Your Guide To Selenium: Why We Need It + Food Sources

Your Guide To Selenium: Why We Need It + Food Sources 

Selenium is an essential mineral and is crucial for the proper functioning of our bodies. It plays a critical role in metabolism, thyroid, reproduction and protecting the body from damage caused by infection. 

In this blog post, you will learn:

👉🏼 What is selenium + what role does it play in the body?

👉🏼 What are the best food sources of selenium?

👉🏼 How much selenium should you consume each day?

👉🏼 What can affect selenium absorption?

👉🏼 Who is at risk of selenium deficiency?

👉🏼 When should you consider selenium supplementation?

Are you worried about nutritional deficiencies? Are you looking to optimise your diet and transform your health? Head to Consultations to see how I can help you start your journey to the healthiest version of yourself today!

What is Selenium?

Selenium is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins, that help to make DNA and protect against infections and cell damage. Selenium is a trace mineral, meaning it is only needed in very small amounts, but it plays a major role in important processes in your body.


What are the best food sources of Selenium?

The amount of selenium in foods can vary widely depending on the selenium content of the soil in which it is grown, which varies widely by region. Plant foods obtain selenium from soil, which then affects the amount of selenium in the animals eating those plants. 

Dietary sources of selenium include brazil nuts (with 2 nuts containing all of your daily selenium requirements!), fish, beef, turkey, chicken, eggs, wholewheat bread, cereals fortified with selenium (meaning where a nutrient is added to a food), beans and lentils.


How much Selenium should you consume each day?

The daily recommended allowance RDA for men is 70ug and for women 60ug of selenium, which most people should be able to get from their diets if they eat meat, fish or nuts.


What can help improve Selenium absorption?

Selenium exists in two forms: inorganic selenium (selenate and selenite) and organic selenium (selenomethionine and selenocysteine), and both of them serve as a source of selenium. 

Organic forms of selenium have been proven to have higher bioavailability levels and are therefore better at being absorbed in the body. Studies have also highlighted that high or low dietary calcium may reduce selenium absorption. 


Who is at risk of Selenium deficiency?

Although selenium deficiency can affect anyone whose nutrient intake gets too low, there are some people who may be more at risk.

  • Those with gastrointestinal issues – such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. This is because the body may struggle to absorb the mineral, even if they are eating enough selenium-rich foods. 
  • Those with eating restrictions – Those following a restricted diet due to allergy, or lifestyle choice such as going vegetarian or vegan, may not be able to eat the foods containing enough selenium. 
  • Those who eat food grown in soil with low selenium content – Those eating food from soil that is low in selenium, are more at risk of selenium deficiency.
  • The elderly – Due to physical, and metabolic changes and the way age affects nutritional intake, the elderly are more likely to suffer selenium deficiency.


Should You Consider A Selenium Supplement?

Even though selenium is essential, we only need tiny amounts of it. Unless a healthcare provider or nutritionist advises you to take a supplement, try to ensure your RDA of selenium is obtained from your diet to avoid taking too much. 

The dosage and form of the supplement can vary greatly, so it’s crucial to choose one that fits your specific needs and always seek medical advice before buying or taking a selenium supplement. 


Everyone’s nutritional requirements will be different, which is why I take a personalised approach with all of my 1:1 clients and tailor each nutrition plan (and supplement recommendation) to their unique needs and goals.


This is just a small insight into the types of things I discuss with my 1:1 clients. If you’re looking to optimise your nutrition, transform your health and elevate your quality of life, please get in contact via Consultations or book a FREE 15-minute call and let’s chat about how I can help.


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