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Zinc & Vitamin E Foods

By Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.

Zinc and vitamin E are essential nutrients found in foods and supplements. It’s important to consume adequate amounts of each of these to help prevent nutrient deficiencies. Some foods are good sources of both zinc and vitamin E.

Background

According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, zinc helps to strengthen your immune system, make DNA and proteins, aid in wound healing and optimize growth and development in children. The Office of Dietary Supplements also notes that vitamin E is an antioxidant also involved with immune function. It also helps to protect cells in your body from free radical damage, which may protect you from certain diseases.

Recommendations

Although zinc and vitamin E are present in a variety of foods you may typically eat, they are commonly in multivitamin supplements, too. If you’re not getting enough zinc or vitamin E from foods, your health care professional my recommend you take a multivitamin supplement. The Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for zinc in adults is 15 mg per day for women, men and pregnant women, and 19 mg per day for women who are nursing. The RDA for zinc is 11 mg per day for adult men and adult pregnant women, 12 mg per day for adult breastfeeding women and 8 mg per day for other adult women.

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Zinc in Foods

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, foods that are good sources of zinc include beef, chicken and pork; seafood such as oysters, lobster and crab; legumes such as kidney beans and chick peas; dairy foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese; and certain types of nuts including cashews and almonds.

Vitamin E in Foods

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, foods that provide you with vitamin E include wheat germ, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oils, and leafy green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.

Foods Containing Both

Some foods are sources of both zinc and vitamin E. These include nuts, especially almonds, and some fortified breakfast cereals. However, not all fortified cereals contain both zinc and vitamin E so read nutrition labels carefully when selecting a breakfast cereal.

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