Selenium is an essential trace mineral important for cognitive function, a healthy immune system and fertility for both men and women. Selenium is found in a variety of foods, the richest sources being Brazil nuts, seafood and organ meats.
- Strengthens the immune system
- Helps in sperm production in males
- Helps in maintaining healthy hair and nails
- Aids in normal function of the thyroid
- Protects cells from being damaged
Selenium is responsible for the body's production of prostaglandins which is a group of cyclic fatty acid compounds with varying hormone-like effects, notably the promotion of uterine contractions; which regulates inflammation and can reduce inflammations related to Rheumatoid arthritis.
Selenium is a mineral that can be found in several food categories but before we go crazy over this tiny chunk of miracle, please note that we only need a small amount of Selenium. The recommended daily allowance for Selenium (RDA) is 55 micrograms per day for adults and for pregnant and lactating women, it's 60 to 70 micrograms a day.
As mentioned above, Brazil Nuts tops the list. Brazil nuts are large three-sided nuts with an edible kernel, several of which grow inside a large woody capsule. Brazil nuts grow on a South American forest tree, and most are harvested in the wild. 4-6 pieces of these nuts will give you 544 micrograms of Selenium but it depends on the soil the nuts are grown and the process of farming. Poor soil and bad farming process has been proved to reduce the amount of Selenium in Brazil Nuts. Sunflower seeds provide 55 micrograms per 100g.
Fish, particularly Yellow Fin Tuna provides 108.2 micrograms of Selenium per 100g. Shellfish like crabs, prawns and lobsters contain Selenium too! The highest among the shellfish category is oyster. 100g of oysters pack 80 micrograms!
Organ Meats like kidney and liver are high in Selenium. You can get 100 micrograms of Selenium from 100g of liver from lamb or chicken.
Other sources include: eggs (27µg/100g), mushrooms (19µg/cup), cereals/bread (7µg/100g) and other vegetables like broccoli have Selenium but in less amount.
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