Of our seven excellent sources of vitamin E, five are green leafy vegetables. Followers of our WHFoods site will probably not be surprised by this—green leafy vegetables score well as sources of many different nutrients. With respect to vitamin E, their combination of nutrient richness and low calories is very compelling to our rating system. Expect each serving of greens to contain about 15 to 25% of your daily requirement.
Outside of greens, the foods with the most vitamin E tend to be high fat foods. These include nuts, seeds, extracted oils, and fatty fish. The amount of vitamin E per serving of nuts or seeds can vary widely, but you should expect to receive at least about 10% of your daily need, and sometimes as much as 80% (as we see with sunflower seeds).
Many oil rich-plants give us good amounts of vitamin E. These include olives and avocados, both of which provide between 10-15% of your daily need. Because these oily foods contain more calories, we rate them as good rather than very good or excellent sources. Still, we encourage using these plants or plant oils to help provide vitamin E.
We see a few of our World's Healthiest seafoods are rich sources of vitamin E. Shrimp and sardines are two examples of this, with each topping 10% of daily requirements. Salmon and cod contain a little less vitamin E, yet can still be solid contributors.
Because most U.S. residents fail to get enough vitamin E in their daily diet, we recommend paying some attention to food sources of this important antioxidant. As long as you make a few of these vitamin E rich foods staple foods in your daily diet, you should be able to meet your intake requirements through foods alone..
Perhaps the easiest way to make sure you are getting enough vitamin E is by including sunflower seeds as snacks or as part of meals. This recipe for Healthy Turkey Salad contains nearly the whole Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) in one meal. Here are a few more recipes—Pureed Sweet Peas and 5-Minute Collard Greens with Sunflower Seeds—that include sunflower seeds.
We can also rely on meals that contain multiple foods providing more modest amounts of vitamin E, and allow them to stack up to become a more substantial amount. Our Poached Eggs Over Spinach and Mushrooms recipe contains spinach, eggs, and olive oil as sources of vitamin E. Together, they provide one-third of the RDA in only 10% of your daily calorie intake.
Recipes that contain nuts and nut butters will be a nice way to add vitamin E into your meals. You can be creative in the way you do this; for example, our 10-Minute Apricot Bars is a dessert recipe that provides more than 40% of the RDA for vitamin E.
There is a balance between getting plenty of fat-rich foods as sources of vitamin E and overdoing it and letting the calories pile up. As long as you choose wisely, you should be able to cover your vitamin E needs with just a few rich sources.
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