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Question: Someone told me that one Brazil nut can provide your entire recommended daily intake for vitamin E. Is that true?
Answer: Nuts can certainly be a good source of vitamin E, but the recommended daily intake of vitamin E is 22 IU of natural vitamin E (or 33 IU of the synthetic form) and one Brazil nut provides only 0.42 IU of vitamin E — less than 2% the recommended daily intake. Note, however, that one Brazil nut does provide the recommended daily intake for selenium.
Other nuts, such as almonds and hazelnuts, as well as certain seeds, oils and grains (sunflower seeds, safflower and olive oil and wheat germ) have higher concentrations of vitamin E. For example, while one ounce of Brazil nuts contains 2.2 IU of vitamin E, an ounce of almonds provides 10 IU — and one tablespoon of wheat germ oil contains 30 IU.
Incorporating some of these foods into your daily diet, you can easily meet normal daily requirements. Higher amounts may be helpful for certain conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or rheumatoid arthritis. You may need a supplement to attain these higher intakes.
For more about vitamin E and vitamin E supplements, upper intake limits, amounts found in other foods, plus our tests of popular natural and synthetic vitamin E supplements, see the ConsumerTips and Results sections of the Vitamin E Supplements Review >>
See the Encyclopedia article about Vitamin E.