If you care about your health, it’s vital to fully comprehend the benefits associated with the different vitamins and minerals. It can be a balancing act to ensure your diet has sufficient nutrients and as Selenium is an important trace mineral with multiple benefits. Are you getting enough?
Selenium and What it Can Do for You
Found naturally in soil, selenium is vital for the maintenance of your metabolism. It also reduces the risk of developing thyroid disease, of developing some cancers, or falling foul of autoimmune diseases. Selenium reduces free radicals and inflammation in the body but also defends against the risk of heart disease. It can even slow down the symptoms of conditions such as asthma. In the US alone, even those who are careful with their diet may still find that they are deficient of this trace mineral.
The Benefits of Selenium
This mineral should be taken alongside vitamin E for maximum absorption. This also helps in the fight against cancers including prostate or even colon cancer. Selenium infiltrates the cell nucleus seeking out and repairing damage to DNA. It’s an important mineral to protect against cell degradation or mutation and has a component of glutathione peroxidase. This is an enzyme to protect fat within the cell membranes.
Selenium boosts immune function. It can counteract viruses and can even slow down those progressive conditions such as AIDS. It can help to reduce inflammation while improving circulation and assists with antioxidant activity. For anyone with a thyroid condition, this mineral is important as it assists iodine with metabolism and it also helps to recycle vitamin C. The health of the thyroid is very important, and those hormones produced by this gland as part of the endocrine system will affect growth. The thyroid contains the most selenium on a per gram basis and therefore, selenium is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. This mineral is also vital for the reproductive system of men and women.
Foods with high levels of this mineral improve the detoxification process so the body and this means, there is less pressure on the thyroid and the liver.
Although it is found naturally in soil, if soil nutrients are depleted, this leads to fluctuating levels of the mineral. This makes it difficult to ensure the correct levels are obtained. As an example, the same produce may contain more or less depending on where grown or produced. Where deficiency exists in the body, it’s common to experience muscle weakness. You can take supplements if you know that your diet is insufficient although it is best to obtain the relevant levels through diet if possible. The RDA is 55 mcg per day.
Meat and fish contain levels of this mineral, however, it’s also relatively easy to consume the right amounts through a plant-based diet. Concerned about your intake of selenium? Look at these sources:
Brazil nuts – have an abundance of selenium. In fact, if you take just one brazil nut a day, you are provided with 75 mcg of selenium.
Chia seeds – often considered a superfood, they have selenium, fiber, amino acids and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
White button mushrooms – provide selenium, additional trace minerals, and vitamin D.
Seeds – In addition to this all-important mineral, they also contain proteins, fatty acids, and fiber.
Greens – broccoli, spinach, and cabbage have a whole host of nutrients. These include calcium, proteins, and magnesium to name just a few.
The importance of this trace mineral is clear. If you are deficient, it can lead to a reduced immune function, affect cognitive function, and may create serious health issues. Look after your health. Your body will thank you.