The Best Sources of Vitamin E

The Best Sources of Vitamin E
The Best Sources of Vitamin E (Image: ben matthews: flickr, glorius: flickr)

Vitamin E is famous for repairing tissue, especially scars and stretch marks, and for protecting cells from excessive oxidation. It relieves sore muscles and acne and is thought to slow the progression of macular degeneration, heart disease and cancer. Abundant amounts of vitamin E can be found in fortified foods, nuts and leafy green vegetables.

Wheat Germ Oil

One tablespoon of wheat germ oil provides a day's entire supply of vitamin E. It is easily taken as a nutritional supplement, though it can also be added to homemade breads and pancakes. One cup of milled wheat germ contains 95 percent of a day's allowance, and is useful in baking breads, muffins, cakes, pies and other desserts.

Other Oils

Cooking with as little as one tablespoon of certain oils serves as a good source of vitamin E. The most potent are sunflower and safflower oils, which provide more than 25 percent of a day's requirement, while corn and soybean oils provide 10 percent per tablespoon.

Nuts and Seeds

One ounce of dry roasted almonds or sunflower seeds contains roughly a third as much vitamin E as wheat germ oil. Dry roasted peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter have approximately a third of the vitamin E of almonds and sunflower seeds. Adding sunflower seeds to breads made with wheat germ offers a side dish or breakfast entree rich in vitamin E.

Sunflower seeds are one of the best sources of vitamin E
Sunflower seeds are one of the best sources of vitamin E


Among vegetables, 1/2 cup of spinach holds 2mg of vitamin E, or 10 percent of a day's requirement of the body's needs. Other leafy green vegetables are broccoli, kale, chard, chicory and turnip greens.


Most fruits are low in vitamin E, but many juices are fortified with it. The V8 line contains up to 13 percent of the daily recommended allowance, with other fruit drinks, including orange juice, coming in at slightly lower amounts. Fresh fruits to try are kiwi, sliced mango and black raspberries.


Meats are the worst natural source of vitamin E, with one ounce of beef or two strips of bacon containing only half a milligram. Chicken liver is another source of this vital nutrient, though a one-ounce portion only contain two-tenths of one milligram, or 1 percent of the daily recommendation.

Fortified Foods

Whole-grain and bran cereals lead the way here. Thanks to additives, cereals can provide 2/3 of the day's necessary total. Many whole-grain pastas are also fortified with vitamin E, as are granola and energy bars. Vitamin E supplements often contain 100 IU, or international units, twice what is needed, though some brands carry up to 400 IU.

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