Selenium is an essential trace mineral for humans, meaning we should all be getting enough from our diets every day through the consumption of selenium foods.
What is selenium good for in the body? It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, especially because it’s required for the creation of glutathione, considered your body’s master antioxidant. For this reason, research suggests that consuming foods high in selenium can support detoxification and liver function, as well as hormonal and thyroid health.
What types of foods provide selenium? Because it’s naturally found in soil and then transported into plants as they grow through special membranes within their roots, some plants, especially nuts, nuts and beans, can be such great sources of selenium in the diet. Meats, fish and eggs are other rich sources.
What foods are rich in selenium? There are a lot of healthy and delicious selenium-rich foods to choose from.
According to the USDA, below is a list of high selenium foods:
1 kernel (5 grams): 95.9 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
Brazil nuts’ selenium content is amazing, isn’t it? When it comes to selenium foods for vegetarians and selenium foods vegan can eat, Brazil nuts are without a doubt a top choice. It only takes one or two nuts (depending on their size) a day to meet most people’s daily selenium needs.
In addition, as one of the top healthiest nuts, a small clinical study published in 2013 in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that eating a single serving of Brazil nuts can lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and raise HDL (“good cholesterol) in healthy subjects.
3 ounces: 40 micrograms (57 percent DV)
3 ounces: 33 micrograms (44 percent DV)
Yellowfish tuna is especially rich in selenium. When buying tuna, look for tuna caught through Pacific troll or pole and line methods to get the lowest mercury option.
3 ounces: 24 micrograms (36 percent DV)
Don’t forget about turkey until next Thanksgiving. This bird is an excellent protein-rich source of selenium as well as the calm-inducing amino acid known as tryptophan.
1 cup: 22 micrograms (32 percent DV)
In addition to selenium, cottage cheese is a great source of protein and calcium.
3 ounces: 21 micrograms (30 percent DV)
1 cup: 19 micrograms (27 percent DV)
Mushrooms make a great vegetarian- and vegan-approved source of selenium and many other essential nutrients.
3 ounces: 17 micrograms (24 percent DV)
There are pros and cons of halibut fish, but the fact that this fish is a selenium-rich seafood option is definitely a pro.
1 large: 15 micrograms (22 percent DV)
1 cup: 15 micrograms (22 percent DV)
1 ounce: 15 micrograms (21 percent DV)
Sardines are a great source of selenium as well as essential fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Essential fatty acids also play an important role in the body when it come to cell signaling, immunity, mood and brain health.
1 ounce: 15 micrograms: (21 percent DV)
Another plant-based source of selenium is sunflower seeds, which are great to snack on by themselves. You can also add to them to salads, homemade veggie burgers, meatballs and more.
3 ounces 12 micrograms (18 percent DV)
1 cup: 13 micrograms (18 percent DV)
1 ounce: 10 micrograms (14 percent DV)
Is liver good for you? If you can learn to enjoy (or mask) the taste, many people love beef liver for its high nutrient content.
What fruits and vegetables are high in selenium? You can see from the list below that some of the top plant sources is mushrooms. Other food sources include spinach, bananas, peaches, carrots, green beans and potatoes.
In order to be sure you get enough selenium in your diet, aim to incorporate a variety of foods with selenium into your meals. Here are some mouth-watering recipes that include plenty of selenium:
You may be wondering how much selenium you need per day? 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.
Can you have too much selenium? Eating selenium foods is not a concern in regards to overdosing. However supplementing can be problematic if you take too much.
Chronically high intakes of selenium from supplements can lead to unwanted side effects. Some early signs of of excess intake include bad breath (specifically a garlic odor) and a metallic taste in the mouth, while other symptoms may include skin lesions and rashes, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, irritability, and nervous system abnormalities.
As long as you eat a variety of foods with selenium regularly, there is probably no need to supplement. However, if you suspect you may be deficient, speak to your doctor about safely supplementing.