Youthful and flawless skin, healthy immune system, enhanced metabolism.. All these can be acquired with sufficient amounts of Vitamin E in the body. Are you aware of the importance, functioning and the best food sources of vitamin E? Even if your answer is no, you can delve into reading them through the post.
Vitamin E is a collective name of eight fat-soluble vitamins with distinct antioxidant properties. The naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms- alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol. Alpha tocopherol is the only form of vitamin E that is recognized to meet the human requirements.
Functions of Vitamin E:
- It plays a vital role in preventing oxidative damage and fighting off a variety of degenerative health conditions.
- It helps to maintain the circulatory system, improve healing ability and decrease the premenstrual syndrome in women.
- Vitamin E is also required for maintaining a healthy and youthful skin.
- Scientists have claimed Vitamin E’s role in preventing degenerative mental imbalances like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly.
- The nutrient is also required for the overall maintenance of a healthy immune system.
- It is also involved in the cell signaling, regulation of gene expression and other metabolic activities.
- Adequate amounts of vitamin E protect the body from cancer, heart diseases and age related macular degeneration.
Deficiency of Vitamin E:
Vitamin E deficiency is quite rare. Premature babies of low birth weight are more likely to be deficient in vitamin E. Vitamin E supplements can reduce the risk of infections and retinal damage in these babies.
A major deficiency in vitamin E can cause severe damage to the health. Some common health risks associated with low levels of vitamin E are:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Impaired immune response
- Skeletal myopathy
- Poor transmission of nerve impulses
- Muscle weakness
- Night blindness
- Nerve damage
- Inability to walk
- Reproduction related disorders
Conversely, excess consumption of vitamin E foods can lead to bleeding and hemorrhage. It can also lead to vitamin E toxicity due to its fat-soluble nature.
Recommended Daily Allowance:
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin E and all the nutrients are provided by Dietary Reference Intake and are developed by the Food and Nutrition Board.
|Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol) |
|0–6 months*||4 mg|
|7–12 months*||5 mg|
|1–3 years||6 mg|
|4–8 years||7 mg|
|9–13 years||11 mg|
|14+ years||15 mg|
*Adequate Intake (AI)
Top 20 Vitamin E Food Sources:
It is highly possible to get the required amount of vitamin E by eating a diet rich in nuts, oil and seeds. Significant amounts of vitamin E are also found in green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals. It is also available in the form of a dietary supplement. Here is a list of 20 vitamin E rich foods to help you meet your daily value of vitamin E.
Tofu is a vegetarian food created by curdling soymilk. It comes in a variety of textures like soft and silken. Tofu is one of the amazing sources of vitamin E. 100 grams of tofu provides 5.3 milligrams of vitamin E, around 25% of the daily value. This creamy textured food is extremely versatile and can be used in various savory and sweet dishes.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables:
The green leafy vegetables are not just used for garnishing the salads, but are extremely nutritious as well. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard, collard, turnip greens and kale are some of the best sources of vitamin E. 100 grams serving of spinach can help you meet 10% of the daily value of vitamin E. Swiss chard provides 16% and turnip greens provide 13% of the daily value. Kale and collard are moderate sources of vitamin E and contribute 8% and 5% of the daily value respectively. One serving of mustard greens provides 1.13 milligrams of vitamin E. Besides vitamin E, green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidant and vitamin A as well.
Nuts make a quick and healthy on-the-go snack. Nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachio, walnuts and pecans are renowned sources of vitamin E. Almonds are the richest source of vitamin E, with 1 cup serving providing 37.5 milligrams of this essential nutrient. Hazelnut ranks second with a per ounce serving providing 21% of the daily value. Pistachio, pecan and walnuts provide 2% of the daily value of vitamin E. Peanut butter is also a good source of vitamin E, with 2 tablespoons of it providing 2.5 milligrams of vitamin E. Nuts also contain protein, vitamin A, calcium and phosphorus. The nuts will be a great addition to your salads and pasta dishes. However, nuts are high in calories, so enjoy them in moderation.
Seeds contain all the essential vitamins and mineral our body depends upon for proper functioning. They are known for their high vitamin E content. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E. A 100 grams serving provides 36.6 milligrams of vitamin E, amounting 176% of the daily value. Other seeds high in protein are pumpkin, squash, and sesame seeds. Both the seeds provide 3% of the daily value of vitamin E. Sunflower oil is a good source of vitamin E too. One ounce serving provides 5.6 milligrams of vitamin E and 120 calories.
Avocado is one of the tastiest sources of vitamin E. A 100 grams serving of this tasty and creamy fruit contributes 4.1 milligrams of vitamin E and 250 calories. It is also high in B complex vitamins, vitamin C, K and several essential minerals. Avocados are extremely versatile. Add a slice of avocado to your salad or sandwich or mash it to prepare a delicious dip. Alternatively, apply mashed avocado paste to your skin to make it fresh and glowing.
Seafood like shellfish, oysters and fishes are good sources of vitamin E. 100 grams of shrimp provide 11% of the daily value of vitamin E. Oysters, on the other hand, provide 7% of the daily value of vitamin E. Rainbow trout is the best source of vitamin E out of all the fishes. Swordfish contains 10% and herring and smoked salmon provide 6% of your daily need of vitamin E.
7. Plant Oil:
Plant oil is generally avoided due to its high saturated fat content. However, you might need to include it if you are deficient in vitamin E. Plant oils like olive, wheat germ, sunflower, canola and corn oil are good sources of vitamin E. Olive oil is the best source of vitamin E amongst all plant oils. A 100 grams serving provides 69% of the daily value of vitamin E. One tablespoon of corn oil offers 4.8 milligrams of vitamin E and wheat germ oil provides 2.3 milligrams. Grape seed oil is not far behind, with one ounce serving providing 19% of the daily value of vitamin E. Wheat germ oil will make an excellent topping for hot cereals. You can also use vegetable oil to caramelize vegetable and fruits. It is recommended to keep the oil away from sunlight to keep them fresh for longer. Purchase oil that is cold pressed, unrefined and organic.
Broccoli is considered as one of the best detox foods. This nutrient dense vegetable is a source of vitamin E as well. A 100 grams serving of this cruciferous vegetable provides 1.5 milligrams of vitamin E. It is a low calorie vegetable and contains just 54 calories per cup. Add broccoli to your soup, salads or cook as a side dish to enjoy its amazing health benefits.
Pumpkin and butternut squash are also good sources of vitamin E. 100 grams of cooked butter squash provides 6% and pumpkin provides 9% of the daily value of vitamin E. You can enjoy squash in various ways like roasted, steamed, baked and cooked in a curry. It also provides the body with essential vitamin A, C, fiber, manganese and potassium.
10. Sweet Potato:
Sweet potato is one of the healthiest foods to include in your daily diet. It is a good source of vitamin E. 1 cup of cooked, mash sweet potato offers 15% of the daily value of vitamin E. The other nutrients contained within sweet potatoes are vitamin A, C, manganese, copper and iron.
Fortified, ready to eat cereals can give you 6 to 12 milligrams of vitamin E per serving. The variety of flavors and options available in the market make it easier to find the fortified cereals of every taste. You can also try the gluten free varieties. Pair the cereals with whole or skimmed milk for a power packed breakfast.
12. Chili Powder:
Chili powder is great for adding flavor and essential nutrients to your favorite dishes. One tablespoon of this fiery spice contains 1.50 milligrams of vitamin, contributing 7% of the daily value of vitamin E to your body. The impressive vitamin E content in chili powder helps to keep the skin in an excellent condition too.
The fuzzy, egg shaped fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. It provides 1.1 milligrams of vitamin E per fruit. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber too, all with just 46 calories. So incorporate more of kiwi fruits in your diet, especially of you are lacking in vitamin E.
14. Dried Apricots:
Dried apricots are a healthy and hassle free snacking option. A cup of dried apricots provides a little over 5 milligrams of vitamin E, or 27% of the daily value. Add some dried apricots to your breakfast cereals to increase the vitamin E levels in the body.
15. Dried Herbs:
Dried herbs are nutritional powerhouses. They are usually used as a flavoring agent, but can help you get nutrients like vitamin B, C, K, iron, phosphorus and vitamin E as well. 1 tablespoon serving of herbs like parsley, oregano and dried basil provides 1 % of the daily value of vitamin E and just 5 calories. Add a teaspoon of dried herbs to your meal every day to enjoy many of their health benefits.
16. Bell Peppers:
Bell peppers come in several colors with varying amounts of nutrients. A medium sized red bell pepper provides 1.90 milligrams of vitamin E, while green and yellow bell peppers offer slightly lower amounts of vitamin E. So, start enjoying the bell peppers to give your body a nutrient boost.
17. Green Olives:
Olives are delicious and nutritious food. This exotic vegetable provides a number of health benefits, which include providing the body with high levels of vitamin E. A 100 grams serving of olive provides 18% of the daily value of vitamin E. Olives contain a high level of monounsaturated fatty acids that promote digestive and cardiovascular health. So, make sure you include this vegetable in your healthy and balanced diet.
This tropical fruit is best known for its high concentrations of vitamin A, C and E content. One medium sized papaya can give you 17% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin E. Add some fresh papaya to your smoothies, fruit salad and yogurt along with other vitamin E rich foods for a nutritional treat.
Fresh and juicy tomatoes contain an impressive list of nutrients. A quarter cup of tomato paste offers 2.8 milligrams of vitamin E, around one-fifth of the daily value. Besides, tomato also rewards the body with vitamin A and C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and lycopene, a potent antioxidant. Add this versatile vegetable to your salad, pizza, soup, sandwiches, sauce and eggs to enhance their flavor and nutritive value.
This colorful, tropical fruit is a nutritional powerhouse. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including vitamin E. An average sized mango provides 2.32 milligrams of vitamin E, enough to help you meet 11% of your daily needs. This delicious fruit is a good source of vitamin A, C, copper and potassium as well.
These are just a few of several vitamin E rich foods. Now think about the attractive and creative ways to transform your meals with these foods. Remember, the benefits of vitamin E can reduce greatly by cooking or storing the foods. So make sure you eat the proper vitamin E rich foods in fresh and natural forms as much as possible. Feel free to share your feedback with us if any.