Best Vitamin E Foods & Recipes

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining good health.  Getting enough vitamin E in your diet is important for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases.  Good sources of vitamin E include nuts and seeds, vegetable oils and leafy greens.

Vitamin E is not one vitamin but a family of eight fat-soluble substances containing tocopherol.  However, alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol are the most biologically active forms of vitamin E for humans.

This article will show how to get the vitamin E you need from food and meals you love to eat using the tools and charts we use in our Micros Masterclass.

Vitamin E Food Chart

The chart below shows a range of popular foods in terms of vitamin A (per calorie) vs vitamin E (per serve).  Foods towards the right will provide more vitamin E per calorie, while the foods towards the top will provide more vitamin E in the serving sizes we typically eat them. 

For more detail, you can dive into the interactive Tableau version of this chart (on your computer), check out the food lists of popular foods below or download longer lists in our Optimising Nutrition Community here.

Vitamin E Rich Foods (Per Serving)

Because vitamin E is fat-soluble, it is found readily in fatty plant foods like nuts and seeds.  Animal foods contain it, too.  The popular foods listed below will give you more vitamin E in the typical serving sizes we consume them in. 

  • almond butter
  • sunflower seeds
  • almonds
  • salmon 
  • broccoli seeds (sprouted)
  • filberts
  • chard
  • peanut butter
  • olive oil
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • shrimp
  • avocado
  • butternut squash
  • radicchio
  • whole wheat bread
  • mustard greens
  • asparagus
  • green olives
  • brussels sprouts
  • mango

Vitamin E Rich Foods (Per Calorie)

Foods highest in vitamin E per calorie are listed below.   

  • broccoli seeds (sprouted)
  • coriander leaf
  • radicchio
  • chard
  • watercress
  • spinach
  • mustard greens
  • asparagus
  • sunflower seeds
  • broccoli
  • red bell peppers
  • almonds
  • salsa
  • pumpkin
  • almond butter
  • blackberries
  • butternut squash
  • tomato
  • kale
  • green olives
  • endive

Vitamin E Boosting Recipes

The chart below shows our 1400+ NutriBooster recipes that we use in the Micros Masterclass plotted in terms of vitamin E vs protein %.  Recipes towards the right will help you boost your vitamin E with fewer calories.    

To dive into the detail, you can open the interactive Tableau version of this chart (on your computer).  Then, click on each recipe to learn more about it and view a picture of the recipe.  Some examples of our NutriBooster recipes that contain the most manganese are shown below. 

Why is Vitamin E Important?

  • Antioxidant properties: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.  Free radicals can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.  Vitamin E helps neutralise these free radicals, protecting the body from their harmful effects.
  • Skin health: Vitamin E is known for its skin-protective properties.  It can help protect the skin from sun damage, reduce inflammation, and improve skin elasticity.  Vitamin E is also believed to help prevent premature aging of the skin.
  • Immune function: Vitamin E helps support immune function by promoting the growth and activity of immune cells.  It can also help reduce inflammation, which is important for a healthy immune response.
  • Heart health: Vitamin E may help reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is known to contribute to the development of heart disease.  Vitamin E may also help improve blood flow and prevent blood clots.
  • Eye health: Vitamin E may help protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, two common eye conditions that can cause vision loss.

What Are the Roles of Vitamin E in the Body?

  • Vitamin E has many roles in the body, but it is mainly known for its job as an antioxidant – it works by scavenging free radicals that damage cells and tissues.
  • We need vitamin E to use oxygen and prevent fatty acids in our cell membranes from becoming damaged or oxidised.
  • The immune system requires vitamin E to function properly.
  • Vitamin E is known to prevent the formation of blood clots and to regulate the clumping of platelets.
  • Studies have shown that vitamin E is essential in preventing the degeneration of eyesight and conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • The body requires the antioxidant abilities of vitamin E to prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and other nervous system disorders. 
  • Vitamin E is fat-soluble, so we can easily store it for later and don’t need to consume it every day.  It is often added to foods to prevent spoilage due to its antioxidant properties. 
  • Although vitamin E is essential, we are unlikely to be deficient because it is so common, especially with the increased use of vegetable oils over the past century.

Deficiency Conditions Associated with Vitamin E

Because vitamin E is so ubiquitous, we don’t know a lot about the levels that cause a deficiency in humans.  However, when we induce deficiencies in lab animals, they become infertile. 

Deficiencies in humans are likely to lead to other conditions and symptoms, like:

  • poor healing of the gut, skin, and lungs,
  • heart disease,
  • haemolytic anaemia,
  • eye disorders,
  • cancer,
  • decreased cognition,
  • increased propensity for thyroid disorders
  • infection, and
  • chronic degenerative diseases.  

Who Is at Risk for Vitamin E Deficiency?

Because vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, the body needs to utilise dietary fats to absorb this nutrient.  As a result, conditions that contribute to fat malabsorption like:

  • celiac disease,
  • liver dysfunction,
  • pancreatitis,
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD),
  • cystic fibrosis, and
  • short bowel syndrome.

Someone living in a developing area where foods containing vitamin E is scarce may be at increased risk for deficiency.  Similarly, someone consuming minimal fat or vitamin E is also at risk.

Satiety Response to Vitamin E

Compared to other micronutrients, our satiety analysis suggests that vitamin E does not play a significant role in appetite regulation because it is plentiful.  

However, our analysis suggests that people who consume more vitamin E per calorie from whole food sources (like the ones listed above) tend to consume 12% fewer calories. 

Uppter Limit for Vitamin E

The Dietary Recommended Intake (DRI) for Vitamin E has been set at 12 mg of alpha-tocopherol for men and women.  The estimated average requirement (EAR) was set at 15 mg alpha-tocopherol.  While it is hard to overdose on Vitamin E from food, an upper limit of 300 mg/day has been set for supplementation. 

Availability of Vitamin E in the Food System

The chart below illustrates the near-mirror increase of vitamin E and plant-based oils in our food supply.  

Synergistic Nutrients

Vitamin E works synergistically with vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, C, K copper, folic acid, glutathione, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc.

So, to optimise the beneficial functions of vitamin E, you should ensure you get a complete profile of synergistic nutrients in foods that naturally contain more vitamin E per calorie. 

Processing Losses

Vitamin E is unstable in the presence of light, heat, and alkaline environments.  Therefore, up to 80% of Vitamin E is destroyed during flour milling. 

Although processed plant oils like corn, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oils contain high amounts of vitamin E, they have been processed under high heat and therefore have questionable contents of this nutrient.  

In addition, because refined fats provide minimal satiety and drive excess calorie intake, high intakes of these oils have been linked to diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), heart disease, and inflammation.  For this reason, they might not be reliable sources of vitamin E!

How Can I Calculate if I am Getting Enough Vitamin E? 

If you’re interested in determining if you’re getting just the right amount of vitamin E in your diet, you can check your nutrient profile using our Free 7-Day Nutrient Clarity Challenge

After a week of tracking your current diet in Cronometer, Nutrient Optimiser will give you a prioritised list of foods and NutriBooster recipes that will help you plug your current nutritional gaps, including selenium. 

Nutrient Density Starter Pack

We’re eager to make the process of Nutritional Optimisation as simple as possible.  So, to help you increase your intake of all the essential nutrients, including vitamin E, when you join our free Optimising Nutrition Community, you’ll get a starter pack that includes:

Nutrient Series



Fatty acids

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