Vitamin E in Foods

What is vitamin E good for?

On this page we talk about the benefits of Vitamin E as well as providing a list of Vitamin E rich foods. This is probably one of the less well known nutrients so we also explain its role in the human body and why, despite the fact there is no specific deficiency associated with this vitamin, it is still vital to your wellbeing.

What is vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that is found in many foods, and is sometimes known by the alternative name of tocopherol. Amongst it’s many vital functions it acts as an antioxidant and assists with healthy immune system function. As with other fat-soluble nutrients, it can be stored in the body for long periods, but not as effectively as vitamins A, D and K, so it is important that you get enough of it on a daily basis.

As with other fat-soluble vitamins, we do not need a great deal of vitamin E on a daily basis, as you can see from the chart on the right. The current recommendation is 15 milligrams (mg) per day for an average adult, which can be obtained either through your food, or, if you are on a restricted diet that makes this difficult, through supplements. These are best absorbed when taken with a meal. It is also important to note that this vitamin loses its potency when exposed to light, air or heat, so supplements should be stored in a cool, dark place.

RDI Vitamin E

  • 15 mg Adults
  • 15 mg Pregnant females
  • 19 mg Breastfeeding females
  • 15 mg Children 14-18 years
  • 11 mg Children 9-13 years
  • 7 mg Children 4-8 years
  • 6 mg Toddler 1-3 years
  • 5 mg Infants 7-12 months
  • 4 mg Infants 0-6 months

List of Vitamin E Rich Foods

Which foods contain Vitamin E?

Here we have a list of vitamin E rich foods so you can see how to incorporate it into your diet if you aren’t already doing so. As you will see, a lot of these foods are probably ones you are eating anyway, and others should be easily obtainable at your local supermarket or grocery store. By eating some or all of these foods on a regular basis you are going to ensure that your body has a sufficient amount of this essential vitamin.

  • Almonds – 26.2 mg
  • Almond oil – 95 mg
  • Anchovy, canned in oil – 3.3 mg
  • Apricots, dried – 4.3 mg
  • Asparagus – 1.5 mg
  • Avocados – 2.1 mg
  • Blackberries – 1.2 mg
  • Broccoli – 1.5 mg
  • Butternut squash, cooked – 1.3 mg
  • Carrot juice – 1.16 mg
  • Eggs, hard boiled – 1.03 mg
  • Fortified cereals
  • Hazelnuts – 15.3 mg
  • Kiwi fruit – 1.5 mg
  • Mango – 1.1 mg
  • Olives, green – 3.8 mg
  • Olive oil – 14 mg
  • Oregano, dried – 18.3 mg
  • Parsnips – 1.5 mg
  • Peanuts, dry roasted – 4.93 mg
  • Peanut butter, reduced fat – 9.04 mg
  • Peppers, bell – 1.6 mg
  • Peppers, jalapeno – 3.6 mg
  • Pine nuts – 9.3 mg
  • Rice bran – 4.9 mg
  • Shrimp – 2.2 mg
  • Spinach, cooked – 2.1 mg
  • Sunflower oil – 41 mg
  • Sunflower seeds, roasted – 36.3 mg
  • Sweet potatoes – (3mg)
  • Tofu, light – 5.3 mg
  • Trout, rainbow – 2.8 mg
  • Turnip greens – 2.86 mg
  • Wheat Germ oil – 149.4 mg

As you might expect from something that is fat-soluble, there are high levels of vitamin E to be found in many oils and nuts. Of course, you may be thinking ‘but nobody eats 100 g of oil in a day!’ This is true, but if you add just a single teaspoonful (5g) of wheatgerm oil to your salad dressing or sauce this will add 7.5mg of vitamin E – half of the adult daily intake – to your diet.

Vitamin E benefits

As we have covered in above list, the best sources of this nutrient are vitamin E foods. However, you are probably wondering why it is so important to have an adequate supply of this vitamin.


As we have already mentioned, Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and it is known to play a vital role in keeping your skin healthy and looking young. On top of this, it helps to protect cell membranes and DNA from free radical damage, and protects the lungs from damage by environmental substances. It also inhibits oxidation of LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) as it stops it reacting with free radicals. Too much oxidised LDL cholesterol increases your risk of strokes or heart attack, so having sufficient vitamin E in your diet is thought to help prevent heart disease. It is also important for your immune system and helps your body fight certain diseases, as well as assisting in the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin E is necessary for muscle maintenance and helps to maintain stores of vitamins A and K, iron, and selenium.

One thing to bear in mind is that vitamin E can act as an anticoagulant, which increases the risk of bleeding problems in susceptible individuals. The tolerable upper intake level has therefore been set at 1000 mg per day, though it is unlikely anyone would ever consume this much vitamin E except through supplements under medical supervision.