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Foods Containing Vitamin E

Do we need to consume supplements of this vitamin or can we take all we need through natural foods containing Vitamin E? If you are eating the right amount of foods with Vitamin E, you may be filling up your dietary needs and this may be sufficient. Also, it was reported that if you have enough vitamin E and your levels of oxidative stress are low, then you probably do not need as much vitamin E. Why take Vitamin E supplements then? Oxidative stress caused by daily activities, habits and environmental factors including pollution, sun exposure, strenuous exercise and cigarette smoking could increase your dietary requirements.

What are good sources of this vitamin? Vitamin E can be sourced from foods such as almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, wheat germ, corn, asparagus, whole grains, fish, cereal, olives, liver, vegetable oils, margarine and leafy green vegetables like spinach. There seems to be no problem with eating plenty of foods rich with Vitamin E. The table below lists some food sources of vitamin E.

Selected Foods with vitamin E

FOOD Milligrams (mg)
Alpha-tocopherol
per serving
Approx.
Daily Values*
(Percent)
Tomato products, canned, paste, without salt added, 262 g 1 cup 11.27 57
Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, dry roasted, with salt added, 32g- 1/4 cup 8.35 42
Nuts, almonds 28.35g- 1 oz (24 nuts) 7.43 37
Sauce, pasta, spaghetti/marinara, ready-to-serve, 250 g- 1 cup 6.00 30
Oil, vegetable, sunflower, linoleic, (approx. 65%), 13.6 g- 1 tbsp 5.59 28
Nuts, hazelnuts or filberts 28.35 g- 1 oz 4.26 21
Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt, 180 g- 1 cup 3.74 19
Cereals ready-to-eat, QUAKER, QUAKER toasted Oatmeal Cereal, Honey Nut, 49g- 1 cup 3.23 16
Nuts, mixed nuts, dry roasted, with peanuts, with salt added 28.35 g – 1 oz 3.10 15
Fish, rockfish, Pacific, mixed species, cooked, dry heat, 149 g-1 fillet 2.32 12
Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt, 156 g- 1 cup 2.26 11
Sweet potato, canned, syrup pack, drained solids 196 g – 1 cup 2.25 11
Papayas, raw 304 g- 1 papaya 2.22 11
Oil, olive, salad or cooking, 13.5 g- 1 tbsp 1.94 10
Lettuce, iceberg (includes crisp head types), raw 539g- 1 head 0.97 5

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Database

DVs (Daily Values) refer to dietary reference term that appears on the food label. This was developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to aid consumers determine how much of a specific nutrient the food contains. Some food labels however, do not list a food’s vitamin E content. The DV or recommended daily intakes for Vitamin E is 30 IU ( International Units) which is about 20 mg of alpha-tocopherol. One (1) mg of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E is equivalent to about 1.49 IU.

As listed on the table, the percent DV indicates the percentage of the daily value that is provided for that particular food serving. Foods that contain 5% of the DV or less is considered to be a low source for the vitamin while foods that provide 10-19% of the DV is a good source.