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Nutrient Spotlight: Selenium

Selenium is one of those nutrients we don’t hear about often, but boy does it play a major role in our bodies.  It is an essential nutrient, which means we have to get it from the foods we eat.

What is Selenium?

Selenium is a vital mineral that plays a significant role in many areas of physical health, including thyroid function, immune health, cognitive issues, and fighting oxidation.  It may help reduce symptoms of asthma and boost fertility.

Symptoms of selenium deficiency include:

  • Chronic inflammation
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Fertility issues
  • Hair loss

How Much Should Be Consumed?

The US recommended daily amounts for selenium for those over 14 years of age is 55 mcg daily.  Remember, that everyone may need different daily amounts in order to be in optimal health.

Things to consider in order to determine if you are absorbing enough selenium in your diet include:

  • Are you consuming a whole foods diet?
  • Are you consuming foods grown in nutrient-depleted soil?

Ways to incorporate selenium-rich foods:

  • Brazil Nuts (544 mcg per 1 oz. serving): snack by the handful, toss on salads, or use as a garnish for chia pudding.
  • Sunflower Seeds (105 mcg per cup):  Standard addition to trail mix, great topping for salads, yogurt, or a smoothie bowl. 
  • Tuna (92 mcg per 3 oz. serving): aside from the standard tuna salad, try using it as the protein in zucchini boats, or casseroles.  
  • Eggs (15 mcg per large egg): scrambled, hard-boiled, over-easy, eggs can be very versatile.

Progress, Not Perfection

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