12 Best Dietary Sources of Vitamin E
Have you ever wondered what the best natural sources of vitamin E in your diet are? It turns out that many foods contain vitamin E (also known as alpha tocopherol), but some are better sources of this vital nutrient than others. Some of the best dietary sources of vitamin E include wheat germ oil, sunflower oil and seeds, almonds, fish roe, and spirulina seaweed, so if you've been eating plenty of these foods, the chances are your vitamin E intake is indeed up to par. An adequate intake of vitamin E from natural foods helps protect your body against free radicals, small molecules that have been linked to many chronic illnesses as well as the aging process. Free radicals are formed as a result of normal metabolic processes, but also things like tobacco smoke, environmental pollutants, poor dietary habits, stress, and the sun's ultraviolet radiation can increase the levels of free radicals in your body.
Aside from acting as a free radical scavenging antioxidant, vitamin E is involved in certain enzymatic activities, gene expression, and inhibition of platelet aggregation. It also plays a role in certain neurological functions and helps fight inflammation.
While anyone can benefit from eating a diet rich in natural sources of vitamin E, this potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient may offer extra benefits for people with specific health goals. For example, vitamin E is thought to be particularly important for people following an anti-allergy diet and for women who are looking to ease menstrual cramps through diet. It is also an important vitamin for those who want to maintain beautiful skin free of premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.
If you think you may not be getting enough vitamin E from your diet at the moment, try eating some of the following foods on a more regular basis – they are considered some of best dietary sources of vitamin E.
Selected Best Sources of Vitamin E
Wheat germ oil. This edible oil is becoming increasingly popular among health food enthusiasts thanks to its high concentration of vital nutrients. In addition to being one of the very best dietary sources of vitamin E (it contains 149 milligrams per 100 grams), it is an excellent source of phytosterols as well as polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fats.
Sunflower oil. While wheat germ oil is the clear winner when it comes to oils that provide vitamin E, sunflower oil has also deserved a place on this list of the best natural sources of vitamin E. This beautiful yellow oil provides 41 milligrams of vitamin E per 100 grams of oil.
Other plant-based oils. There are also many other vegetable and seed oils that supply a hearty helping of vitamin E. These include almond, cotton seed, safflower, rice bran, and grape seed oils (39, 35, 34, 32, and 29 milligrams per 100 grams, respectively). Keep in mind, though, that all oils are loaded with calories, so don't go overboard when using these oils in your recipes.
Sunflower seeds. These mildly nutty seeds are loaded with vitamin E (33 milligrams per 100 grams). As an added benefit, they provide a truckload of dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium. So, plenty of reasons to snack on these super-seeds!
Almonds. In the nut and seed category, almonds are second only to sunflower seeds when it comes to foods rich in vitamin E. Per 100 grams, these little goodies provide a whopping 26 milligrams of vitamin E. For maximum health benefits, opt for almonds that have not been roasted and that contain no added salt.
Other nuts and seeds. In addition to sunflower seeds and almonds, there are some other seeds and nuts that are fairly good sources of vitamin E. These include hazelnuts, pine nuts, and Brazil nuts, which provide 15, 9, and 6 milligrams of vitamin E per 100 grams, respectively. Nuts like walnuts, pecans, and cashews also contain small amounts, but you would have to eat large amounts of these foods to reach the daily reference intake for vitamin E which is set to approximately 20 milligrams of natural alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) for adults
Fish roe. If you're a fan of seafood, you'll be happy to learn that also fish roe – that's the egg masses produced by fish – contains vitamin E. A 100-gram serving of fish roe provides on average about 7 milligrams of vitamin E (or 35 percent of the daily value). And the best thing is, fish roe is rather low in calories, so it's also a good source of vitamin E for those following a low calorie diet.
Paprika powder. Despite the fact that paprika powder is typically only used in small amounts, it can provide your body with quite some vitamin E: just two tablespoons of paprika powder provide a whopping 20 percent of the daily reference amount! For the sake of comparison with other foodstuffs, a 100-gram portion of this nutrient-dense spice provides 30 milligrams (or 149 percent of the daily value) of vitamin E.
Avocado. Did you know that the bright green flesh of the avocado contains substantial amounts of vitamin E? A 100-gram serving – that's about half an avocado – provides 2 milligrams of vitamin E, or 10 percent of the daily reference amount. Also avocado oil, which is pressed from the pulp surrounding the pit within the avocado, is a good source of vitamin E.
Seaweed. Seaweeds, such as spirulina seaweed, are also fairly good sources of vitamin E, although people typically consume seaweed only in small amounts. Spirulina, for example, contains 5 milligrams of vitamin E per 100 grams, which translates into about 1 milligram per 2 tablespoons (or 4 percent of the daily reference value for vitamin E).
Dried apricots. These chewy goodies provide about 4 milligrams of vitamin E per 100 grams. Dried apricots are also a good source of many other vital nutrients, including beta-carotene, iron, potassium, and copper.
Fatty fish. Salmon, tuna, eel, anchovies, and mackerel are also good sources of vitamin E. Raw salmon, for example, contains around 4 milligrams of this important nutrient per 100 grams. This means that eating half a fillet of salmon can provide you a whopping 35 percent of the reference daily intake for vitamin E.
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