiovascular disease
- age-related macular degeneration and cataracts
Researchers think antioxidants, including vitamin E, may help neutralize free radicals and their effects by giving them an electron and making them less reactive.
According to research from 2015, vitamin E can also improve skin health by reducing collagen breakdown and free radical damage in the skin.
Aside from its role as an antioxidant, vitamin E also helps support the immune system.
Also, some research shows that vitamin E may increase the expression of certain enzymes that widen, blood vessels. Wider blood vessels are less likely to develop dangerous blood clots.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, so people should be sure to consume vitamin E-rich foods with a fat to improve absorption.
How much do you need?
The Recommended Dietary Allowance, or RDA, for vitamin E depends on a person’s age:
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect cells from free radical damage.
Getting enough vitamin E may also help reduce the risk of a range of conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive decline.
Research, however, does not support the use of vitamin E supplements to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Food is the best source of vitamin E.
Many foods contain some vitamin E, but nuts, seeds, and some oils tend to have the highest levels. Anyone concerned about their vitamin E levels can speak to a doctor or dietitian about increasing their intake.
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