Selenium is an important mineral to perform the basic functions of the body. Though it is known as a trace mineral, it’s level in the body plays an important role in providing health benefits. We do not seek selenium supplements from the market as we are least aware, but selenium from food can be a great option.
Selenium is stored in the skeletal muscles. People deficient in this mineral face hair loss, severe fatigue and muscle weakness. As selenium in food comes from the earth, the amount depends upon soil quality, rain, evaporation, selenium content in soil and pH levels.
Selenium is a great antioxidant for fighting thyroid, solving heart problems, building immunity, and improving mental health.
What are the benefits of selenium?
Selenium though required in the body in lesser amount plays major role in –
- Fighting thyroid
- DNA synthesis
- Building immunity
- Solving heart problem
- Improving mental health
- Fighting oxygen free radicals
How much selenium should one consume?
Selenium causes deficiencies when consumed in lower amounts and if consumed at a higher rate it possesses risk also. So, ingestion of selenium through foods must be adequate. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of selenium provided by NIH (National Institute of Health) is mentioned below.
|Birth to 6 months||15 mcg|
|7-12 months||20 mcg|
|1-3 years||20 mcg|
|4-8 years||30 mcg|
|9-13 years||40 mcg|
|14-18 years||55 mcg|
|19-50 years||55 mcg|
|51 + years||55 mcg|
The amount may vary for pregnant or lactating women. The selenium need is increased to 60-70 mcg.
Selenium rich foods:
There are a lot of foods that contain selenium. Selenium food must be consumed in adequate amounts. Here are a few foods that contain selenium.
Brazil Nuts: A great source of selenium is Brazil nuts, especially for vegetarians. Just 2 Brazil nuts a day can cover the daily requirement of the mineral for the body.
Seafood: Various seafoods such as tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, halibut, oysters and sardines contain good amounts of selenium. Tuna has 92mcg of selenium /3 ounce serving while others range between 40-65 mcg for the same serving.
Cheese: Along with the yummy taste that cheese provides it is rich in selenium too. 1 cup of 1% milk fat cottage cheese contains 20 mcg of selenium.
Pasta: Enriched macaroni contains around 37 mcg of selenium per 1 cup of serving. Well, now mac and cheese sound healthier after knowing this. Isn’t it?
Brown rice: Brown rice, usually long grained, serves 19 mcg of selenium per cup. Rice is a good option for those who are allergic to gluten.
Eggs: One large hard-boiled egg meets around 27% of the daily selenium requirement. It serves 15 mcg of selenium per serving. If you do not like hard boiled eggs, you can consume it the way you want and still get the amount.
Oatmeal: Be it an oatmeal smoothie or pancake or a bowl of breakfast, you will get selenium in any form that you eat. One regular cup of oatmeal serves the body around 13 mcg of selenium.
Milk: Be in any form, 1 cup of 1% fat milk serves you 8 mcg of selenium meeting about 15% of the daily value requirement.
Bread: One slice of bread, easy to carry and liked by almost everyone in every form provides 13 mcg of selenium.
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