In which foods do we find the trace element Selenium and what are its benefits for our body?

Arabic pie with chicken Photo - By Thanasis Bounas
Arabic pie with chicken Photo - By Thanasis Bounas

Selenium is found in various foods, both plant-based and animal-based.

Some common sources of selenium include:

Seafood: Fish and shellfish are particularly rich in selenium. Tuna, halibut, sardines, shrimp, crab, and lobster are good examples.

Meat and poultry: Beef, chicken, turkey, and pork contain selenium, with organ meats like liver being especially rich sources.

Eggs: Eggs are a source of selenium, with the highest concentration found in the yolk.

Nuts and seeds: Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium. Other nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds also contain selenium.

Whole grains: Wheat germ, barley, oats, and brown rice are good sources of selenium.

Legumes: Beans, lentils, and peas contain selenium.

Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt contain small amounts of selenium.

Fruits and vegetables: While the selenium content in fruits and vegetables can vary depending on the selenium content of the soil in which they’re grown, some sources include spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, bananas, and oranges.

Benefits of selenium for the body include:

Antioxidant activity: Selenium is a component of antioxidant enzymes like glutathione peroxidase, which help to neutralize harmful free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.

Thyroid function: Selenium is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism, growth, and development.

Immune function: Selenium supports the proper functioning of the immune system, helping to defend against infections and diseases.

Reproductive health: Selenium plays a role in male and female fertility, as well as the development and health of sperm and eggs.

Cognitive function: Selenium is thought to have a role in maintaining cognitive function and may help protect against cognitive decline.

Heart health: Some research suggests that selenium may have benefits for heart health by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as improving blood vessel function.

Cancer prevention: There is some evidence to suggest that selenium may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, although more research is needed to confirm these findings.

As with any nutrient, it’s important to consume selenium in moderation, as excessive intake can lead to toxicity. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for selenium varies depending on factors such as age, sex, and pregnancy/lactation status.

Arabic pie with chicken Photo - By Thanasis Bounas
Arabic pie with chicken Photo – By Thanasis Bounas

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