Best Dietary Sources Of Selenium

Selenium is an essential mineral for basic functions in the body to fight off infections. The quantity of selenium in various foods is based on the selenium in the soil where the food was grown. Evaporation, rain, pesticides, and pH levels can all impact selenium in the soil. The makes selenium deficiency more common in some parts of the world, though it is linked rare in the USA.

Regardless of where you stay, some factors can make it challenging for the body to receive selenium. For example, you may have difficulty receiving selenium if you:

are receiving dialysis

are living with HIV

undergoing a gastrointestinal health condition, like Crohn’s disease.

Additionally, those with hypothyroidism or Graves’s disease need to pay special attention to their selenium eating as it serves a protective role for the thyroid.


How Much Selenium Do You Need?

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While extremely small content of selenium can lead to severe health difficulties, more selenium also causes toxic problems. Follow these guidelines from the National-Institutes-of-Health to know how much selenium is healthy for you:

Age Recommended everyday quantity of selenium

Over 14 years – 55 mcg

9 – 13 years – 40 mcg

4 – 8 years – 30 mcg

7 months – 3 years – 20 mcg

Birth – 6 months – 15 mcg

Females who are lactating or pregnant need up o 60mg of selenium every day.


Brazil Nuts

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Brazil nuts are tree nuts found in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia. Their smooth and buttery texture and nutty flavor are commonly enjoyed balanced or raw.

These nuts are energy-dense and highly nutritious and one of the most focused dietary sources of the selenium mineral.

Consuming brazil nuts may be helpful for health in different ways, including regulating your thyroid gland, lowering inflammation, and supporting the brain, heart, and immune system.

Brazil nuts are one of the good sources of selenium. One ounce, or about to 6-8 nuts, consists of 544 mcg. Ensure you only consume a serving of Brazil nuts sometimes a week to skip selenium every 3-ounces making it a good source of selenium. It is followed by oysters, sardines, halibut, clams, salmon, shrimp, and crab, which consist amounts between 40-65 mcg.


Enriched foods

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Some products, including whole-wheat bread, pasta, whole grain cereals are enriched and fortified with several minerals and selenium. The quantity of selenium in these products will be different, but you can commonly get up to 40 mcg every one-cup serving of cereal or noodles and about 16 mcg from 2-slices of whole-grain toast.


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The selenium content of beef relies upon the cut; however, a base round meat steak will give you around 33 mcg. Beef liver gives around 28 mcg, and ground meat offers around 18 mcg.


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You can have 31 mcg of selenium from 3-oz of boneless turkey. Consume a turkey sandwich on rich whole wheat bread for more selenium.


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The chicken will provide you around 22-25 mcg of selenium per 3-oz of white meat. It changes to a serving of similar size to a cards deck. It is an easy way to include some selenium in the diet.


Best Dietary Sources of Selenium:

Cottage cheese

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One cup of cottage cheese offers around 20 mcg of or 30% of everyday recommended consumption of selenium.



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One hard-boiled egg offers 20 mcg of selenium. If you don’t like hard-boiled eggs, no worries cook it as you like to get selenium.


Brown Rice

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One cup of cooked long brown rice will offer 19 mcg selenium or 27% of the recommended everyday amount. Enjoy this grain with your favorite 3-oz of turkey or chicken to get 50 mcg of selenium almost the whole suggested daily amount for adults. You can also change rice for Barley which offers 23mcg every 1/3 serving.


Sunflower Seeds

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Sunflower seeds are famous in trail mix, nutrition bars, multi-grain bread, as well as for snacking right from the bag. They provide rich healthy fats, helpful plant compounds, and many minerals and vitamins. These nutrients may help to lower the risk of general health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

A quarter cup of sunflower seeds offers almost 19 mcg of selenium, keeping them the best snack, especially if you do not consume animal products, which tend to get higher selenium.


Baked Beans

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Baked beans are a dish traditionally consisting of white beans that are parboiled and then, baked in sauce at controlled temperature for a longer period. In the United Kingdom, the dish is sometimes baked but regularly cooked in sauce. Canned baked beans are not baked, but steam cooked.

Enjoy one cup of baked beans, and you will have around 13 mcg of selenium along with some ess65ential fiber.


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Mushrooms are a type of edible fungus that can offer some essential nutrients. The various varieties of mushrooms have distinguished compositions and nutritional forms.

From truffles to puffballs, mushrooms can range from everyday fare to a costly luxury. People can buy them fresh, dried, and canned. Mushrooms are fungi, which give several nutrients, including iron, vitamin D, and 12 mcg of selenium in a 100-gm serving.



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Oatmeal refers to a preparation of oats that have been dehusked, steamed, and flattened, or else a coarse flour made of hulled oat grains that provide either steel-cut or milled. Ground oats are also named white oats.

One cup of normal oatmeal, cooked, will provide you 13 mcg of selenium. Enjoy it as breakfast with 2-eggs to have 53 mcg.



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Spinach is a healthy leafy green vegetable that originated in Persia. It belongs to the Amarnath family and is linked to quinoa and beets. What’s more, it is considered very healthy, as it is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients.

Spinach, cooked from the frozen, will offer you about 11 mcg of selenium every cup. It also provides complete folic acid and vitamin C.


Milk and yogurt

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Yogurt and milk consist of 8 mcg of selenium every cup or 11% of your needs every day. Include some milk in enriched cereal for consumption.



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One cup of cooked lentils offers about 6-mcg of selenium, additionally a healthy dose of fiber and protein. Add them in a soup with mushrooms for a vegan-friendly meal to provide total selenium.



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Dry roasted cashews contribute 3-mcg every ounce. That may not seem like much, but each bit helps, particularly if you get a vegan diet. Snack on some dry roasted cashews, and you will get a short amount of selenium at 3-mcg per one-ounce serving.


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One cup of chopped banana provides 2-mcg of selenium or 3% of everyday recommended consumption. Again, this might not seem like much, but most fruits provide different traces of selenium or none at all. Include bananas in a smoothie with yogurt or your favorite oatmeal for extra selenium.


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Different health-conscious eaters skip ham because of its high salt content. However, it offers around 42 mcg of selenium every 3-oz serving or 60% of the suggested daily consumption for adults.


Acts As A Strong Antioxidant

Antioxidants are syntheses in foods that stop cell damage occurred by free radicals. Free radicals are general products of processes like metabolism that are created in the body every day. They often get a bad knock, but free radicals are important for health. They perform essential functions, including saving your body from health problems. However, things like alcohol use, smoking, and stress can cause an extra of free radicals. It leads to oxidative stress, which affects healthy cells.

Oxidative stress has been related to chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, premature aging, stroke, and cancer.

Antioxidants like selenium help low oxidative stress by keeping free radical numbers in check. They work by neutralizing extra free radicals and save cells from damage occurred by oxidative stress.


May Lower Your Risk Of Certain Cancers

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Additionally, it also lowers oxidative stress, selenium, which may help to reduce the risk of different types of cancers. Selenium also lowers DNA damage and the impact of oxidative stress promotes the immune system and destroys cancer cells.

A review of 69 research that includes over 350,000 people found that getting a high blood level of selenium was linked with a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers.

It is essential to note that this effect was linked with selenium taken from food and not supplements.

However, some research recommends that supplementing with selenium may lower side effects in people experiencing radiation therapy.

For example, one research discovered that oral selenium supplement increased complete quality of life. It also reduces radiation-triggered diarrhea in a female with uterine cervical cancer.


Prevent Heart Disease

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In an analysis of 25 observational research, a 50% rise in blood selenium levels was linked with a 24% reduction in heart disease risk.

Selenium may also reduce markers of inflammation in body, which is  the primary risk factors for heart disease. For example, a review of 16 controlled research adds over 433,000 people with heart disease indicated that consuming selenium supplements lower inflammation level responsible for C-reactive protein.

Additionally, it raises the level of glutathione peroxidase, a strong antioxidant.

It shows that selenium may help to decrease heart disease risk by lowering inflammation and other oxidative stress in the body.

Oxidative inflammation and stress have been linked to atherosclerosis or the plaque build-up in arteries. Atherosclerosis can cause harmful health problems like heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease. Adding selenium-rich foods into your diet is the best way to prevent oxidative stress and inflammation.


Prevent Mental Decline

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Alzheimer’s disease is the worst condition that leads to memory loss and negative impact behavior and thinking. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the USA.

Many people with Alzheimer’s disease are growing. Thus, getting ways to prevent this degenerative problem is imperative.

Oxidative stress is believed to be involved in both the onset and development of neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Various research has shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease have low blood levels of selenium.

Additionally, some research has discovered that antioxidants in both foods and supplements may increase memory in people with Alzheimer’s.

According to small research supplementing with one selenium-rich brazil nut every day increases verbal fluency and different mental functions in people with mild cognitive impairment.

Additionally, the Mediterranean diet, which provides high selenium foods, such as nuts, seafood, has been linked with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.


Necessary for Thyroid Health

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Selenium is essential for the precise functioning of your thyroid gland. Thyroid problems consist of a higher quantity of selenium than the different organs in the human body.

This strong mineral helps to protect the thyroid against oxidative damage.  It also plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones.

A healthy thyroid gland is essential, as it normalizes your metabolism and manages development and growth.

Selenium deficiency has been linked with thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is a variety of hypothyroidism. In this condition, the immune system strikes the own thyroid gland.

Observational exploration of more than 6000 individuals found low selenium caused the risk of an immune system problem, hypothyroidism, and thyroiditis.

Also, some exploration has shown that selenium supplements might assist individuals with Hashimoto’s illness.

According to the review consuming selenium supplements every day for 3-months resulted in a reduced risk of thyroid antibodies. It also led to enhancing mood and general well-being in people with Hashimoto’s disease.

Promote Immune System

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The immune system helps the body to stay healthy and prevent diseases.

These include viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Selenium is essential for immune system health. This antioxidant helps to reduce oxidative stress in the body, which lowers inflammation and improves immunity.

Research has demonstrated that high blood levels of selenium are linked with improved immune response.

Then again, selenium deficiency has been displayed to damage-resistant cell work and may cause a slower reaction of the immune system.

Research has also shown that selenium deficiency increases the death risk and HIV progression while taking a supplement to improve its symptoms.

Additionally, selenium supplements help to strengthen the immune system in people with tuberculosis, influenza, and hepatitis C.

Reduce Asthma Symptoms

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Asthma is a chronic problem that impacts the air passage that carries air to the lungs while inhale and exhale. These airways become inflamed and start to narrow, leading to symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness.

Asthma has been linked with raised oxidative stress levels and body inflammation. Because of selenium’s ability to lower inflammation, so research recommends that this mineral may help to lower asthma-linked symptoms. It also suggested that people experiencing asthma also have a low level of selenium in the blood.

One research indicated that asthmatic people with higher levels of blood selenium have good lung function than those with lower levels. Selenium supplements may also have low asthma symptoms.

For instance, one investigation discovered that giving individuals with asthma 200 mcg of selenium each day decreased their utilization of the corticosteroid meds used to control their side effects.

However, research about this part is conflicting and higher studies are required to completely understand selenium’s role in the development and asthma treatment.

Who’s At Risk?

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Additionally, living in part with low selenium in soil, the following things can also raise the chance of selenium deficiency, regardless of where you stay:

having HIV

undergoing dialysis

Experiencing digestive problems, such as Crohn’s disease

These things can cause to affect selenium absorption in the body, even if you are getting sufficient selenium from your diet.


Who Needs Enough Selenium?

Sufficient selenium is necessary for some groups like people who:

Have thyroid

Have cancer

Graves disease

Are Pregnant

Already deficient

Have the weak immune function


How Is It Diagnosed?

Selenium deficiency can be challenging for doctors to diagnose. It is because there is not a widely available test for it. In some cases, your physician can measure glutathione peroxide levels. It is an enzyme that requires selenium to work. If your level is low, you may not have enough selenium.


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