Did you know that there is a mineral that is actually vital for the human body? That's right, Selenium! Selenium is a trace mineral which is found naturally in soil and wholesome foods and plays a part in antioxidant activity, immunity, and is key to maintaining a healthy metabolism! Read on to learn more about the wonderful health benefits and natural sources of Selenium.
This week’s Nutrients by the Alphabet: Selenium
That’s right, in this new series – Nutrients by the Alphabet – you will learn all about important nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants), their health benefits, and easy and delicious ways to get more of the good stuff with a fun recipe to try each week (courtesy of my awesome student-intern from Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School – Shelby Persechino)!
So, what are the health benefits of Selenium?
Selenium acts as an antioxidant by fighting the aging process and defending against free radical damage and inflammation. Selenium enables the body to fight oxidative stress and defend against cancers like prostate and colon cancer. Studies have shown that a high dose of 200 milligrams a day of selenium can effective protect DNA, which can reduce the risk of cell mutation and cancer development. Selenium improves blood flow and lowers chance of heart disease due to its ability to reduce free radical oxidative stress, fight inflammation, and increase blood flow. Selenium also boosts immunity and is a key nutrient in counteracting the development of viruses. Selenium regulates thyroid function and acts as a powerful protector of the thyroid. It regulates the production of reactive oxygen within the gland and protects it from antibodies that can create thyroid disease. Selenium also increases longevity since it can help defend the body against common forms of cancers, fight off viruses, defend against heart disease, and slow down symptoms correlated with other serous conditions like asthma. Selenium can also help boost fertility since it is required for proper sperm motility and increases blood flow, which are two key components involved in conception and beating infertility. It is easy to see that Selenium is a very important mineral and you should make sure to incorporate it into your diet regularly to obtain these awesome health benefits.
So, how much Selenium do you need and where can you find it?
The RDA for adults and children 14 years and up is 55 micrograms per day. You can find Selenium in brazil nuts, eggs, sunflower seeds, lamb or beef liver, rockfish, tuna, herring fish, chicken breast, salmon, turkey, chia seeds, mushrooms.
Looking for a delicious, gluten free, vegan snack recipe to increase your Selenium intake? Try this Healthy No Bake Brazil Nut Balls from Purely Twins.
Now that looks like a perfect snack for when you're on the go!