The 7 Best Sources of Selenium – Food, Supplements

Do you know that selenium is an essential trace mineral that participates in a long list of body processes like the immunity, cognition, and fertility in men and women?

Moreover, this trace mineral plays a role in the synthesis of DNA, protects from oxidative damage and infections, and helps with the thyroid hormone metabolism. [1]

It’s found in our tissues, mostly in the skeletal muscles. The best ways to acquire it naturally is through the food sources that contain it.

Our guide helps you find out:

  • Why selenium matters for your health
  • The best foods with selenium
  • The best supplements with selenium

Of course, in some cases, supplements may also be necessary; however, it’s always best to do it in consultation with your doctor.

The amount of selenium found in food depends on selenium in the water and soil that the farmers used when they raised or grew the specific food.

Interestingly, according to some research, selenium may also be of aid in averting the progress of HIV into AIDS, lowering the risk of miscarriages, and protecting from asthma. [2]

The RDA is 55 mcg on the daily for adult individuals. The amount increases slightly for pregnant and lactating women.

Knowing the importance of this trace mineral for our optimal health, we’ve decided to present you a list with the best food and supplement sources of selenium.

The Best Sources of Selenium: Foods & Supplements

1. Nuts & Seeds

Numerous nuts and seeds are rich in selenium, with Brazil nuts being on the top of list when it comes to this nutrient. [3] An ounce of them gives you 537 mcg of this nutrient.

But, make sure you limit the consumption to several times per week to lower the risk of too much selenium intake.

  • Abundant in selenium
  • Rich in other nutrients too
  • Healthy snack option

Brazil nuts aren’t the sole nuts abundant in selenium-you can also opt for cashews-an ounce has 5.64 mcg or an ounce of sunflower seeds with 11.9 mcg of this nutrient.

They’re a great snack option or you can add them to different meals including stir-fries, salads, smoothies, etc.

When consumed in balanced amounts, they can also help you get healthy fats and proteins- nutrients that play a role in successful weight loss. [4]

So, in case you have a higher BMI and are looking to lose pounds, make sure you stock up on nuts and seeds!

2. Fish

There is a long list of seafood abundant in this mineral. An awesome source is halibut with 31 mcg per a 3-ounce serving or more than 56 percent of the RDA. [5]

But, even if you’re not a fan of this fish, you can opt for numerous others to get this nutrient into your body.

  • Plenty of fish varieties to choose from
  • Numerous ways to prep them
  • Beneficial for weight loss

For example, 3 ounces of salmon has 25.3 mcg of this nutrient or yellowfin tuna with 77 mcg for the same amount. Other excellent seafood sources of selenium are oysters, shrimp, and crab.

The good thing about fish is that it can be prepped in so many delicious ways. You can broil, bake, roast, fry, grill, etc. them and combine them with a variety of veggies for a delicious meal.

Some types of fish are also considered helpful for those with higher BMI who want to shed pounds- especially lean fish high in protein and omega-3s because it decreases your hunger and appetite and helps you reduce your calorie intake. [6]

3. Turkey

Turkey is also among those food sources with higher amounts of selenium-plus, it’s so yummy!

Still, this isn’t a viable source for people on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Anyway, you can get 31 mcg of this trace mineral per 3 ounces of boneless turkey. [7]

  • Great lean meat for dieters
  • Good source of selenium
  • Delicious & nutritious meat

This meat can be prepared in various ways-put them in sandwiches with whole-wheat bread or eat them with a variety of veggies for a satisfying lunch.

But, this isn’t just a great meat to acquire selenium from-it’s also abundant in other nutrients like protein, niacin, and vitamin B6 and it’s also known to possess anti-cancerous properties.

Dieters should also consider it as a part of their diet- this lean meat plays a role in muscle mass preservation and satiety.

Turkey is a great option for people with higher BMI who want to achieve a healthy and balanced loss of surplus pounds. [8]

4. Chicken

Generally speaking, poultry is rich in selenium. Chicken specifically is a good source of this trace mineral and it’s also leaner, healthier, and easily found. [9]

  • Chicken is a yummy lean meat
  • You can cook it numerous ways
  • Helps you maintain a good health & lose weight

The best option is organic and ethically-raised chicken which is also richer in nutrients. Per 3 ounces of white chicken meat, you get around 22 to 25 mcg of this nutrient.

Chicken is delicious and it can be prepared in various ways and since it’s widely available, you can combine it in different meals and bake, roast, add it in stews, etc.

Since it’s a lean meat, it will also help you keep good health.

By eating it regularly, you get protein and help encourage weight loss, strengthen the bones, improve the immunity, and alleviate stress. [10]

5. Eggs

Eggs are a beneficial and healthy source of selenium-you get 15.4 mcg of this nutrient per egg or 22 percent of the RDA. [11]

You can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner and prep them in different ways like boiling, frying, poaching, etc.

  • Excellent breakfast idea
  • Rich in selenium & other nutrients
  • Beneficial for weight loss

Any way you choose will help you reach your RDA of selenium, but it will also supply you with other amazing nutrients, including folate, vitamin D, riboflavin, iron, iodine, etc.

Eggs really have plenty of health benefits to offer like weight loss, antioxidant power, and rise of good cholesterol levels.[12]

Eggs are one of the smartest and most common breakfast options-they’re not just yummy, but help us prolong our satiety and lower the risk of overeating later on in the day as well.

This is particularly helpful for individuals with higher BMI who’re on a diet and trying to lose pounds.

6. Brown rice

A cup of cooked long-grain brown rice provides you with 19 mcg of selenium which is 27 percent of the RDA of this mineral. [13]

When combined with chicken or turkey meat, you can get up to 50 mcg of selenium or almost the whole RDA for adults.

  • Healthier option than white rice
  • Good source of selenium
  • Has numerous health advantages

Thanks to the fiber it contains, it’s a great food to reduce cholesterol levels, speed up the movement of waste through the digestive tract, prolong the fullness, and lower the risk of blood clotting.

Because of some concerns about arsenic presence in brown rice, the FDA advises cooking it six times in the normal amount of water used to lower the presence by almost 50 percent. [14]

In case you have a higher BMI and you’re on a weight loss journey-make sure you add this low-carb and low-calorie food to your diet. [15]

7. Selenium supplements

Selenium deficiencies among healthy individuals aren’t common; however, when it happens because of some disease or another reason, it may require supplements. [16]

Some come in pill form and others in injections. A lot of people may take it intravenously in case of an increased risk of a deficiency.

  • Available in pill or injection
  • Come in three most common forms
  • Must be taken with caution

The safe upper limit for this trace mineral is 400 mcg per day for an adult. When taken in normal doses, this supplement doesn’t usually have side effects; however, at very high levels it can cause unpleasant symptoms and even death!

This is why it’s pivotal to first consult your doctor to find out if you need a selenium supplement and which is the right dosage for you.

You can find it in multivitamin supplements or on its own. The three most common forms are selenomethionine, sodium selenite, and sodium selanate. [17]

Final Thoughts

Selenium is pivotal for us and it’s an element of more than 2 dozen selenoproteins which play a major role in reproduction, synthesis of DNA, infection, and more.

As we discussed above, this trace mineral can be naturally obtained by numerous food sources or from supplements in case of a deficiency.

Since it’s crucial for keeping us healthy, we need to ensure we’re getting it from the right sources.

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