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Selenium is an essential mineral, it has several health benefits. Selenium must be obtained through your diet because your body can’t make it. Most people may not have heard about this element but this is important for human health. Selenium is present in tissues, mostly in skeletal muscles. It plays an important role in improving metabolism and thyroid function. It may protect from cancer, cognitive decline but more research is needed. Studies have shown that it may prevent HIV from progressing AIDS, and it can reduce the rate of miscarriage in pregnant women.

Sources of Selenium

Selenium are mostly found in meat products such as Ham, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Turkey, Fish, all of these are high sources of selenium and one should include these products in his/her diet. If it is not possible to eat non-veg, you can get selenium from plant based/ dairy based products also. Following are the list of good sources of selenium.

  • Brazil Nuts
  • Whole wheat breads or pastas
  • Cereals
  • Eggs
  • Brown rice
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Baked beans
  • Oat meals
  • Spinach
  • Curd and yogurt
  • Lentils
  • Cashews
  • Bananas

Percentage content in different sources of Selenium:

  • Oysters: 238% of the DV in 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Brazil nuts: 174% of the DV in one nut (5 grams)
  • Halibut: 171% of the DV in 6 ounces (159 grams)
  • Yellowfin tuna: 167% of the DV in 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Eggs: 56% of the DV in 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • Sardines: 46% of the DV in 4 sardines (48 grams)
  • Sunflower seeds: 27% of the DV in 1 ounce (28 grams)
  • Chicken breast: 12% of the DV in 4 slices (84 grams)
  • Shiitake mushrooms: 10% of the DV in 1 cup (97 grams)

How much selenium does a person need in a day?

Recommended selenium amount per day for the people age above 14 years are 55 mcg. whereas for children below 13 years the recommended amount is 40 mcg. The recommended amount keep decreasing with the lower age. For more information click here).

Health Benefits of Selenium

  1. Selenium is powerful antioxidant
  2. It may reduce the chances of getting cancer, however more research is required on this.
  3. Selenium helps to reduce the chances of getting mental diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis.
  4. It is important for thyroid health and protect against oxidation damage.
  5. Intake of selenium can boost immune system
  6. It may help to reduce asthma symptoms.

What does Researches say about Selenium?

According to a research, there is evidence that dietary intakes of selenium greater than the requirement may help reduce the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer, to men. Selenium metabolism depends on the chemical form of Se in the diet, and some forms are better for some actions (e.g., cancer reduction) than other forms ( Source ).


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