I try to get nearly all my nutrients from food, especially when it comes to antioxidants. The RDA for Vitamin E in adults is 15 mg. Vitamin E is especially important for the brain, eyes, immunity and cardiovascular system. Yeah, it’s really important!
I love my wfpb diet but I’ve learned to pay a little extra attention to getting enough Vitamin E, especially because I prefer not to add refined oils.
Here’s a hypothetical 2 days of meals. Both are high calorie (2000 kcals for active people), wfpb, no added oil.
Can you guess which day provides the full 15 mg Vitamin E and which supplies less than half?
Breakfast: soy yogurt, oats, flax, raspberries, banana
Lunch: Tempeh salad (cashew cream, onion, celery, carrot) on ezekiel toast, lettuce
Snack: rye crackers, tahini, dates
Dinner: whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce, lentils, mushrooms, kale, apple
Breakfast: soy milk, oats, flax, walnuts, blueberries, orange
Lunch: quinoa salad with lentils, pistachios, green onion, red bell peppers, sweet potato
Snack: rye bread, almond butter, dates
Dinner: pinto beans, tortillas, salsa, avocado, swiss chard
. . . and the answer is…
DAY 2 wins! Though both days’ meals are full of nutrient-packed foods, DAY 2 meets the RDA with more than twice as much Vitamin E as DAY 1: 15.5 mg. I was surprised how easy it is to eat “healthy” and not be reaching the RDA. Highest sources on DAY 2 are almond butter, pinto beans, swiss chard, red bell pepper, quinoa, and avocado. Here are the values from cronometer.com:
DAY ONE’s top sources of Vitamin E are tomato sauce and kale.
Here’s what I do
Most people will get enough Vitamin E on a varied wfpb diet. But I make sure to include some foods that are exceptional sources as extra insurance. Here are just a few of my faves:
Among nuts and seeds: almonds and sunflower seeds are superior sources
Vegetables: collard greens, spinach, broccoli, beet greens, swiss chard, asparagus
Beans: black beans, white beans and pinto beans are higher than lentils or soy.
For plant-based nutrition information veganhealth.org is a great resource among many (Simon at plant_proof on Instagram has a great podcast…). Cronometer.com is a free online app for tracking nutrients in your diet. For those with medical conditions, or if you’re pregnant or lactating, please consult a dietitian for individual dietary recommendations.