Vegan Vitamin E Foods
Vitamin E is a term for eight different compounds, which are further divided into two groups: tocopherols and tocotrienols. All eight compounds are abundantly present in plant-based foods, but in varying amounts.
Among the eight compounds, alpha-tocopherol exhibits the highest activity in the body 1. The other seven compounds obtained through diet are selectively broken down and excreted more than alpha-tocopherol. Therefore, alpha-tocopherol primarily contributes to meeting the daily requirement of vitamin E 2.
Tocopherols are found in oily residues of plants 3. For this reason, most foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids also contain a relatively high amount of vitamin E 4. Therefore, the highest levels of vitamin E are also found in nuts, seeds, and plant oils.
Compared to light, in the presence of acids, and at room temperature, vitamin E is relatively stable 5. Therefore, vitamin E-rich foods do not necessarily need to be refrigerated. Nevertheless, prolonged storage of these foods should be avoided as vitamin E levels decrease at higher temperatures. Vitamin E is relatively resistant to heat 6. Vitamin E also remains active in frozen foods 7.
In this context, the heat stability of vitamin E was investigated with respect to ground barley. The destruction of vitamin E was time and temperature-dependent 8. At room temperature, the vitamin E content decreased by 5% per week.
For the table of vitamin E-rich foods, click here.
We have compiled below a selection of foods rich in vitamin E that should be regularly consumed as part of a healthy diet, as they are plant-based or vegan foods high in vitamin E.
Oil is rich in Vitamin E
Plant oils are an excellent source of naturally occurring vitamin E. It is not surprising that approximately 60% of daily vitamin E intake comes from plant oils 9.
So, wheat germ oil (149.4 mg per 100 g), sunflower oil (53.9 mg), hazelnut oil (47.2 mg), rapeseed oil (45.84 mg), cottonseed oil (35.3 mg), flaxseed oil (33.19 mg), safflower oil (34.1 mg), olive oil (15.29 mg), corn oil (14.3 mg), and coconut oil (3.8 mg) contain a significant amount of vitamin E. Hemp oil also contains vitamin E, with levels ranging from 80 to 110 mg per 100 g. 10.
Nevertheless, in a vegan diet, especially sunflower oil and safflower oil should be avoided due to their "poor" omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Vegans generally consume significantly more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids, which, according to studies, can have negative health consequences (more information here).
The following table shows which oils contain vitamin E.
Nuts and Seeds
Since nuts and seeds are rich in fatty acids, they also contain a lot of natural vitamin E. Pumpkin seeds (37.81 mg), sunflower seeds (36.74 mg), flaxseeds (20.61 mg), and poppy seeds (19.4 mg) are very good sources of vitamin E in this group.
Other vitamin E-rich foods include pecans (26.7 mg), almonds (26.57 mg), walnuts (23.57 mg), pine nuts (21.17 mg), Brazil nuts (16.02 mg), hazelnuts (15.36 mg), and cashew nuts (6.9 mg). Additionally, roasted pistachios contain a significant amount of vitamin E, with 29.78 mg.
Herbs and Spices
Chili powder and paprika powder are very high in vitamin E, with 47.74 mg and 37.28 mg per 100 g, respectively. Dried herbs like oregano (4.36 mg), basil (11.47 mg), parsley (10.51 mg), and thyme (7.48 mg) can also contribute to meeting the daily requirement of vitamin E. Ground turmeric and ginger powder, as part of a healthy diet, have a higher content of Vitamin E, with 5.33 mg and 3.01 mg, respectively.
In addition, matcha green tea powder is also rich in vitamin E.
Grains are relatively low in vitamin E. For example, spelt contains only 3.1 mg and brown rice contains 1.16 mg of vitamin E per 100 g.
In contrast, sprouted grains are extremely rich in vitamin E. Wheat germ, for instance, contains 11.96 mg of vitamin E per 100 g.
In addition, pseudo grains such as quinoa (7.42 mg) and amaranth (3.8 mg) are good sources of vitamin E.
To view a list of grains and grain products that contain vitamin E, click here.
Legumes rich in vitamin E include peanuts (8.33 mg), lentils (4.72 mg), and green peas (1.1 mg). Since legumes, except for peanuts, are generally low in fat, they are also relatively low in vitamin E.
Vitamin E in Vegetables
Among vegetables, leafy greens like spinach (2.21 mg), Swiss chard (1.89 mg), and kale (1.54 mg) have higher amounts of vitamin E. Red bell peppers (1.78 mg), parsnips (1.49 mg), asparagus (1.22 mg), and broccoli (1 mg) have lower levels of vitamin E. Vegetables, like fruits, are generally low in vitamin E.
You can access the table of vitamin E-rich vegetables here.
Fruits with Vitamin E
In addition, kiwis (1.59 mg), blueberries (1.04 mg), black currants (1 mg), and mangoes (0.96 mg) also contain some vitamin E.
The table shows more fruits with vitamin E.
Vitamin E in processed foods
Vitamin E is also added artificially to certain foods. This can include fruit juices, margarine, breakfast cereals, and spreads.
By the way, peanut butter also has a high vitamin E content, with 15.23 mg.