20 Vitamin E Foods for Fighting Against Free Radicals
Vitamin E is essential for our health as it has numerous important roles in our body. One of its crucial functions is to protect us from harmful free radicals. The best way to keep the optimal levels of this vitamin in your body is to include vitamin E foods in your eating plan. That’s why we have compiled a list including some of the best sources of this nutrient. In addition to vitamin E, other vitamins are just as important for the normal functioning of our body. Therefore, our team from MedAlertHelp.com has created a comprehensive infographic where you can find in one place information about all 13 vitamins and their roles in our organism.
What Is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin responsible for a number of metabolic processes. It includes a group of eight compounds, but only one form, which is called alpha-tocopherol, is suitable for human needs. Apart from being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E contributes to our immune system and protects our skin from harmful effects. Therefore, it is often used as an ingredient of cosmetic products aimed to nourish our skin, such as a vitamin E cream.
The Uses of Vitamin E
There are numerous health benefits that vitamin E can bring us. Being an antioxidant, it protects our body from free radicals and reduces the damage they cause to our cells. It also shields our body from the adverse effects of environmental factors, such as ultraviolet rays, air pollution, and cigarette smoke. In addition, it maintains our skin healthy by protecting it from sun damage, aging, and inflammation. It is presumed that vitamin E can have a similar effect on hair health, but the importance of vitamin E for hair is still being studied.
A number of studies have been examining the role of vitamin E in the prevention of some serious health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. According to research studying the relationship between vitamin E and coronary artery disease, vitamin E intake can slow down the development of this heart disease. There are also a number of studies about the role of vitamin E in preventing and treating eye disorders. For example, a study from 2015 showed that this vitamin might decrease the risk of age-related cataracts.
Vitamin E Sources
A wide range of foods contain vitamin A. It is especially abundant in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. This vitamin is also added to some food products, such as fortified breakfast cereals. Since it’s best to meet your daily needs of vitamin E through a balanced diet, below, you can find some of the richest sources of this nutrient, which you should try to add to your eating plan.
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat germ oil is an excellent source of vitamin E as one tablespoon contains 100% of your daily value (DV) of this vitamin. Since this oil loses its nutritional benefits when heated, it’s recommended to use it in salad dressings or marinades.
In addition to using pure vitamin E oil as part of your skincare, you should add some rich sources of this vitamin to your diet. For example, one tablespoon of sunflower oil can cover 28% of the recommended daily value of this essential nutrient. Vitamin E is well-known for boosting skin health.
Safflower is another great source of vitamin E since one tablespoon of this oil provides 25% of your DV of this vitamin. You can prepare various dishes with it as it has a neutral taste. Besides using it to grill or stir-fry foods, you can also add it to salad dressings, dips, and sauces.
One tablespoon of corn oil has 10% of your daily value of vitamin E. In addition to being one of the foods with vitamin E, this oil is a great source of good fats. However, consume it in moderation because it is packed with calories.
Soybean oil is not as rich in vitamin E as other types of oils, but it is considered a good source of this vitamin. One tablespoon of soybean oil will provide you with 6% of the recommended daily value of this nutrient. Moreover, it is an amazing source of vitamin K.
Sunflower seeds belong to foods rich in vitamin E. If you eat one ounce of dry roasted sunflower seeds, you will cover 37% of your daily value of this nutrient. Furthermore, they are high in other vitamins, including thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate. Sunflower seeds also have a high content of manganese, copper, and selenium.
A large number of nuts are generally great sources of this vitamin. One ounce of dry roasted almonds can cover 34% of your DV of this important vitamin. They are also a rich source of various minerals, such as manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Hazelnuts also belong to foods high in vitamin E. In one ounce of dry roasted hazelnuts, you will get 22% of the recommended daily value of this vitamin. In addition, these nuts are a great source of thiamin, manganese, and copper.
Although many people believe that peanuts are a type of nuts, they actually belong to legumes. They are a great source of vitamin E since one ounce of dry roasted peanuts can provide you with 11% of your DV of this nutrient. Moreover, they contain various minerals, including manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Sweet potatoes belong to foods that contain vitamin E as one cup of baked potatoes contains 7% of your daily needs of this vitamin. This veggie is also a great source of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, B6, manganese, and potassium.
Spinach is a highly nutritious veggie as it contains a number of vitamins and minerals. Half a cup of boiled spinach will provide you with 10% of the recommended daily value of vitamin E. Furthermore, it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, manganese, magnesium, and iron.
Besides in spinach, vitamin E is also found in other green leafy vegetables, such as turnip greens. In one cup of chopped turnip greens, you will get 14% of your DV of this vitamin. In addition, this veggie is a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin K.
Mangoes are packed with vitamins, so it’s a good idea to add this fruit to your diet. Half a cup of sliced mangoes will give you 4% of your daily value of vitamin E. Moreover, this type of fruit is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
In one cup of avocado cubes, you will get 16% of your daily needs of vitamin E. In addition to eating this healthy fruit, you can use it to make a nourishing hair mask, which you can use instead of vitamin E oil for hair.
Blackberries are another type of fruit that contains vitamin E. One cup of blackberries can cover 8% of your DV of this vitamin. Furthermore, they are an amazing source of vitamin C and vitamin K. When it comes to minerals, they are particularly high in manganese.
Kiwi fruits are loaded with vitamins, so they are a great addition to your eating plan. In one cup of this fruit, you will get 13% of your DV of vitamin E. Moreover, kiwi fruits are great sources of vitamin K and vitamin C.
Cranberries offer a number of health benefits thanks to the nutrients they contain. One cup of cranberries serves 7% of the recommended daily value of vitamin E. Furthermore, they are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese.
Apricots are another type of fruit belonging to vitamin E rich foods. One cup of apricot halves can cover 7% of your daily needs of this nutrient. In addition, they have a high content of vitamin C and vitamin A.
Raspberries are rich in various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E. One cup of these berries has 5% of your daily value of this nutrient. They are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.
Eggs also belong to the sources of vitamin E. However, they are not particularly rich in this vitamin as one large boiled egg can cover 3% of your DV of vitamin E. Nevertheless, they are highly nutritious as they contain vitamin A, riboflavin, and other B vitamins.
Recommended Daily Intake
The recommended daily values for all the nutrients, including vitamin E, are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes, which were developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB). The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamin E are given in milligrams, while the content of this vitamin in foods and supplements is given on labels in international units (IUs), which reflect biological activity. However, this is about to change soon as according to the FDA’s new regulations, labels should list vitamin E only in mg.
Below you can see how much vitamin E you need on a daily basis. You can cover your needs through a balanced diet or by taking a vitamin E supplement as well. The RDAs are different depending on your age.
- From birth to 6 months – 4 mg (6 IU)
- From 7 to 12 months – 5 mg (7.5 IU)
- From 1 to 3 years – 6 mg (9 IU)
- From 4 to 8 years – 7 mg (10.4 IU)
- From 9 to 13 years – 11 mg (16.4 IU)
- 14+ years – 15 mg (22.4 IU)
Women who are breastfeeding should increase their daily intake of vitamin E to 19 mg (28.4 IU).
Vitamin E Deficiency
People are rarely deficient in vitamin E as this type of deficiency is usually related to some health condition. Since this vitamin is fat-soluble, people with fat-malabsorption disorders are at a higher risk of developing a deficiency in this nutrient. Due to low levels of this vitamin, they can experience retinal degeneration leading to blindness. Generally, some of the vitamin E deficiency symptoms are muscle pain or weakness, impaired immune system, and peripheral neuropathy. A healthy diet including various foods is the best way to prevent this nutrient deficiency.
Who Should Take Vitamin E Supplements?
Premature babies may have low levels of vitamin E, so they might benefit from vitamin supplements, which may decrease the risk of some complications. Also, people with Crohn’s disease or cystic fibrosis may have inadequate levels of this vitamin due to their gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, they sometimes need to take supplements of water-soluble vitamin E. In addition, abetalipoproteinemia can lead to a deficiency in vitamin E. This rare inherited disorder is characterized by poor absorption of dietary fat, which is vital for the proper absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin. That’s why people with this disorder may need to take vitamin E capsules. Furthermore, people with ataxia and vitamin E deficiency (AVED) need vitamin supplements as, otherwise, they can lose the ability to walk.
Vitamin E Side Effects
Vitamin E from food can’t cause any adverse effects. On the other hand, a high intake of vitamin supplements may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. In addition, it can cause diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, headaches, and rashes. Therefore, the FNB has provided Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for this nutrient. According to the FNB, the vitamin E dosage for adults shouldn’t exceed 1000 mg per day.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which protects us from the harmful effects of free radicals. In addition, it plays an important role in keeping our immune system strong and healthy. Therefore, it is of great importance to add rich sources of this nutrient to our diet. Fortunately, there is a wide range of foods naturally high in this vitamin. Besides consuming vitamin E from food, we can use vitamin E oil to nourish our skin from the outside as well. Supplemental vitamin E is usually recommended only to people with certain medical conditions as this nutrient deficiency may cause some serious health problems. However, high doses of supplements are also dangerous, so always talk to your doctor before taking them.
How much vitamin E should you take daily?
Vitamin E has numerous health benefits as it is one of the important antioxidants. Therefore, you should consume a sufficient amount of this vitamin. The recommended daily intake for adults is 15 mg or 22.4 IU. It is advised to cover your daily needs of vitamin E through your diet rather than taking supplements. Fortunately, there are a number of rich sources of this important nutrient.
Is vitamin E really bad for you?
Vitamin E is not bad for your health if your intake of this vitamin doesn’t exceed 1,000 mg or 1,500 IU per day. However, high doses of supplemental vitamin E may cause serious adverse effects, such as increasing the risk of hemorrhage stroke. It’s interesting that there is no evidence that foods high in this vitamin can have negative effects on your health. Therefore, if you need to take supplements of this vitamin, always follow the advice of your doctor.
Which foods are high in vitamin E?
There is a variety of foods that are high in vitamin E. Some of the richest sources of this powerful antioxidant are nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. For example, wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, and almonds have a high content of vitamin E. In addition, green leafy vegetables, as well as some fruits, are good sources of this nutrient.
What fruits are high in vitamin E?
There are a number of fruits that contain different amounts of vitamin E. For instance, avocados are a great source of this nutrient. Also, vitamin E is found in various berries, such as blackberries and cranberries. However, fruit is not the best choice for this particular vitamin as other types of food, like vegetable oils, are much higher in vitamin E.
Which vegetables contain vitamin E?
A wide range of vegetables contain vitamin E. Generally, green leafy veggies, such as spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens, and beet greens, are considered great sources of this vitamin. Sweet potatoes and broccoli also have a fair amount of vitamin E.
Do eggs contain vitamin E?
Although eggs are not very high in vitamin E, they contain a small amount of this essential nutrient. Therefore, we can say that they belong to vitamin E foods. If you eat one large boiled egg, you will get 3% of your daily needs of this vitamin.