As a crucial antioxidant Vitamin E plays an essential role in our diets. But what is vitamin E, and how important is it to your diet?

​Vitamin E Facts

sliced of green fruits

Image via pexels

This nutrient is a fat-soluble group of compounds that work as antioxidants in the body to help the immune system, skin elasticity, and more. It works with your body to aid in the aging process as well.

Antioxidants support the immune system to fight against free radicals that can cause harm to the body.

Also, antioxidants can help the body ward off potential chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease, and even cancers from developing while it keeps blood vessels open and prevents clogging.  

Some signs of vitamin E deficiency in the diet can include muscle numbness, blurry vision, coordination and muscle weakness, nerve damage, and immune-system problems. It can also lead to increased chances of cardiovascular disease as well as an increased chance of infection.

Vitamin E Deficiency

So how do we avoid a deficiency?

The good news is that Vitamin E is found in many of our everyday dietary items, from vegetables, oils, and nuts to specific animal proteins. A typical adult will get enough vitamin E in their diet to meet their needs, but there are certain types of chronic diseases which prevent fat from being absorbed in the body, causing a deficiency.

For example, a person with cystic fibrosis, liver disease or Crohn's disease may have difficulty incorporating enough vitamin E into their diet, as these diseases prevent the body's ability to absorb fat. These are considered rare diseases and should be monitored with a doctor.

One thing to take into consideration regarding your diet and nutrition is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) or Daily Value (DV) for Nutrition as published by the National Institute of Health.

To be safe, think of the RDA as a guideline for the appropriate age and a goal to meet.

How Much Vitamin E Do I Need?

The National Institute of Health recommended amount should follow these guidelines:

Infants and Children

  • 0-6 months: 4mg/day
  • 7-12 months: 5mg/day
  • 1-3 years old: 6mg/day
  • 4-8 years old: 7mg/day
  • 9-13 years of age: 11mg/day

Teens and Adults

  • 14 and older adults (Male/Female): 15mg/day
  • Teens who are pregnant, older women: 15mg/day
  • Breastfeeding teens, older women: 19mg/day

Keep in mind that certain factors like pregnancy, breastfeeding, age, and gender may affect your specific needs.

Basic Food Sources That Provide Vitamin E

orange juice and lemon

Image via pexels

  • Vegetable oils. Wheat germ is the best, but soybean oil and others provide some benefits.
  • Nuts. Peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios,  almonds, and others
  • Certain fruits. Mamey sapote, olives, apricots, and others
  • Some animal proteins. Goose seat and some seafood
  • Green leafy vegetables. Such as spinach or broccoli

Also, some processed foods and juices, margarines and spreads will be enhanced with extra Vitamin E (among others).

Our List Of The 22 Best Vitamin E Foods

We've compiled a list for you, of the best options for you to meet your Daily Value, and have included some food pairing suggestions to help motivate you.

The list is broken down into four categories. The first list includes five oils that you can substitute in your regular cooking.

The second list is snack foods such as nuts that pack a punch. Third, we list seven fruits and vegetables loaded in vitamin E. Finally, we added some choice seafood selections, with food pairings to make a delicious, healthy meal. These are only some of our top suggestions. There are many more for you to consider for a balanced diet.

The Best Vitamin E Foods For You

To begin, one way to increase your vitamin E intact can come from the type of oils you use and cook with. Ones made from nuts offer an incredible amount of the DV for vitamin E. And you can use them to prepare cooked foods or sprinkled over them for flavor.

Top 5 Suggestions Of Oils With Which To Cook

oil in a glass bowl

Image via pexels

  • Wheat germ oil. One tablespoon contains 20mg of Vitamin E which equals over 135 percent Daily Value per serving.  
  • Hazelnut oil. One tablespoon holds over 6mg or 43 percent DV per serving.
  • Sunflower oil. A single tablespoon holds about 5.4mg or 37 percent DV per serving.
  • Others. Safflower (1 tablespoon = 4.6mg, 31 percent), grapeseed oil (1 tablespoon = 3.9mg, 26 percent), canola oil (1 tablespoon = 2.4mg, 16 percent)
  • Almond oil. One tablespoon has 5.3mg of Vitamin E, equals 36 percent DV per serving.
  • Cottonseed oil. One tablespoon carries 4.8mg or 32 percent of DV.

However, if you want to steer clear of certain oils, another suggestion to get your intake of vitamin E is with healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

The benefit of nuts is they are dense with essential nutrients, proteins, and fiber while fruits and vegetables are vitamin and nutrient rich. Per serving size, nuts provide the most amount of vitamin E than any other option.

5 Top Nuts High In Vitamin E

Different kinds of nuts in a wooden spoons

Image via pexels

  • Sunflower seeds. Much like their oil extract, sunflower seeds pack a wallop. One ounce carries 10mg or 66 percent of DV. And when was the last time you ate just one ounce of sunflower seeds?
  • Almonds. One ounce has 7.3mg per serving, equal to 48 percent of DV.
  • Hazelnuts. A single-ounce serving carries 4.3mg or almost 28 percent of DV needed.
  • Pine nuts. One-ounce serving packs 18 percent of DV or 2.7mg per serving.
  • Almond oil. One tablespoon has 5.3mg of Vitamin E, equals 36 percent DV per serving.
  • Others. Brazil =nuts (1 ounce = 1.6mg, 11 percent), pistachios (1 ounce = 0.8mg, 5 percent), pumpkin seeds (1 ounce = 0.6mg, 4 percent).

Another suggestion in our list of 22 Best Vitamin E Foods to consider is certain fruits and green vegetables. While not the best single source for vitamin E, fruits do offer a variety of other benefits and should be an essential part of a balanced diet.

Eat these as is or included as a delicious side dish (more on that later).

7 Top Fruits And Vegetables Packed With Vitamin E (And A Bonus Selection)

Different kinds of fruits and vegetables

Image via pexels

  • Avocado. This superfood packed with fiber, potassium, and monosaturated fatty acids also boast 2.1mgs per serving, roughly half-an avocado, and 14 percent of Daily Value.
  • Red bell pepper (sweet). 1 medium pepper has 1.9mg DV per serving which equals 13 percent. 
  • Mango: This delicious fruit packs a vitamin E punch. 1/2 a mango carries 1.6mg or 10 percent DV.
  • Turnip greens. One cup equals 1.6mg or 10 percent DV per serving.
  • Butternut squash. Half a cup holds 1.3mg or roughly 9 percent.
  • Kiwi fruit. One medium fruit holds the equivalent of 1.0mg or 7 percent of the daily value.
  • Others to consider. Blackberries (half cup, 0.8mg, 6 percent); asparagus (4 spears equals 6 percent); blackcurrants (half a cup) and cranberries (1-ounce dried) roughly 4 percent each.
  • Broccoli. Others to consider. Blackberries (half cup, 0.8mg, 6 percent); asparagus (4 spears equals 6 percent); blackcurrants (half a cup) and cranberries (1-ounce dried) roughly 4 percent each.

Another good source of Vitamin E is from specific animal proteins. Paired with fruits, vegetables and some of the oils we've discussed earlier, offer an incredible amount of vitamin E.

We've compiled a list of some of the tastiest pairings to give your daily value an added boost.

5 Animal Proteins High In Essential Vitamin E

raw of meat in a wooden surface

Image via pexels

  • Abalone. Three ounces of abalone contains 3.4mg (23 percent) of Daily Value. Prepare with light mango butter and pair with asparagus to make an incredibly delicious, healthy meal.
  • Atlantic salmon. Half a filet packs 14 percent of your Daily Value. To make a vitamin-packed meal, consider cooking the salmon with sunflower oil, and top with avocado salsa.
  • Rainbow trout. One whole filet packs 13 percent of your DV. Pair with Fried Rice with pickled carrots and Mustard Greens (8 percent DV) for a power-packed Vitamin E meal.
  • Octopus. Boasting up to 7 percent or 1mg of DV per 3-ounce serving the octopus can be served hot or in a cold cucumber-avocado salad.
  • Lobster: Three ounces of lobster carries 6 percent of your Daily Value. A simple pairing suggestion is a lobster, steamed broccoli, and sauteed mustard greens.

Another way to increase your RDA of vitamin E is to take any of these suggestions and mix them up into any combo you can think.

Sprinkle some canola oil onto spinach and avocado with a handful of sesame seeds and to make a delicious, nutritious salad. Or take crushed pistachios and cover over salmon and fry in sunflower oil.

These are just some of the best ways to boost your vitamin E intake. There are plenty of over-the-counter solutions, such as supplements and processed foods enhanced to increase their nutritional value.

Keep in mind that most of these provide  greater than 100mg and some have been known to offer as much as 400mg per pill, which is well over the 15mg of Vitamin E that is the RDA for a grown adult.

Except in some instances, the threat of vitamin E deficiency is low.

Knowing the benefits and sources of vitamin E will establish a healthy, balanced diet, and can stave off disease, cancers, and heart problems.