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Food & Snack Sources of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a vital compound that is necessary for the human body to grow and develop normally. It is primarily responsible for its role in the metabolic processes within the body as well as its role in keeping the immune system strong. According to the National Institutes of Health ([NIH], 2016a), vitamin E occurs naturally in eight forms, including alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol. Alpha-tocopherol, however, is the only form that is recognized as being able to meet the needs of humans.

Vitamin E Benefits

Free radicals can cause a great deal of damage to the body, potentially contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. As a fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E helps quell the formation of a particular type of the radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are formed by the body when it converts food to usable energy. Vitamin E limits the production of ROS in select circumstances, which researchers believe may potentially help prevent the onset of chronic diseases (NIH, 2016a).

Food Sources of Vitamin E

The list of food sources of vitamin E is long and centers on nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Vegetable oils, such as soybean, safflower and sunflower, as well as nuts and seeds, like peanuts, peanut butter and sunflower seeds, are among the best sources (NIH, 2016b). Just one tablespoon of wheat germ oil, for example, contains 100 percent of the Daily Value for the vitamin – or 20.3 milligrams. Other important sources of vitamin E include fortified cereals and leafy green vegetables; although, most Americans get the bulk of their vitamin E from sources such as vegetable oils like soybean, canola and corn (NIH, 2016a).

Vitamin E Deficiency

A deficiency in vitamin E among Americans is rare. When it does occur, it is often linked to other health conditions, such as diseases that make it difficult for the body to absorb fat. These conditions increase the need for vitamin E such that more of the nutrient must be ingested. Examples of these conditions include cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease.

Vitamin E supplements often contain amounts of this element that are far higher than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). As a result, people who take blood thinners and other types of medications could be harmed by taking supplemental vitamin E. Caution should be exercised and a physician's advice should be sought when considering taking supplements containing the vitamin (NIH, 2016b).

Recommended Recipes

There are many foods that provide vitamin E and, as stated, most Americans face no potential deficiency of the vitamin. As such, we’ve focused on recipes that provide not only this nutrient, but also those that contribute to a well-balanced and complete diet.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

A brilliant way to start the day, this delectable pudding blends potent sources of vitamin E in the forms of almonds and sunflower seeds. It’s also a source of vitamin A and essential minerals like zinc and calcium!
Ingredients: Milk, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, fresh blueberries.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 4 188-gram servings

Spirulina Smoothie

Spirulina Smoothie Recipe

Spirulina and spinach both supply a source of vitamin E in this scrumptious beverage which offers a tart taste and an abundance of other nutrients to make it a healthy choice for anytime.
Ingredients: Spirulina, banana, fresh spinach, apple juice, crushed ice, lemon juice.
Total Time: 2 minutes | Yield: 2 smoothies

Healthy Snack Recommendations

Adding vitamin E to your diet is simple with these scrumptious snacks. Discover delicious sources of the nutrient with the recommendations from our registered dietitian below!

References

National Institutes of Health. (2016a, February 11). Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin E. Retrieved March, 2016, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/

National Institutes of Health. (2016b, January 12). Vitamin E: MedlinePlus. Retrieved March, 2016, from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vitamine.html

United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=11240