Best Food Sources of Selenium - Nutritional Sources of Selenium

Selenium is important for our body. It provides many health benefits. Selenium is a trace mineral that means our body needs it in a very small amount. Selenium can be found in many foods and we need it on a daily basis. Consumption of selenium enriched foods can significantly cut down the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. In addition, selenium is also needed for proper functioning of many parts of the body. It must be noted that selenium is a strong antioxidant and that’s why it plays important roles in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Selenium is present in many natural foods but selenium content of food can vary significantly because of the location and soil conditions. Before you know more about the best food sources of selenium, check out the function of selenium.

Function of Selenium

According to the experts, selenium plays an important role in cancer prevention. Antioxidant properties of selenium prevent oxidative stress and help to repair DNA & synthesis in damaged cells.  In this way it reduces the growth of cancer cells. Selenium is also very helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. It is considered as a very effective mineral for reducing blood pressure levels as well. Recent studies showed that this trace mineral can play vital role in the prevention & treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Selenium is a critical mineral for maintaining proper function of the thyroid gland. Selenium also lowers the risk of joint inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis.

Selenium Deficiency Symptoms

Lack of selenium in the body can lead to muscles pain and weakness, discoloration of skin & hair, mental & physical fatigue and slow functioning of the immune system. Selenium deficiency can be responsible for Keshan disease, Kashin-Beck's disease, Asthma, Psoriasis, Colorectal & Esophageal cancer, Parkinson's disease and Multiple sclerosis. Selenium deficiency can also be a reason of infertility among men.

Best Food Sources of Selenium - Nutritional Sources of Selenium

Given below is an extensive list of best food sources of selenium or natural sources of selenium. Check it out...

• Grains
• Barley
• Mustard Seeds
• Shiitake Mushrooms
• Oats
• Brown Rice
• Sunflower Seeds
• Sesame Seeds
• Tofu
• Red Grapes
• Cayenne Pepper
• Lemongrass
• Brazil Nuts
• Peppermint
• Ginseng
• Tuna
• Salmon
• Sardines
• Scallops
• Chicken
• Lamb
• Shrimp
• Eggs

If you are healthy and eat a well-balanced diet, you should get enough selenium. You may have low levels of selenium if you:

  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Drink alcohol
  • Take birth control pills
  • Have a condition that prevents your body from absorbing enough selenium such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis

Dietary Supplement of Selenium

Selenium may be taken as part of a vitamin-mineral supplement, a nutritional antioxidant formula, or as a separate supplement. Most supplements contain a form of selenium called selenomethionine. Use dietary supplements only after consulting your doctor.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Selenium:

 Children 1-3
 Children 4-8
 Children 9-13
 Adults and children 14 and up
 Pregnant women
 20 micrograms/day
 30 micrograms/day
 40 micrograms/day
 55 micrograms/day
 60 micrograms/day

Caution: Additional selenium intake in the form of supplements is beneficial for those who are suffering from selenium deficiency. But those who have adequate or high amounts of selenium in the blood should not take selenium supplements as too much of selenium can be harmful for the health. 

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap /

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