What are the best sources of vitamin E? The answer may not be as obvious as you might think. Find out in this week’s Nutrition News as we cover the latest nutritional research.

The foods with higher vitamin E content than almonds

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient, meaning that we need to obtain it from our diet or from food supplements. It is fat soluble so the body can store it and use it as and when needed.

There are many food sources of vitamin E, with almonds being amongst the best known due to the sheer volume of vitamin E per serving. There are approximately 7.3 milligrams of vitamin E per 28 gram serving of almonds but there are a number of foods that contain even more of the nutrient, as illustrated recently in this Eat This, Not That! article.

Wheat germ oil – Just one tablespoon of wheat germ oil delivers an impressive 20 milligrams of vitamin E. It’s also a really versatile ingredient that can be used in salads and pasta dishes.

Sunflower seeds – These seeds are a great snack and cereal topping. They also contain 7.4 milligrams per 28 gram serving.

Mamey sapote – Native to Mexico and Central America, mamey sapote is an exotic fruit with soft flesh when ripe and the size of a coconut. A whole fruit delivers 11.8 milligrams of vitamin E, which is more than 78% the daily recommended value.

Hazelnut oil – 1 1/3 tablespoons of hazelnut oil is all you need to obtain more vitamin E than a portion of almonds as it offers 8 milligrams of the essential vitamin.

While almonds are a healthy addition to the diet and supply an impressive amount of vitamin E, it is important to eat a varied diet and to know what other food types can deliver the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy.

Nutritional tips for summer

While colds and fever are more prevalent during the winter as a result of spending more time indoors in closer proximity to other people, summer brings its own set of health challenges. Further to our recent natural hay fever relief guide, an article has been published in Irish News that covers the nutritional options for hay fever support.

The first tip is to ensure that the diet consists of vitamin C, quercetin and bromelain as each nutrient contains antihistamine properties. It is best to start early, the article advises, as it can take 2-3 months for the nutrients to take effect so, it depends on when hay fever symptoms normally strike to decide when to start adding to your diet. Zinc is also recommended as it contributes to the normal function of the immune system.

Other tips to consider for hay fever season include using a balm around your nostrils to prevent the pollen from being breathed in and considering nettle tea as it is thought that nettle has the ability to block histamine activity.

It is also recommended, as hay fever is an inflammatory response, to keep your diet balanced with anti-inflammatory foods such as oily fish, walnuts and avocados. Gut health also has strong links with balancing allergy symptoms so probiotics such as lactobacillus rhamnosus can be beneficial.

The impact of gut health on sleep

Sleep is hugely important. It’s when our bodies recover from the day, when our brain removes toxins that have built up over the course of the day and helps general wellbeing. Therefore, it’s no surprise that sleep support has become a priority when it comes to looking after our health.

According to a recent NutraIngredients article, the key to a good night’s sleep could start with the gut. Speaking to gut microbiologist Guus Kortman, the article noted the publication of several studies in recent years that link the health of the gut microbiome and sleep. Not only does good diversity in the gut microbiome seem to correlate to good sleep but specific bacteria has also been linked to positive sleep outcomes. The strains bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in probiotic formulations specifically have been the centre of some promising research on sleep.

Kortman admits that there are still many areas to explore on the link between gut health and sleep before we can establish causation but preliminary investigations are promising.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is the Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.