What Are Some Plant-Based Sources Of Vitamin E?

What Are Some Plant-Based Sources Of Vitamin E?

What does vitamin E do and are there vegan sources of this fat-soluble vitamin? Yes and yes. Vitamin E comes in several forms, but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. The primary role of vitamin E is to act as an antioxidant, fighting free radicals that can damage cells. It also works to optimize immune function and prevent clots from forming in heart arteries.

What Is Vitamin E? 

Antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E, became known to the public in the 1980s, when scientists started to understand that free radical damage was a part of the early stages of atherosclerosis. Free radical damage may also contribute to cancer, vision loss, and many other chronic health conditions. Vitamin E works to protect cells from these damaging free radicals, while simultaneously reducing the body’s production of free radicals in certain situations. There is conflicting evidence, however, on whether or not high doses of vitamin E can actually prevent chronic diseases.

Recommended Amounts

According to research, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin E for males and females  ages 14 years and older is 15 milligrams (mg) per day. If monitoring vitamin E intake in international units (iu), consume 22 iu per day, and that goes for pregnant women as well. Lactating women need a little more at 19 mg, or 28 iu per day. The following recommendations for vitamin E intake are for people under the age of 14: 

  • 0-6 months: 4 mg per day
  • 7-12 months: 5 mg per day
  • 1-3 years: 6 mg per day
  • 4-8 years: 7 mg per day
  • 9-13 years: 11 mg per day

Vegan Sources Of Vitamin E

Vitamin E exists in a lot of plant-based foods, including oils, nuts and seeds (including nut and seed butters), fruits, and vegetables. The following foods are considered the top 10 vegan sources of vitamin E. We will list their serving sizes with the amount of vitamin E in mg for your knowledge.

  • Almonds: 7.4 mg of vitamin E per 1/4 cup
  • Sunflower seeds: 6.9 mg of vitamin E per 1/4 cup
  • Spinach: 4.6 mg of vitamin E per one cup of cooked spinach
  • Hazelnuts: 4.3 mg of vitamin E per 1/4 cup
  • Swiss chard: 4 mg of vitamin E per one cup of cooked chard
  • Turnip greens: 3.7 mg of vitamin E per one cup of cooked greens
  • Mustard greens: 3.3 mg of vitamin E per one cup of cooked greens
  • Kiwi: 2.5 mg of vitamin E per 1 medium fruit
  • Broccoli: 2.2 mg of vitamin E per one cup of cooked broccoli
  • Mango: 2 mg of vitamin E per one medium fruit

Signs of Vitamin E Deficiency 

Vitamin E is found in many vegan and non-vegan foods, in addition to various supplements. That makes the vitamin E deficiency rate in the United States very low, even rare. That said, people with digestive disorders, or those who cannot properly absorb fat, can develop a vitamin E deficiency. If you cannot absorb fat, you may have cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis, celiac disease, or other similar disease. The common signs of a vitamin E deficiency include:

  • Peripheral neuropathy (damage to the peripheral nerves, usually in the hands or feet, which can cause weakness or pain)
  • Decreased immune function
  • Retinopathy (damage to the retina, which can impair vision)
  • Ataxia (loss of control of body movements)


Vitamin E is an integral nutrient for preventing oxidative damage and maintaining overall health. Because there are many food sources and supplements, you should not have a problem eating the RDI of vitamin E per day, no matter what diet you follow. Fresh is always best, so include a variety of nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and other fruits and vegetables in your diet to meet your vitamin E needs.



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