Vitamin E: 10 Food Sources, Benefits, and Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin E makes us more beautiful, protects us from viruses, and speeds up wound healing. Here are the ten foods with the highest levels of this vitamin. We recommend that you include them in your daily diet

In 1920, American researchers discovered an unusual fact. Laboratory rats that were put on a diet of fresh whole milk stopped producing offspring. A couple of years later, the problem was solved—Herbert Evans and Catherine Scott Bishop added greens to the rodent diet. This is how alpha-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E, was discovered. In Greek, the word “tocopherol” means “bearing birth”: without this compound, all living organisms would lose their reproductive function.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It strengthens hair and nails, improves skin condition and fights early aging. That is why it is often called a “beauty vitamin” and is added to the composition of anti-aging cosmetics.

This is not the only useful properties of tocopherol. In our body, it serves as a shield: it increases immunity, activates tissue regeneration, prevents blood clots, and increases the strength and elasticity of blood vessels. In addition, it helps to absorb vitamins A and D.

vitamin e food sources
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The recommended daily dose of vitamin E for an adult is 15 mg per day. Approximately the same amount is required for pregnant women, and during lactation, the need for tocopherol increases to 17-19 mg per day.

Foods rich in vitamin E

Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil is rich in vitamin E. Especially a lot of it is contained in wheat germ oil: one tablespoon of the product covers 135% of the daily norm of tocopherol. In addition, it lowers cholesterol, normalizes metabolism and strengthens the nervous system.

However, this oil is not recommended for people with cholelithiasis or urolithiasis. Replace it with sunflower or hazelnut oil—add a spoonful of any of them to a salad or sauce to fill a third of the daily requirement for vitamin E.

Almond

This nut can be eaten both in its pure form and added to various dishes. Or try to diversify your diet with alternative milk, butter, or almond flour. 100 g of the product contains 26 mg of tocopherol. It is also a valuable source of omega-3, protein, calcium, and fiber. And the fatty acids included in almonds provide easy and fast absorption of vitamin E.

Nutritionists recommend eating almond kernels along with the brown skin. It contains the highest concentration of antioxidants-flavonoids.

Pine nut

Like almonds, cedar is an excellent source of tocopherol. One handful contains 2.7 mg of vitamin E, which covers the daily requirement by 18%. In addition, these nuts are rich in magnesium and phosphorus: these minerals strengthen bones, provide energy exchange and increase performance.

And cedar has a lot of vitamin A. it is fat-soluble, so it goes well with tocopherol. And yet you should not abuse these nuts: they are high in calories. It is better to add a little cedar to the pasta and porridge.

vitamin e pine nut
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Broccoli

Broccoli is considered one of the best natural detoxifiers. It removes toxins, excess sugar, cholesterol and carcinogens from the body. In addition, broccoli contains a lot of vitamin E: 100 g of vegetables make up for 10% of the daily value of tocopherol.

It can also be consumed raw, but after gentle heat treatment, cabbage becomes even more useful. To fill the body with vitamins, cook broccoli for a couple of no more than 5-10 minutes.

Mango

Not all fruits can boast a high content of vitamin E, but not mangoes. Half of the fruit contains 1.5 mg of tocopherol. This is 10% of the daily norm. Juicy and fragrant tropical fruit can be found in almost any supermarket. When choosing a mango, be sure to pay attention to the condition of the peel. There should be no damage to it. But you should not put pressure on the fruit: because of this, unripe fruits are injured and begin to rot.

Sunflower seed

Only 43 g of sunflower seeds make up for the daily deficiency of vitamin E. Although they do not contain harmful cholesterol, sunflower seeds are almost 80% fat and have a great nutritional value. To get the most out of it, nutritionists recommend taking raw, unpeeled seeds. Without the shell, they are stored worse, and when fried, they lose vitamins and turn into a source of “empty” calories.

Avocado

Supplement your meal with half a medium avocado to compensate for 14% of your daily tocopherol intake and keep you feeling full for a long time. You can add the fruit to a salad, spread it on toast, turn it into a sauce, or make a sweet cream out of it. Or simply cut the avocado in half, remove the stone, drizzle with lemon juice, salt and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Despite the fact that avocado fruits are rich in fat, research shows that their inclusion in the diet allows you to consume fewer calories and contributes to weight loss.

vitamin e avocado
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Peanut butter

Peanut butter is not just a treat, but also a balanced source of energy. The product consists of 25% easily digestible protein and only 20% carbohydrates. This allows you to consume peanut paste during periods of maintaining low-carb diets. It is also rich in tocopherol: 100 g of the product covers 45% of the daily value of the vitamin. By the way, it is not difficult to prepare such a paste yourself: grind the peanuts in a blender for 10-15 minutes. If desired, add salt, honey or dark chocolate.

Atlantic salmon

Salmon is rich in the “youth vitamin”: a 200-gram steak provides 16% of the daily tocopherol requirement. And salmon is one of the leaders in the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Our body can’t synthesize them on its own. When these substances are deficient, the hair becomes dull and dry, and the skin becomes thinner. But keep in mind: salmon is not suitable for frequent consumption. It accumulates toxic substances from the environment. Doctors advise you to eat this fish no more than twice a week.

Bell pepper

Just one medium sweet pepper covers 13% of the daily value of vitamin E. In addition, it contains a daily dose of rare vitamin P, which strengthens the walls of blood vessels. And in terms of ascorbic acid, this vegetable is superior to oranges and lemons.

If you add bell pepper to your daily diet, you can restore the intestinal microflora, reduce blood pressure, and strengthen the immune system. When choosing a vegetable, look carefully at the skin of the fruit. The less damage and dents it has, the better the vitamins are preserved.

vitamin e bell pepper
© POLINA TANKILEVITCH/PEXELS

How to take vitamin E properly

You can get the necessary daily portion of vitamin E without special additives. To some extent, it is found in almost all products, so the risk of its deficiency is reduced to zero. In addition, natural tocopherol is much more effective than its synthetic counterpart. Vitamin E belongs to the group of fat-soluble substances. To speed up and improve its absorption, try to combine low-fat sources of tocopherol (broccoli, bell pepper) with vegetable fats. Just add a tablespoon of oil to the salad.

With a lack of tocopherol, people who have impaired fat absorption may encounter. This phenomenon is observed in cystic fibrosis and liver diseases. In this case, supplementation is recommended to prevent deficiency, but only after consulting a doctor. With a long-term lack of vitamin E, muscle weakness, coordination disorders, visual impairment, and General malaise may occur. According to nutritionists, tocopherol is absorbed even better if you combine it with another antioxidant—vitamin C.

vitamin e food sources
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Expert commentary

Vitamin E is necessary and important: it is involved in many processes in the human body. However, long-term use in high doses can lead to hypervitaminosis. Excess vitamin E is accompanied by headache, dizziness, fatigue, abdominal pain, visual impairment. During pregnancy, vitamin E, like other medications, is used only on the recommendation of a doctor.

In the case of prolonged use of vitamin E, keep in mind the possible effect of the drug on the absorption of other vitamins and trace elements. Vitamin E has been found to increase the bioavailability and digestibility of vitamins a and C, as well as selenium. At the same time, it reduces the absorption of iron, which is especially important for patients suffering from iron deficiency anemia. In addition, people who are being treated with anticoagulants (warfarin) and cytostatics (cyclosporine) should take the vitamin with caution. Tocopherol can affect their action.

Vitamin E is destroyed by sunlight, so you should store food in a place where light does not penetrate. Of all the vitamins, tocopherol is the least sensitive to heat treatment. However, it is desirable to reduce the cooking time and use gentle methods of food processing. For example, steaming, baking in the oven, or stewing. Most of the tocopherol is contained in cold-pressed oils, so it is recommended to add them when preparing salads.

Due to its properties, vitamin E is widely used in cosmetology. It is a part of various cosmetics: serums, oils, creams, emulsions, balms. Tocopherol is a mandatory component of care products for sensitive and irritated skin, shampoos and hair masks, and therapeutic nail polishes. It is no coincidence that it is called the “vitamin of youth”: tocopherol is used in lines of anti-aging cosmetics, as well as in products for the prevention and correction of age-related skin changes.

Vitamin E softens the skin, which increases its elasticity and turgor. It effectively fights pigmentation, so it is often included in the composition of bleaching agents. In addition, tocopherol helps restore the epidermal barrier—it is used for burns, dry skin. Another useful property of this vitamin: it protects the skin from the negative effects of the external environment.

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