All About Selenium: Why You Want This Important Nutrient

You might not have heard of selenium, which is a mineral and important micronutrient.

Within the diet world, the time period important refers to a nutrient (like a vitamin, mineral or amino acid) which isn’t produced within the physique so it have to be obtained by means of weight-reduction plan.

What Is Selenium?

Selenium (Se on the periodic desk) is categorized as a hint mineral, which means you solely have to eat a small quantity to acquire its well being advantages. It has been examined in quite a few medical analysis research due its sturdy capability as an antioxidant.

Many persistent ailments consequence from an accumulation of compounds referred to as free radicals that trigger a state of oxidative stress within the physique, which if left untreated can injury wholesome cells.

Selenium has been examined in quite a few medical analysis research due its sturdy capability as an antioxidant.

Antioxidants fight these dangerous results by conserving the variety of free radicals from escalating to problematic ranges.

Se specifically prompts an enzyme referred to as glutathione peroxidase (GPx for brief) which consumes the surplus compounds from physique tissues, antioxidant exercise referred to as “radical scavenging”.

What Are the Main Well being Advantages of Selenium?

Selenium has been related with decreased danger of a number of severe situations together with coronary heart illness, sure cancers, and even cognitive decline. That is largely attributed to Se’s antioxidant capabilities that scale back free radical-related destruction, together with in mind tissue.

Se has additionally demonstrated different advantages like decreasing irritation and stopping platelet aggregation in addition to enhancing the immune system.

Selenium performs a job in wholesome thyroid operate. The selenoproteins, together with GPx, assist forestall the thyroid gland from oxidative injury throughout the era of thyroid hormones. It’s no shock then the thyroid tissue comprises essentially the most Se of any organ within the physique!

What Meals Include Selenium?

Selenium is current in a wide range of totally different meals together with many kinds of seafoods and meats. There are plant-based sources too, however the selenium content material varies relying on the sort and high quality of soil the crops had been grown and farmed in.

Sure areas comprise extra selenium-rich soil than others, and processes like enriching add further selenium to meals merchandise like bread and pasta.

High 5 Meals Sources of Selenium:


1. Brazil Nuts

These snacks are the very best recognized meals supply of selenium, the truth is only one nut has greater than the really useful day by day selenium requirement!

A research featured within the Journal of Vitamin and Metabolism discovered {that a} single serving of Brazil nuts helped enhance blood selenium standing and cardiovascular lipid biomarkers in wholesome adults.

2. Fish

A number of sorts of seafood, starting from yellowfin tuna and halibut to oysters and shrimp, are significantly excessive in selenium. Simply one more reason to savor these fish tacos.


3. Meat

Ham, beef, hen, and turkey are all good sources of selenium. Including complete wheat bread will increase the Se content material much more, so get pleasure from that turkey sandwich!

4. Brown Rice

One cup of lengthy grain cooked brown rice comprises between 27 and 35% of the really useful day by day Se quantity. Pair with a meat or seafood protein or make it a selenium-boosting base of a grain or veggie bowl.

5. Baked Beans

That is one other nice plant-based supply of selenium which additionally gives extra vitamins like protein, fiber, and iron. A good way so as to add some further Se to chilis and stews!

How A lot Selenium Ought to You Get?

In keeping with the Nationwide Institute of Well being the day by day really useful consumption for selenium is 55 micrograms for folks 14 years of age and older, 60 micrograms for pregnant ladies and 70 micrograms for lactating ladies.

Whereas it’s a nutrient with many advantages, Se does carry danger of toxicity if the higher restrict of 400 micrograms per day is exceeded.

Se has been related to decreased danger of a number of severe situations together with coronary heart illness, cancers, and cognitive decline.

For reference, a 3 oz. serving of dry-cooked halibut comprises 47 mcg of selenium (85% of the day by day worth) whereas one cup of cooked long-grain brown rice comprises 19 mcg.

In the meantime, one ounce of Brazil nuts (6-8 nuts) exceeds the tolerable higher restrict at 544 mcg, so it’s best to maintain servings to not more than 20 grams per day.

These with thyroid situations (akin to Graves’ Illness and hypothyroidism) may have to switch their consumption to make sure correct thyroid safety.

There are additionally sure populations, akin to HIV optimistic, dialysis sufferers, or people with particular gastrointestinal situations who might have problem absorbing Se.

Seek the advice of your physician and dietitian to find out a dietary selenium stage that’s best for you.

The Takeaway on This Important Nutrient

Selenium helps defend many physique tissues and organs from dangerous oxidative injury and irritation, and consumption has been related to a discount in a number of severe persistent ailments.

The good information is that it’s discovered extensively in lots of meals and consuming simply 55 micrograms day by day can assist you profit from Se’s antioxidant energy. Brazil nuts are the very best supply of the Se enhance, so make sure to get pleasure from responsibly!

All included info will not be supposed to deal with or diagnose. The views expressed are these of the writer and must be attributed solely to the writer. For medical questions, please seek the advice of your healthcare supplier.


Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.

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