The Top Vitamin E Rich Foods + Recipes

Why is Vitamin E important? How much do you need each day? What do deficiencies look like? Which foods and recipes contain it?

By
Bella Grace
The Top Vitamin E Rich Foods + Recipes

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat- soluble vitamin with two main forms: Tocopherol (which has four varying types - alpha, gamma or delta and beta) and Tocotrienol. Tocopherol’s necessity for fertility was first identified in 1922 and its name relates to this as it comes from the Greek “takos” meaning offspring or child birth. Vitamin E is also a powerful fat soluble antioxidant which is three times more potent as an antioxidant than Vitamin C. Vitamin E is especially important in preventing free radical (toxic unstable molecules) damage to fat molecules in the body.

Why is Vitamin E important and what does it do in the body?

Vitamin E is the premier fat (lipid) antioxidant in the body. It is incorporated into the fatty portion of cell membrane where it detoxifies and prevents harm to the cell from compounds such as heavy metals including lead and mercury, as well as other toxic compounds such as benzene, cleaning solvents, drugs and radiation. In addition, it helps prevent heart disease, cancer and strokes.

Vitamin E is also important for immune function. It helps to protect immune cells from damage. There are a host of other benefits from it, including its role and importance in prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fibrocystic breast disease, menopausal symptoms and tardive dyskinesia, (a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements of the face and jaw). It may also play a role in Parkinson’s disease and prevent premature rupture of the membranes during pregnancy.

Vitamin E also helps in the manufacture of red blood cells and it helps the body to use vitamin K. It plays a role in cellular respiration, enabling the muscles to function with less oxygen.


What amount of Vitamin E do you need each day?

Vitamin E comes in a number of different natural forms.  Synthetic Vitamin E often gives no consideration to the type of tocopherol and its bioavailability for use in the body and so supplements must be chosen carefully.

The DRI (Daily Recommended Intake) /RDA (Recommended DailyAllowance) of dietary vitamin E are listed below:

Please Note: By definition, the DRI/RDA recommendations apply only to 98% of healthy individuals and are not sufficient for those with higher nutrient requirements based upon their biochemical individuality, genetics, health status, medications, deficiencies, lifestyle, and toxic exposures.

Daily intakes of dietary vitamin E are listed below. (Note: 1 mg vitamin E equals 1.5IU.)

Pediatric

  • Newborn to 6 months: 6 IU
  • Infants 7 months - 1 year: 7.5 IU
  • Children 1 - 3 years: 9 IU
  • Children 4 - 8 years: 10.4 IU
  • Children 9 - 13 years: 16.4 IU
  • Adolescents 14 - 18 years: 22.4 IU

Adult

  • Older than 18 years: 22.4 IU
  • Pregnant females: 22.4 IU
  • Breast-feeding females: 28.4 IU


Recommended Daily Allowance: 10mg/Day

Optimal Daily Allowance: 300mg/Day

What are possible Vitamin E (Tocopherol) deficiency conditions and symptoms?

Blood clotting

Cataracts

Easy bruising

Gait disturbances

Hemolytic anemia

Hormonal disorders

Hyperbilirubinemia – high levels of bilirubin in the blood

Infant jaundice

Infertility

Involuntary eye movements

Lack of sex drive

Loss of position sense

Menstrual problems

Miscarriage, infertility, sterility

Nerve damage

Poor ability to absorb fat (resulting in pale greasy stools)

Poor reflexes

Premature birth

Red blood cell fragility

Slow wound healing

Varicose veins

 

What are possible Vitamin E excess symptoms?

Vitamin E is a very safe vitamin. (No side effects have been reported for dosages of 1,100 mg daily for over 2 years).

Symptoms of excess may include fatigue, bruising, bleeding and nausea.

What steals Vitamin E from the body?

Heat, oxygen, freezing temperatures, food processing, iron and chlorine all reduce levels of Vitamin E.

Phytosterols and phytostanols (naturally occurring plant compounds similar to cholesterol) may lower plasma Vitamin E.

The use of the following drugs can cause depletions of Vitamin E.

Anti-Hyperlipidemiabile acid sequestrants: Cholestyramine (Questran) and Colestipol (Colestid).

Antiseizure medications: Phenytoin (Dilantin), Carbazamine (Tegretol), Primidone(Mysoline)

Weightmanagement drugs: Orlistat (Xenical) - decreases exocrine output and reduces fat absorption.

What tests can be used to assess Vitamin E or tocopherol levels?

Vitamin E as tocopherol in serum  (<12mg/l indicates deficiency)

Which foods contain the highest amounts of Vitamin E?

TOP 10 Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) rich foods are:

1. Sunflower seeds 36.6mg/100g

Recipe: Cinnamon Spice Baked N'Oatmeal

Recipe: Rosemary Raisin Crackers

2. Almonds 26.2mg/100g

Recipe: Almond Crusted Salmon

3. Olive Oil 14.4mg/100g

Recipe: Rosemary Raisin Crackers

4. Pine Nuts 9.3mg/100g

Recipe: Chicken and Pesto Spaghetti Squash Boats

5. Tofu 5.3mg/100g

Recipe: Crispy Baked Tofu

6. Dried apricots 4.3mg/100g

Recipe: Paleo Apricot Bars

7. Green olives 3.81 mg/100g

Recipe: One Pan Lemon Sage Baked Chicken & Olives

8. Rainbow trout 2.8mg/100g

Recipe: Brown Butter Trout Amadine

9. Shrimp 2.2mg/100g

Recipe: Crunchy Fried Shrimp

10. Broccoli (cooked) 1.5mg/100g

Recipe: Creamy Chicken Alfredo Bake

What are the best Vitamin E products?

The most effective form is RRR-alpha tocopherol (100% biologically active).

The second is beta tocopherol (50% active).

The third is gamma tocopherol(10% active).

No other forms should be used.

This article was written by Jonathan Tommey, CCN and Bella Grace, NTP. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Content should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

References:
Vitamin E |University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-e#ixzz35IsKZ44o University of Maryland Medical Center
Sidney. M.D, Pangborn.Jon Autism effective BiomedicalTreatments 2005
Lord S.Richard, BralleyJ. Alexander, Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine 2ndEd 2008
Sharon, Michael Dr.Complete Nutrition.2002
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Holford. Patrick TheOptimum Nutrition Bible. 2012
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Groff. AdvancedNutrition and Human Metabolism 5th 2009
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Clinical Nutrition:Afunctional Approach 2nd Ed. IFM 2004
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Office of DietarySupplements, NIH Fact sheets 2010
Balch. A. Phyllis CNCPrescription for Nutritional Healing. 2002
Bella Grace

Isabella Grace is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner focusing on toxin-free, natural living to its fullest extent. Her mission is to provide personalized integrative health solutions to create sustainable, lifelong change and enable you to live, love, and serve at your fullest health potential.

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