Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage caused by free radicals – substances that can harm organs, tissues, and cells. This fat-soluble vitamin affects several of our organs and systems, helping make sure they function properly and keep us disease-free and healthy. Because it’s fat-soluble, foods that contain some fat are the greatest sources of Vitamin E.
Best Food Sources of Vitamin E
This vitamin is found naturally in foods and is added to several fortified foods. In order to get the recommended daily amounts of vitamin E you should eat a variety of foods including the following:
- Vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, and wheat germ oils are among the greatest sources of vitamin E. Soybean and corn oils also offer some vitamin E.
- Seeds (like sunflower seed) and nuts (such as hazelnuts, peanuts, and, particularly, almonds) are also among the best sources of this vitamin.
- Green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach deliver some vitamin E.
- Food corporations add vitamin E to some fruit juices, breakfast cereals, spreads, margarine, and other foods. Check the product labels in order to find out which ones contain vitamin E.
|Selected Food Sources of Vitamin E 1|
|Wheat germ oil, 1 tablespoon||20.3||100|
|Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 1 ounce||7.4||37|
|Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce||6.8||34|
|Sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon||5.6||28|
|Safflower oil, 1 tablespoon||4.6||25|
|Hazelnuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce||4.3||22|
|Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons||2.9||15|
|Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce||2.2||11|
|Corn oil, 1 tablespoon||1.9||10|
|Spinach, boiled, ½ cup||1.9||10|
|Broccoli, chopped, boiled, ½ cup||1.2||6|
|Soybean oil, 1 tablespoon||1.1||6|
|Kiwifruit, 1 medium||1.1||6|
|Mango, sliced, ½ cup||0.7||4|
|Tomato, raw, 1 medium||0.7||4|
|Spinach, raw, 1 cup||0.6||3|
*DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the FDA to help consumers compare the nutrient content of different foods within the context of a total diet. The DV for vitamin E is 30 IU (approximately 20 mg of natural alpha-tocopherol) for adults and children age 4 and older
Vitamin E Benefits
The health benefits of Vitamin E come from its powerful antioxidant properties. Supplementing and eating Vitamin E rich foods have the following benefits:
- Fights Free Radicals and Prevents Disease
Free radicals fight and break down the healthy cells in the body and this may lead to cancer and heart disease. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that has the ability to fight inflammation and reduce free radical damage, and thus to help to slow aging in the cells and fight off health conditions like heart disease. Research have shown that this vitamin could significantly increase immunity, hence, helping to prevent both serious conditions from forming and common illnesses. 3
- Balances Cholesterol
Studies have found that Vitamin E works as a protective antioxidant which fights cholesterol oxidation 4 5 . This is because vitamin E fights free radical damage in the body that leads to cholesterol oxidation.
- Repairs Damaged Skin
Studies have proven that this vitamin helps to reduce inflammation both on your skin and within your body, helping to maintain youthful and healthy skin 6 . These great antioxidant properties are also beneficial when you are exposed to ultraviolet rays from sunlight or cigarette smoke, protecting against skin cancer.
Consuming vitamin C with vitamin E fights inflammation of the skin after exposure to UV radiation and can be beneficial in decreasing signs of eczema and acne, too. Moreover, vitamin E helps the soothing process in the skin.
- Balances Hormones
This vitamin can help to play an essential role in balancing your and endocrine system, naturally working to help keep the balance of your hormones. Symptoms of a hormone imbalance may include fatigue, anxiety, changes in the skin, urinary tract infection, allergies, weight gain, and PMS.
- Thickens Hair
Since this vitamin is an amazing antioxidant, it helps to reduce environmental damage to the hair. Plus, it promotes circulation to the scalp. You can apply 2-3 drops of Vitamin E oil on the hair, particularly if it is looking dull and dry.
- Helps PMS Symptoms
Consuming a vitamin E supplement 3 days before and 3 days after a menstrual period can reduce the cravings, anxiety, and cramping that are linked to PMS. This vitamin can reduce pain severity and duration, and it can decrease menstrual blood loss.
- Improves Vision
Vitamin E can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration that is a common cause of blindness. Remember, in order for this vitamin to be effective for vision, it should also be consumed with adequate intakes of zinc, beta carotene, and Vitamin C. It has also been found that taking high doses of vitamin A and E daily seems to improve vision and healing in individuals undergoing laser eye surgery. 7
See also: Carrot Juice Plus This Secret Ingredient to Repair Vision (and Prevent Cancer)
- Improves Muscle Strength and Physical Endurance
You can use this vitamin in order to improve your physical endurance since it can increase your energy and decrease the levels of oxidative stress on the muscles after a workout.
Plus, it can also improve your muscle strength. Vitamin E reduces fatigue by promoting blood circulation; it can also nourish your cells and strengthen your capillary walls.
- Improves Effect of Medical Treatment
This vitamin is often used to lessen the harmful effects of medical treatments such as dialysis and radiation. It is also used to decrease unwanted side effects of drugs, which could cause lung damage or hair loss.
- Helps People with Alzheimer’s Disease
Vitamin E can slow down the worsening of functional decline and memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease. It may also delay the need for an assistance or caregiver and loss of independence. Taken along with Vitamin C, can also reduce the risk of developing several types of dementia. 8
Related: A Miracle Drink That Fights Against Alzheimer’s
How much vitamin E do I need?
The recommended daily dose of vitamin E depends on your age. Average recommended intakes per day are stated below in International Units (IU) and in milligrams (mg). Package labels list the dosage of vitamin E in dietary supplements and foods in IU 9 .
|Life Stage||Recommended Amount|
|Birth to 6 months||4 mg (6 IU)|
|Infants 7–12 months||5 mg (7.5 IU)|
|Children 1–3 years||6 mg (9 IU)|
|Children 4–8 years||7 mg (10.4 IU)|
|Children 9–13 years||11 mg (16.4 IU)|
|Teens 14–18 years||15 mg (22.4 IU)|
|Adults||15 mg (22.4 IU)|
|Pregnant teens and women||15 mg (22.4 IU)|
|Breastfeeding teens and women||19 mg (28.4 IU)|
Am I getting enough Vitamin E?
The diets of most people in the U.S. provide less than the recommended daily dose of vitamin E. Nonetheless, healthy persons rarely show some clear signs that they aren’t getting enough vitamin E.
What happens if I don’t get enough vitamin E?
Vitamin E deficiency is really rare in healthy persons. It’s almost always related to some diseases where fat isn’t properly absorbed or digested. Examples include cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, and some very rare genetic diseases such as ataxia and abetalipoproteinemia with deficiency of vitamin E. This vitamin requests some fat in order to be absorbed from the digestive system.
Vitamin E deficiency could cause muscle and nerve damage that results in weakened immune system, loss of feeling in the legs and arms, vision problems, muscle weakness, and loss of body movement control.
Consuming Vitamin E in foods isn’t risky or harmful. Though, high amounts of Vitamin E supplements may increase the risk for bleeding and severe bleeding in the brain.
High doses of Vitamin E could also increase the risk of birth defects.
Low intake of Vitamin E could lead to hemolytic anemia.
Are there any interactions with vitamin E that I should know about?
Vitamin E dietary supplements may interfere or interact with certain medications that you take. Here are some instances:
- Vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding in people taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant medicines, like warfarin.
- In one research, vitamin E along with other antioxidants (such as beta-carotene, selenium, and vitamin C) reduced the heart-protective effect of 2 drugs taken in combination (a niacin and statin) to affect levels of blood cholesterol.
- Taking antioxidant supplement while undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer may alter the effectiveness of these treatments.
Tell your GP about any medicines and dietary supplements you take in order to tell you if those dietary supplements can interact or interfere with your over-the-counter medicines or prescription, or if the medications might interfere with how your body uses, absorbs, or breaks down certain nutrients.
Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie Rich in Vitamin E
This smoothie recipe is one of my favorite smoothies because you can consume it every season it tastes delicious! You can avoid sweeteners and fillers like cane sugar by making your own nut milk at home that make for completely divine tasting, dense and creamy smoothies like this Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie that is rich in Vitamin E.
You can toss some spinach or broccoli in here and easily mask the flavor with the rich tones of chocolate and hazelnut, and a nutty accent from the seeds. Prepare the smoothie and enjoy this nourishing powerhouse for breakfast!
- A cup of hazelnuts soaked overnight and rinsed
- 3-4 cups spring or filtered water
- a pinch of sea or Himalayan salt
- a pinch of vanilla bean
Once the nuts have soaked overnight, clean them off methodically and blend with the vanilla bean and water. Next, sieve through a mesh nut milk bag. In the end, store in a glass jar for about 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also add 1-2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup for sweetener if you want.
Chocolate Hazelnut Smoothie
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 banana
- 2 tbsp. cacao
- 1 tbsp. hemp oil or hemp seeds (or both)
- 1 tsp. maca powder (optional)
- 1 to 2 cups of hazelnut milk
- 1 cup broccoli or spinach (or some other green veggie)
Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Serve and enjoy your daily dose of Vitamin E.
Numerous foods offer vitamin E. Vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts are among the best sources of alpha-tocopherol, and great amounts are available in fortified cereals and green leafy vegetables.
Most Americans get vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol from corn, canola, soybean, and other food products and vegetable oils. This vitamin has a great role for treating many health conditions, can improve the function of your immune system, and make your skin and hair look healthy and nourished.
You can consume this vitamin through foods or in supplement form. Vitamin E is used for healing vitamin E deficiency that is an actually rare condition but can occur in individuals with certain genetic disorders and in really low-weight premature infants.