Tocopherol is one of several elements that makes up the classification of “vitamin E” substances. Various forms of this element are found in natural foods. Alpha tocopherol is the most powerful form, but some of the other foods including gamma tocopherol can also pack a punch when it comes to providing this essential nutrient. Because studies on tocopherol supplements have had varied results, it’s best to consult a doctor about the best personal levels of vitamin E for your personal diet. The recommended daily allowance or RDA of tocopherol, written as vitamin E, is 15mg/day for a healthy adult. Pregnant or lactating women are advised to take caution when dealing with this nutritional element, as elevated levels have been linked to some birth defects.
Foods Containing Tocopherol
A range of natural foods provide most of the tocopherol that people need in their regular diet. Here are some of the top choices for getting your daily intake of vitamin E.
- Wheat Germ – This healthy food was originally used in animal tests to deliver high levels of tocopherol or vitamin E. This is one of the most powerful ways to get a high volume of tocopherol into a daily diet.
- Vegetable Oils – Different kinds of vegetable oils including olive oil and sunflower seed oil carry a lot of vitamin E. So do various nut oils like walnut, almond and peanut oils. Because these oils also include some fat content, scientists have found that individuals on a low-fat diet can be at risk for a vitamin E deficiency.
- Whole Nuts – When it comes to vitamin E, the nuts themselves are capable of providing this kind of dietary nutrition. Hazelnuts and chestnuts also carry higher levels of vitamin E, though not nearly as much as the levels found in wheat germ.
- Asparagus and Tomatoes – Some seemingly random vegetables also have a bit of vitamin E. Asparagus is known to have 1.5mg of tocopherol per 100 grams, where tomatoes carry .9mg in a similar serving. Carrots are another good choice: besides delivering .6mg of vitamin E per 100 grams, they have beta-carotene, an antioxidant, and other health benefits.
- Goat’s Milk – The milk of goats and the cheeses and other products that it makes also have some residual vitamin E value. High quality goat milk products can be a wonderful addition to the table, while providing some unique nutrients.
- Fortified Foods – Some of the processed foods that manufacturers market are fortified with synthetic or modified blends of vitamins, including vitamin E. Vitamin fortified foods are, in theory, a way to get some of the classic health values of natural foods into a diet for a fast-paced life. Although the fortified processed foods keep longer, some nutritionists don’t believe that they have the same nutritional levels or health properties as fresh whole foods.
Those who need more vitamin E in their daily diet can think about adding any of these popular foods to their meals in order to get more of what this nutrient offers for overall health.