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Vitamin E – foods with a high content

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 364 views

The fat-soluble vitamin E is produced exclusively by plants and is mainly found in oils and nuts. Find out everything you need to know about foods containing vitamin E, how to store and prepare them, and whether it makes sense to take vitamin E supplements.

Which foods have the most vitamin E?

Where is a lot of vitamin E in it? Wheat germ oil, sunflower oil or olive oil are among the foods with a high vitamin E content. It is also found in rapeseed oil or soybean oil. Almonds, nuts and pine nuts are also rich sources of vitamin E.

When it comes to vegetables, asparagus, spinach and sweet potatoes are foods with a lot of vitamin E.

How to meet your vitamin E needs

A lack of vitamin E intake is rare. When a deficiency occurs, it is usually due to indigestion caused by an illness. The daily amount of 11 to 15 milligrams (adults) recommended by the German Society for Nutrition can be covered with a balanced diet, especially plant products.

There are plenty of foods that can help you meet your vitamin E needs. For example, the average daily requirement is:

  • 600 grams of cooked savoy cabbage
  • 400 grams of cooked soy sausage
  • 250 grams of tomato salad
  • 175 grams trail mix with peanuts
  • 60 grams of fresh hazelnuts or almonds
  • 25 grams of sunflower oil
  • 10 grams of wheat germ oil

Are vitamin E supplements necessary and useful?

A healthy person who eats a balanced diet usually gets enough vitamin E from food. It is therefore usually not necessary to take vitamin E supplements.

However, vitamin E is a popular ingredient in dietary supplements – as are vitamins A and C. However, studies have shown that these preparations often have little or no effect.

In addition, these dietary supplements do not contain the natural form of alpha-tocopherol, which the body can absorb and process well, but a synthetic form: all-rac-alpha-tocopherol or DL-alpha-tocopherol. They have less effect than the natural compound.

Is an overdose of vitamin E possible?

An overdose is practically impossible to achieve with a normal diet – no cases are known to science so far.

With vitamin E food supplements, however, an overdose is possible if you take them over a long period of time or in high doses. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) recommends a maximum of 30 milligrams of vitamin E per day for food supplements.

Occasionally, an overdose can cause muscle weakness, nausea or diarrhea. The risk of bleeding can also increase. There is also a study that showed that participants with low selenium levels had an increased risk of prostate cancer if they regularly took vitamin E pills.

If you take more than 400 milligrams of vitamin E per day for a longer period of time, it is possible that the production of thyroid hormones is reduced.

In summary, the conclusion with regard to vitamin E is: foods such as vegetable oils are generally sufficient to cover your own needs. An additional supply of food supplements can make sense in some cases, but should first be discussed with a doctor.

Vitamin E: Food Storage and Processing

The storage conditions and the type of processing are decisive for the quality of foods containing vitamins. Vitamin E is sensitive to light and oxygen. Therefore, you should store food such as vegetable oils in a closed and dark place. If a vegetable oil smells rancid, it is a sure sign that a large part of the vitamin E has oxidized and thus become worthless.

Vitamin E is relatively stable to heat. However, it does not like repeated heating. In general, it is better to prepare food containing vitamins gently – for example by steaming instead of boiling or frying.

Why does the body need vitamin E?

Vitamin E is important for the human body mainly because of its antioxidant effect. This means: It defuses so-called free radicals. These are aggressive oxygen compounds that are created in the course of normal metabolic reactions in the body, but also as a result of UV radiation and cigarette smoke. They can damage cells.

Again and again there is advertising that vitamin E can therefore protect against cancer or heart attacks. However, this has not been scientifically proven.

The only thing that has been confirmed so far is that it leads to improvements in the age-related retinal disease macular degeneration.

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