What does it do?
Selenium is one of the many minerals that are essential for good health. It works as an anti-oxidant in the body to protect against free radical damage, which can contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It also boosts the immune system by fighting these free radicals and helps maintain normal functioning of the thyroid gland. However, there is no clear evidence that taking HIGH levels of the mineral will have a protective effect against these diseases (COMA).
How much do we need?
The recommended intake for men is 75 micrograms per day and for women is 60 micrograms per day.
What are the main food sources of Selenium?
Fish and shellfish are some of the richest sources of selenium along with certain types of nuts. Protein-rich animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy products are also good sources of selenium, as are mushrooms and some cereals. The amount of selenium in these foods may vary from region to region depending on the level of selenium in the soil.
TOP 10 SELENIUM SOURCES
Food Micrograms per portion
6 Brazil nuts - 306
Small can tuna - 87
Medium fillet of cod - 34
Average portion of liver - 22
1 slice of wholemeal bread - 13
Average portion of prawns - 11
Slice of white bread - 11
12 mushrooms - 11
Medium portion of pasta - 9
Medium portion of rice - 9
What happens if you don't get enough?
Selenium deficiency is most commonly seen in parts of China where the selenium content in the soil, and therefore selenium intake, is very low. It is very rare in European countries. Low levels are linked with muscular weakness, an enlarged heart and poor heart function. Selenium deficiency also may affect thyroid function because selenium is essential for the synthesis of active thyroid hormone.
What happens if you get too much?
Excess selenium intake may cause gastro-intestinal problems, nerve disorders, blotchy nails and hair loss.
Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.