Selenium may not be one of the minerals we hear about regularly, like magnesium or calcium, but it is another very important trace mineral that you should be giving your body to keep it in the best health possible.
This mineral can be found in soil and water as well as foods such as brazil nuts, eggs, tuna, cod, poultry, and mushrooms.
It could also help to protect against cancer, thyroid problems, cognitive decline, and asthma.
Keep reading to find out ten incredible selenium facts that everyone should know that will keep you happy and healthy.
1. Selenium Helps the Antioxidants in Your Body
Antioxidants help to protect your body’s cells from harmful molecules known as free radicals. Selenium will help this process and your body needs it to fight oxidative stress.
Making sure you’re getting enough selenium will help the antioxidants do their job. These are the antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and free radical damage in your body.
2. Protects Against Cancer
Getting enough selenium can also help to reduce the risk of cancer and the severity of it. Specifically, cancers that can be found in the liver, prostate, colorectal and lungs. If you have a history of cancer in your family, then you will really want to keep up on your selenium intake.
Selenium goes right into the nucleus of the cell where the DNA and genome are stored and will find any damage there. This is where it helps the antioxidants in your body to reduce and repair the damage done to your DNA. Leaving this uncontrolled could cause tumor growth or cell mutations.
Certain studies have shown that incorporating selenium in your diet can reduce the risk of cell mutation and cancer development. Besides reducing the risk it can also slow down the existing progression of cancerous cells.
3. Healthy Immune System
Everyone wants a healthy immune system to protect you from getting sick and make you generally feel better. Selenium can be extremely helpful if you do have a weak immune system. This mineral helps your cells grow in a healthy way.
Having a healthy immune system can help your body fight off bacteria, parasites, and viruses. If you are deficient in selenium your body could be negatively impacted by not being able to fight off these damaging cells or could do it much slower than a person with a healthy immune system.
4. Helps Prevent Mental Decline
The sixth-leading cause of death in the United States is Alzheimer Disease which is a condition causing memory loss and negative thinking an behavior. Oxidative stress is linked to this devasting disease as well as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. As mentioned earlier, selenium can help to fight against oxidative stress in your body.
Some studies have been conducted to show that keeping selenium levels high in patients with Alzheimer Disease can help aid in improving memory. Partaking in a diet that consists highly of nuts and seafood has shown a lower risk in developing Alzheimer Disease.
5. Where to Get Selenium
You are probably already eating many foods high in selenium but you should be making a conscious effort to incorporate this mineral in your diet more frequently. The amount of selenium in drinking water isn’t usually a significant source. In America, foods high in selenium are bread, grains, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Another way to include selenium in your diet is by taking a supplement. You should always consult your doctor before taking a new supplement to see what dosage you should be taking and if the supplement is right for you.
To make sure you’re getting all of these benefits we’ve been discussing it is essential to incorporate selenium in your diet.
6. Thyroid Health
Your thyroid tissue actually contains the highest amount of selenium than any other organ in your body. It is an important mineral to make sure your thyroid gland is working properly.
Selenium helps to protect your thyroid against oxidative damage and also helps to regulate your metabolism. Although more research is needed, people with Hashimoto’s disease found that taking selenium supplements for three months resulted in lower thyroid antibodies and actually increased their mood and general well being.
7. Reduce Asthma Symptoms
Asthma has also been associated with increased levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. We’ve discussed that selenium can help to reduce these side effects meaning it can also help control asthma symptoms.
A study showed that patients with asthma who had higher levels of blood selenium had better functioning lungs than patients who had low levels of blood selenium. This mineral can help to reduce the symptoms of asthma.
8. Increases Longevity
If you want to live a long and healthy life, then you should make sure to be incorporating selenium in your everyday life. As we’ve discussed there are many risky diseases that can be reduced with selenium in your diet and as you get older the chance of these diseases can increase.
Selenium can help defend your body over a long period of time and that helps to contribute to a long life.
9. Boost Fertility
Selenium can either help fertility when done correctly but it can also hurt it if you have too much. You will want to meet in the middle and aim for the correct amount of selenium if you’re trying to boost fertility.
This mineral has also been shown to reduce the risk of miscarriage. Getting the right amount of selenium can definitely help with fertility.
10. Too Much Selenium
It is possible to have too much selenium for one person and can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, nail changes, fatigue, and many more negative side effects. People can safely consume up to 400 mg of selenium per day.
A supplement for selenium isn’t usually necessary unless you consult your doctor first to make sure it is the right decision for you. Most people can get enough selenium by incorporating it into their diet.
Helpful Selenium Facts
Combining all of these selenium facts you can see it is a very important mineral that can help your body function to the best of its ability.
You will want to make sure you’re incorporating selenium in your diet and may even consider taking a selenium supplement especially if you have a weak immune system.
If you’re interested in health and lifestyle, then check out more articles on our blog for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.