Selenium is a trace mineral found naturally in the soil that also appears in certain high-selenium foods, and there are even small amounts in water. The amount of selenium in food depends on the selenium concentration of the soil, and this can vary both regionally and internationally. The higher the concentration of selenium in soil, the higher the concentration of selenium in crops. Soil in Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota is especially rich in selenium, and people living in these areas typically have the highest dietary intake of selenium in the United States, according to the 2014 Harvard Health publication “The Truth About Vitamins and Minerals.” Soil in some areas of China and Russia is naturally low in selenium. Selenium deficiencies in the Keshan region in northeast China were severe enough to spur a form of heart disease called cardiomyopathy, now called Keshan’s disease. Chinese government programs to supplement people’s diets with selenium in the 1970s greatly reduced cases of Keshan disease, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements. Low selenium levels in China, Tibet and Siberia may play a role in a type of osteoarthritis called Kashin-Beck disease.
– Acts as an Antioxidant and Defends Against Oxidative Stress: the ability to fight the aging process and help the immune system by reducing free radical damage.
– Boosts Immunity : selenium is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system and can also be a key nutrient in counteracting the development of viruses.
– Improves Blood Flow and Lowers Chance of Heart Disease : it’s believed that selenium can benefit heart health once again by its ability to fight inflammation, increase blood flow, reduce free radical oxidative stress and help with antioxidant activity.
– Regulates Thyroid Function : a deficiency in selenium is correlated with problems within the thyroid and how it synthesizes the proper hormones. Thus, more and more we can see the value of using selenium supplements to treat autoimmune and thyroid disorders.
– Can Help Boost Fertility : selenium is required for proper sperm motility and also increases blood flow, two key components involved in conception. Selenium is incorporated in the sperm mitochondria capsule and may affect the behavior and function of the sperm as they move through the vaginal canal.
– Lessening Dandruff: the existence of dandruff in our hair is one of the symptoms that you need more selenium intake. Selenium eradicates Malassezia, a fungi in our hair. The growth of Malassezia makes our hair dry. Therefore, selenium is included in many of shampoo products.
Best Selenium sources:
Needs vary depending on your age and health status. For adults and children four years of age and older, the current daily recommendation is 55 micrograms per day. For pregnant and breastfeeding women, the recommendation is 70 micrograms per day.
– Brazil nuts: 1 kernel (5 grams): 95.9 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
– Sunflower seeds: 1 cup: 74 micrograms: (over 100 percent DV)
– Pinto beans, raw: 1 cup: 53.8 micrograms (77 percent DV)
– Halibut, cooked: 3 ounces: 47 micrograms (67 percent DV)
– Sardines: 3 ounces: 45 micrograms (64 percent DV)
– Skipjack tuna, cooked: 3 ounces: 39.8 micrograms (57 percent DV)
– Wild-caught salmon, cooked: 3 ounces: 35.2 micrograms
– Chicken: 3 ounces: 22 micrograms (31 percent DV)
– Turkey, boneless: 3 ounces: 19.2 micrograms (27 percent DV)
– Eggs: 1 large: 15 micrograms