Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant, fighting free radicals to reduce cell damage. It can strengthen the immune system, support the health of the skin, hair, and eyes, and improve brain function.
Vitamin E is found in a variety of plant-based foods. You can refer to the above vitamin E food table for plant-based and vegan foods with their respective vitamin E contents.
Who Needs More Vitamin E?
The following list shows some groups of people who should ensure adequate intake of vitamin E-rich foods:
- People with fat absorption disorders such as pancreatic insufficiency or liver diseases may have difficulty absorbing fats and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E.
- People with digestive disorders such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis may have difficulty absorbing nutrients like vitamin E.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more vitamin E to ensure the growth and development of the fetus and adequate nutrient supply to the baby.
- Since the body of older adults may not be as efficient in absorbing and utilizing it, they may have a higher vitamin E requirement.
- Smoking and/or regular alcohol consumption expose the body to higher oxidative stress, which may result in a higher need for vitamin E in such individuals.
- Individuals with certain chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease may also have a higher need to reduce oxidative stress and combat inflammation in the body.
- A diet low in fat or low in calories can pose challenges in meeting the vitamin E requirements.
- Stress can increase oxidative stress in the body. Individuals experiencing chronic stress should look for foods rich in vitamin E.
- Certain medications such as cholesterol-lowering drugs or anticoagulants can interfere with the absorption of vitamin E, potentially requiring increased intake of vitamin E.
- Athletes and individuals working in polluted environments may be exposed to higher levels of free radicals due to their activities or working conditions. Consequently, their need for antioxidants like vitamin E may be increased.
Foods Rich In Vitamin E
The body can be well supplied with vitamin E from plant sources, which are also easily absorbed by the body. Plant-based foods provide a high content of vitamin E:
- Plant-based fats such as margarine and oils like wheat germ oil, soybean oil, olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil contain a significant amount of vitamin E. However, refined oils often contain less vitamin E compared to cold-pressed oils or oils from first pressing. The consumption of plant-based fats and oils should be moderate as they are known to be calorie-dense and can contain high levels of saturated fats. You can refer to this table of vitamin E oils and fats.
- Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of vitamin E. According to the table, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are rich in vitamin E. A handful of almonds covers about half of the daily requirement of vitamin E. Here is the vitamin E table for nuts, seeds, and kernels.
- Legumes such as beans and lentils are not only excellent plant-based protein sources, but also rich in vitamin E and other important nutrients. Other examples of legumes rich in vitamin E include chickpeas, green peas, peanuts, and kidney beans. You can find the table with vitamin E in legumes here.
- Many vegetables also contain a moderate amount of vitamin E. These include broccoli, spinach, and kale. Other vitamin E vegetables are tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers.
- A variety of fruits contain vitamin E, especially those with dark colors, such as berries and grapes. According to the table, other vitamin E-rich fruits include avocados, mangos, kiwis, and olives. This table reveals how much vitamin E is found in fruits.
- Whole grains like whole wheat bread and oats, as well as pseudocereals like quinoa and amaranth, also contain vitamin E. Here is the table with vitamin E-rich grains.
- Herbs such as sage, thyme, oregano, and basil are also rich in vitamin E. Use this vitamin E table for herbs and spices.
- Juices from fruits and vegetables such as oranges, grapefruits, carrots, tomatoes, and berries contain a higher presence of vitamin E. Additionally, there are also beverages like soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk that are often fortified with vitamin E. Energy drinks and sports drinks can also contain the vitamin to support post-workout recovery. You can find the table with vitamin E in juices and beverages here.
Type Of Fat Influences Vitamin E Absorption
The type of fats consumed with vitamin E in plant-based foods can affect the absorption of the vitamin. Unsaturated fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in many plant oils such as flaxseed oil, olive oil, and canola oil, can improve the absorption of vitamin E. They stimulate the release of bile acids, which are needed for the absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins. This can increase the absorption of vitamin E in the intestine.
In contrast, saturated fats, which are found in animal products such as butter, dairy products, red meat, as well as plant sources like coconut oil and palm oil, can inhibit the absorption of vitamin E. Saturated fats reduce the transport of vitamin E through the blood, which can hinder the uptake of vitamin E in the intestine.
Improving Vitamin E Absorption
Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, it also requires fat for absorption in the body. Therefore, increasing the fat content in meals can enhance the absorption of vitamin E. For example, adding nuts or seeds can improve the uptake of vitamin E from low-fat foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C plays an important role in regenerating vitamin E. It enhances its antioxidant properties, thereby increasing the absorption of vitamin E. To enhance the uptake of vitamin E from plant-based foods, incorporating fresh vitamin C-rich fruits and vitamin C-rich vegetables such as oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, and kiwi into your diet can be beneficial. You can find more vitamin C-rich foods in this table.
If you want to preserve the vitamin E content in foods, opt for gentle cooking methods. Steaming vegetables can be a good choice. Additionally, baking or grilling vegetables at low temperatures can help maintain the vitamin E content. However, it should be avoided to fry or deep-fry foods at high temperatures. If using plant oils for cooking, they should not be overheated as this can lead to the degradation of vitamin E. Lower temperatures preserve the vitamin E content.
Vitamin E Diet
If you want to enrich your diet with vitamin E, there are many delicious options you can consider:
- Quinoa salad with avocado and cashews
- Whole grain bread with almond butter and banana slices
- Nut mix as a snack
- Spinach salad with strawberries and almonds
- Vegan pesto with basil and walnuts
- Pumpkin soup with pumpkin seeds
- Broccoli-cauliflower salad with mandarins and pistachios
- Green smoothie with almond milk, bananas, and spinach
- Grilled tofu with peanut-ginger sauce
- Falafel burger with tahini dressing and avocado
- Tomato-mozzarella salad with arugula and pine nuts (using vegan mozzarella)
- Mushroom risotto with roasted pine nuts
- Green salad with cucumber, avocado, and hemp seeds
- Carrot-ginger soup with almonds
- Pumpkin-coconut curry with pan-fried tofu
- Stir-fried rice with vegetables and cashews
- Lentil soup with carrots and parsley
- Whole grain bread with avocado and sesame