Mangos, oats and peanuts are great sources of vitamin E

22 Best Sources of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant whose main job is to protect cell health and support the immune system. Sounds pretty important, right?

Unfortunately, you may not be getting all of the vitamin E you need. With today's fast-paced lifestyle—eating meals on the go between work and Little League practice—sometimes your top priority is avoiding hunger, not crafting perfectly balanced meals. The catch, of course, is that you need to be optimally nourished to handle the day-to-day stress of a busy life…which includes appropriate vitamin E intake.

The good news is that it's actually pretty "E-asy" to fit this crucial nutrient into your diet! Arguably, some of the tastiest (and healthiest!) foods in the world are great sources of vitamin E—and many of these fresh fruits, veggies and healthy oils are readily available at your grocery store, health food store or farmer's market. You'll also notice, quite conveniently, that many foods that are good sources of vitamin E are also packed with other important nutrients ranging from vitamin C and vitamin D to protein and iron.

So without further ado, here are the best dietary sources of vitamin E—we're counting 22 of them!

What is vitamin E and what does it do?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with a variety of health benefits that support your body's functions inside and out. Most notably, vitamin E plays an important part in keeping your immune system healthy as well as supporting cognitive and heart health. At a cellular level, vitamin E fights free radicals, supports lipid health, protects nerve and muscle cell function and also promotes a healthy inflammatory response.

Naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms: alpha-tocopherol, beta-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, and delta-tocopherol, as well as alpha-tocotrienol, beta-tocotrienol, gamma-tocotrienol, and delta-tocotrienol. The body uses the alpha-tocopherol most efficiently; α-tocopherol supplementation can help fill in nutritional gaps when you don't consume enough from the food you eat.

Which vitamin E form is best? Tocopherol vs tocotrienol

Vitamin E isn't just one singular nutrient, but instead, describes a family of eight fat-soluble molecules with antioxidant activities broken out into two isoforms: tocopherol and tocotrienol. While both isoforms are important, alpha-tocopherol is the primary form and the one the body uses to help increase vitamin E levels if they're depleted. Tocotrienols, on the other hand, can help support a healthy heart and brain.

When it comes to vitamin E supplementation, a mix of tocopherols and tocotrienols is important. In fact, studies show that the combination of alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol can help protect intestinal barrier function and may help fight oxidative stress and promote a healthy inflammatory response.

22 foods high in vitamin E

While taking a vitamin E supplement is a great first step in your wellness journey, you also should be sure you're eating enough vitamin E rich foods throughout the day. The following list provides you with the top 22 vitamin E-rich foods you can find in your local grocery store to help support your immune health, fight free radicals and provide powerful antioxidants—so you can nourish your body from the inside out.

1. Wheat germ oil

Wheat germ oil is the richest source of vitamin E and just one tablespoon of this oil provides around 135% of your daily recommended intake. Wheat germ oil is most commonly found as a cooking oil (it's also in supplements).

2. Wheat germ

Wheat germ is a good source of vitamin E, too! Despite its name, wheat germ is only comprised of 3% actual wheat, yet it is a nutritional powerhouse. The high levels of vitamin E found in wheat germ help support immune health, protect brain cells and cell membranes, and help fight free radicals in the body. Many people enjoy sprinkling wheat germ in parfaits or in cereal. If you don't love its grainy texture, you can always toss wheat germ into smoothies or incorporate it into baked goods, like cornbread.

3. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are not only a delicious snack straight out of the bag, but are also flavorful additions to your favorite trail mix, salads, homemade granola and nutrition bars. Rich in vitamin E, these tiny seeds are one of the best food sources for this essential nutrient, boasting 35.17 mg of vitamin E per 100 gram serving, unshelled. Plus, sunflower seeds are not only E-rich, but also contain other nutrients like protein, iron, potassium, magnesium and fiber.

4. Almonds

If sunflower seeds aren't your crunch of choice when it comes to your favorite salad, breakfast cereals or baked goods, give another vitamin E-rich snack a try: almonds. One heaping handful of almonds, or about 23 nuts, contains 7.3 mg of vitamin E while also providing protein, fiber and potassium. If chomping on plain, unroasted almonds isn't your forte, try incorporating a low-sugar almond milk or creamy almond butter into your next culinary creation for added flavor, nutrition…and, of course, vitamin E!

5. Hazelnuts

When it comes to vitamin E, hazelnuts put the nut in nutritional benefits. In fact, a one-ounce serving of hazelnuts, or 21 nuts, contains 20% of your daily recommended value of vitamin E! They are loaded with antioxidants that support heart health and help maintains healthy blood sugar levels, among many other benefits. Incorporate these nutritional powerhouses into your next salad, pesto, healthy dessert – or eat them raw! You can also get creative with a food processor and make your own healthy, homemade version of Nutella by blending hazelnuts and cacao powder.

6. Mango

If you're in the mood for a sweet, juicy fruit with nutritional benefits, look no further than a mango. Mangos are packed with vitamin A and vitamin C as well as potassium and fiber. One cup of chopped mango also contains 1.5 mg of vitamin E. Incorporate mangos into your meals by adding slices to your salad, pulse them up in a smoothie, or sink your teeth into one straight off the tree!

7. Avocados

Taco Tuesday might not ever be the same once you find out how much vitamin E is in your favorite taco topping: guacamole, made from avocados. In fact, one, whole, raw avocado contains 4.16 mg of the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E. If you care to share your avocado, half of the fruit, or a typical serving size, contains about 2.08 mg of vitamin E. Get creative with your avocado consumption by incorporating it into your favorite salad, smoothie or sandwich. You can also make a tasty avocado salad dressing. Just make sure to use it as soon as it is ripe; once an avocado goes bad, it loses much of its nutritional value.

8. Mamey

The tropical mamey fruit hails from Mexico and Central America where it is highly regarded for its nutritional properties. In fact, one cup of the mamey fruit is equivalent to 25% of your daily recommended value of vitamin E. (It also has 213% of your daily recommended value of vitamin C, making it an immune health standout!) The nutrients in this exotic fruit (which fortunately can be found in many American grocery stores) also promotes a healthy digestive system, skin and heart health.

9. Peanuts

Good news for all the PB&J lovers out there: peanuts and peanut butter both contain high amounts of vitamin E. And you can get 18% of your daily value in a two-tablespoon serving. However, not all peanut butter is created equal, so make sure to purchase an all-natural peanut butter without added sugar—or make your own at home.

10. Brazil nuts

Like the mamey fruit, you don't have to travel too far to enjoy the health benefits of Brazil nuts (not even to Brazil, since they are easy to find in American grocery stores). These nuts provide 11% of your daily value of vitamin E. While helping to support healthy immune function, Brazil nuts also offer benefits to your heart, brain and other vital organs.

11. Safflower oil

Extra virgin olive oil has a near and dear place in our hearts, since it's a staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet. However, another cooking oil, safflower oil, provides some additional health benefits that give EVOO a run for its money. Safflower oil comes from the safflower plant and is an excellent source of unsaturated fats as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K and of course, vitamin E. This cooking oil also has added benefits like maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, as well as supporting heart health and skin (when applied topically). It has a milder flavor than other oils and can be used in frying, sauteing or baking.

12. Corn oil

While corn oil isn't healthier than its liquid counterparts EVOO or safflower oil, it still contains a large amount of vitamin E per one tablespoon serving (or 14% of your daily intake). To be fair, that's pretty much all corn oil has going for it. Because corn oil is ultra-refined and 100% fat with no protein or carbohydrates, you should use it sparingly when cooking. But if you do use it, well, at least it is a decent source of vitamin E!

13. Sunflower oil

While consuming bottled sunflower oil may not be as fun as spitting out the sunflower shells, it does offer a boatload of E-rich benefits. In fact, a tablespoon contains 6.1 mg of vitamin E, or 40% of your daily dietary requirement.

14. Palm oil

From the palm fruit, palm oil is rich in antioxidants and chock-full of vitamins A and E, which helps support a healthy immune system, brain health as well as heart health. However, like corn oil, use palm oil sparingly or speak with your doctor first before incorporating it into your diet because palm oil contains 34% saturated fat, making it a poor choice for those mindful of their healthy cholesterol levels. Pro tip: Only choose sustainably sourced palm oils!

15. Rice bran oil

Popular dishes in India, Japan and China are often prepared with rice bran oil. However, if you don't find yourself backpacking around Asia enjoying the cuisines of the night markets, you can find rice bran oil in supplement form. One tablespoon of rice bran oil provides you with 29% of your daily recommended value of fat-soluble vitamin E.

16. Barley

If you're seeking a go-to grain with health benefits, look no further than barley, which is rich in vitamins, minerals and other plant-based compounds. Barley also boasts impressive health benefits like promoting digestion and weight management as well as supporting already-healthy cholesterol levels. If you're looking for even more benefits of barley, try soaking or sprouting the grain, which will increase vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels.

17. Oats

If your breakfast of choice is a hearty bowl of oatmeal and you're looking to increase your intake of vitamin E, you're in luck…well, sort of. One third of a cup of dry oatmeal contains a small amount of vitamin E, .11 mg, or 1% of your daily recommended value. While it may not be the vitamin E powerhouse compared to other foods, having a bowl of oatmeal in the morning sure beats a bowl of your standard sugary, processed cereal. (You can also increase the vitamin E content of your breakfast by sprinkling in almonds, hazelnuts or wheat germ!)

18. Spinach

When it comes to plant-based superfoods, spinach is the one to beat with the most vitamins and minerals along with a low-calorie profile. In fact, one cup of cooked spinach has about 4 mg per serving of vitamin E. It's also a great source of vitamin C. Add this leafy green to your favorite salad, green smoothie, or sauté and enjoy as a side dish.

19. Beet greens

While beets usually make their way into juices or on top of salads, their green leafy counterpart usually gets chopped off and thrown to the side. This is a shame, because the beet greens are just as important, and nutritious, as the bulb itself. In fact, a 100 g serving of sauteed or steamed beet greens yields 1.81 mg of vitamin E.

20. Red bell pepper

If you love stuffed peppers, fajitas or crunchy salad toppers, then you are more than likely familiar with the sweet flavor of the red bell pepper. But perhaps you're not as familiar with its rich vitamin E profile. Looking to provide powerful antioxidants throughout your body? A cup of chopped red bell pepper is equivalent to 16% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin E for the day. It also contains a whopping 303% of your RDA for vitamin C—so peppers really are a great way to "pep up" your immune system!

21. Asparagus

These small, thin spears are low in calories but big in nutritional benefits. A half cup of cooked asparagus only contains 20 calories, but provides 7% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin E.

22. Pumpkin

You may not get vitamin E from your favorite pumpkin-spiced latte, iced coffee — or just about anything labeled "pumpkin spice." However, you will get plenty of nutritional benefits from the flesh of the pumpkin once you crack open this quintessential fall gourd. Whether baked, chopped or mixed in a smoothie, pumpkin is a good source of vitamin E, iron and folate—which all support a healthy immune system.

Is vitamin E supplementation better than eating vitamin E rich foods?

It is always better to obtain the nutrients your body needs from food. However, sometimes that is easier said than done. That is where vitamin E supplementation comes in to help fill in the gaps when your diet falls short. (That being said, you don't want supplements to be your only source of vitamin E.)

Different vitamin E rich foods will contain varying mixtures of tocopherols and tocotrienols, whereas vitamin E supplementation may offer more targeted support.

Who should supplement with vitamin E?

A vitamin E supplement, or a multivitamin with a good dose of vitamin E, is a great choice for anyone seeking optimal vitamin E intake. While vitamin E deficiency is quite rare, it is possible that you could not be getting enough of this essential nutrient to be at your healthiest.

How to take vitamin E? Dosage & guides

While vitamin E supplementation can help fill in the gaps where diet falls short, generally it is recommended to start a vitamin E supplement regimen using the following guidelines. Always make sure to read the bottle's dosage guidelines and not to exceed the recommended daily intake.

No matter which vitamin E supplement you decide to take, make sure to use it with food to help improve absorption into your body. You should do this with any fat-soluble vitamin, by the way—that includes vitamins A, D, E and K. (Vitamins C and B are water soluble.)

Here's a quick cheat sheet on ideal dosages of the various types of vitamin E:

alpha-tocopherol mixed tocopherols mixed tocotrienols
67 mg 20-60 mg 55 mg

More isn't always better—high-dose vitamin E isn't necessarily more beneficial than a supplement formulated with the right balance of alpha-tocopherol and other tocopherols plus mixed tocotrienols!

What supplements should not be taken with vitamin E?

Before incorporating vitamin E supplements into your wellness routine, first discuss it with your healthcare provider, especially if you are taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications.

For the most part, vitamin E supplementation is safe. However, before starting a vitamin E supplement regimen, check the current medications you are taking for any contraindications.

What are non-synthetic vitamin E supplements?

Some vitamin E supplements offer the non-synthetic form of alpha-tocopherol. These vitamin E supplements' chief benefit is that they are distributed throughout the body more efficiently than synthetic versions. This is, in part, because proteins in your liver selectively bind to non-synthetic vitamin E. Then, they can more easily transport the nutrient to various parts of the body.

How to choose a high-quality vitamin E?

Whether your goal is vitamin E supplementation or any other type of nutritional support, pick a reputable company that uses high-quality ingredients, is backed by science, maintains good manufacturing practices, and can provide certificates of analysis if requested — like Life Extension!

References

By: Andrew Davis, Health & Wellness Writer

Andrew Davis is a graduate of Pace University NYC with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He has more than a decade's worth of experience in content and social media in the health and wellness space. An avid traveler, Andrew also has volunteered as an English teacher and humanitarian in countries throughout Asia.

Scientifically Reviewed By: Michael A. Smith, MD