The suggested dietary target (SDT) each day for vitamin E intake is set at a level believed to reduce chronic disease. Vitamin E (SDT):
- Women 14mg
- Men 19mg
Why we need it
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant which protects our cell walls and cholesterol – especially LDL cholesterol – from damage by free radicals.
Research has shown higher vitamin E intakes may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetic complications and some cancers and cataracts, although the studies are limited in number and findings are inconsistent. Vitamin E supplement trials in high-risk groups have not shown benefits.
Excess vitamin E intakes from food would be near impossible but studies using high-dose supplements (which are not advocated) have led to a recommended upper limit of 300mg a day.
How to get vitamin E
We get good amounts of vitamin E from nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and kumara. Vitamin E is also found in oily fish, whole grains, avocado, kiwifruit and dark leafy greens.
Each of these provides 3mg vitamin E – around 20 per cent of a woman’s daily vitamin E needs
- 1/3 cup wheat germ
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 11 almonds
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3/4 cup cooked silver beet (or 3 cups raw)
- 1/2 cooked kumara (65g)
Did you know? Around half the vitamin E in foods can be lost during cooking.