Interesting Facts About Selenium

foods high in selenium

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What is Selenium?

Selenium is an essential mineral for our bodies, which is found naturally in the soil, water, and certain food produce. Although our body requires only a small amount of selenium, the nutrient plays a crucial role in regulating our metabolism and thyroid function. Selenium also influences our cognitive functions, fertility, and our immune health. In our bodies, the mineral can be traced in our skeletal muscles. It’s crucial yet relatively simple, IKR.

Food Sources High in Selenium

The following food items are generally high in Selenium content.

  • Brazil nuts
  • Seafood and fish
  • Meat, poultry, and eggs
  • Cereals and other grains
  • Dairy products

The Selenium found in food products depends on the Selenium content of the soil it was grown on, and in the water used to grow the same. The Selenium content we derive from consuming animal meat also varies, as it does with plant produce. It’s because there’s no fixed guarantee of the amount of Selenium they derive themselves from the plants they eat.

Selenium’s Antioxidant Properties

Selenium has found itself at the center of much favorable media attention due to its high antioxidant properties. Antioxidants keep us protected against cell damage caused by free radicals. When unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption and stress cause our bodies to produce excessive free radicals and trigger oxidative stress, which causes cell damage, we are prone to higher risk of developing multiple diseases. Premature aging, stroke risk, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s are all associated with oxidative stress. Antioxidants such as Selenium keep a check on the number of free radicals operating inside our body and neutralize them when exceeding a healthy number. In this way, Selenium’s antioxidant properties protects our bodies from incurring cell damage.

Correct Proportion of Intake

Now, that you’ve learned about the many benefits of consuming Selenium rich food, you must want to know what the Recommended Dietary Allowance for the nutrient is. The RDA stipulates how much Selenium your body should consume, either directly from food or any extra supplement. It is possible to enjoy your RDA of Selenium from food products alone. The upper limit for including Selenium in your diet is 400mg daily. If you exceed this amount, you are risking an overdose.

200mg Selenium Supplements

If you are unable to receive your RDA of Selenium from your regular diet, you can rely on Selenium supplements sold in the market in capsule/tablet form. These Selenium supplements are made available in 200mg form, which adequately meet your day’s antioxidant requirements. They are available much like you can find with other helpful products such as magnesium, potassium, and cinnamon.

Side-effects

Selenium is a trace mineral, which means that our body only needs a small amount of it. If you consume an excessive amount of Selenium in the long-term, you could predispose yourself to a wealth of health problems such as –

  • Hair loss
  • Stomach upset
  • Respiratory disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart attack
  • Nausea
  • Brittleness and discoloration of nails
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Skin flushing
  • Bad breath
  • Skin lesions

Conclusion

You will benefit from introducing Selenium into your diet for its significant antioxidant functions – just be careful not to consume a high amount of the mineral chronically to protect from experiencing negative side-effects.

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FAQ

What is selenium?

Selenium is an essential mineral for our bodies, which is found naturally in the soil, water, and certain food produce. Although our body requires only a small amount of selenium, the nutrient plays a crucial role in regulating our metabolism and thyroid function. Selenium also influences our cognitive functions, fertility, and our immune health. In our bodies, the mineral can be traced in our skeletal muscles.

What foods are high in selenium?

Brazil nuts
Seafood and fish
Meat, poultry, and eggs
Cereals and other grains
Dairy products

Is selenium an antioxidant?

Selenium has found itself at the center of much favorable media attention due to its high antioxidant properties. Antioxidants keep us protected against cell damage caused by free radicals. When unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption and stress cause our bodies to produce excessive free radicals and trigger oxidative stress, which causes cell damage, we are prone to higher risk of developing multiple diseases.

Additional Resources:

Selenium Nutrition: Harvard School of Public Health

US Department of Agriculture – Selenium

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