We're a culture of more is more, especially when it comes to staying well. We cover ourselves in sanitizer and consume thousands of milligrams of vitamin C daily, trying to prevent illness. However, some of the most beneficial nutrients for our health only require a small dosage to keep us in top shape. One, in particular, boasts some major benefits for the entire body -- selenium.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral recommended for daily consumption to maintain overall health. Trace minerals are needed by the body to help carry out certain functions, but only in small amounts, compared to other vitamins and minerals. Selenium can be found naturally in soil and water and some foods, like these Brazil nuts you see to the right.
Selenium has long been recommended for its role in cellular metabolism, helping the cells convert the foods we consume into energy. But there's more to it than that.
Benefits of Selenium
Selenium supports the growth of healthy cells as well as the function of major organs like the liver and kidneys. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat a number of conditions. These are some of the main reasons to make sure you're getting enough selenium:
Immune System Support:
When ingested, selenium acts as an antioxidant, helping the body fight off free radicals that can damage the cells of the body and cause illness and infection. It also works with vitamins C and E within the body to reinforce their antioxidant benefits, strengthening the immune system response.
As mentioned on "The Dr. Oz Show" on September 11, selenium helps support proper thyroid function and can give this important organ a reboot. The thyroid is responsible for regulating our metabolism and energy usage. Common symptoms of a sluggish thyroid are weight gain, fatigue, low body temperature and dry hair and/or skin.
Selenium ensures enough blood flows to and from the heart for cardiovascular function. This trace mineral also helps prevent any type of abnormal blood clotting -- blood clots can detach and travel throughout the body, which can be life threatening.
New research shows anti-cancer properties of selenium, which may be particularly useful in preventing breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), selenium is said to kill cancer cells, preventing tumors from growing, but more research is needed.
How to Get More Selenium
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of selenium for adults is 55 mcg a day. Selenium deficiency, although not common, is typically found in individuals with severe gastrointestinal conditions, such as Crohn's disease, or those who've had major surgery to remove part of the stomach. Being deficient in selenium can also increase your risk for certain kinds of rheumatoid arthritis.
If you're looking to add more selenium to your daily routine, you can start with the foods you eat. Natural food sources for selenium include tuna (canned in water), cod, turkey, chicken, sunflower seeds, eggs and oatmeal. If you're not a fan of some of these or would like to consume a set amount daily, try a supplement.
No matter how small the dosage, never underestimate the power of nutrients like selenium. Make sure to check for it in your multivitamin or look for a selenium supplement at eVitamins. Here's to health!
Products you may like:
Solaray Yeast-Free Selenium 200 mcg Why you may like this product? Just one capsule daily of this
supplement from Solaray
provides 200 mcg of yeast-free
selenium. Selenium protects
the entire body from free
radical damage that can lead
Nature's Plus Super Selenium 200 mcg Why you may like this product? Want even more? Not only do
you get 200 mcg of selenium
per serving, but alse 100 IU
of vitamin E. Selenium and
vitamin E work together in the
body as powerful antioxidants
to protect cells.
5 Benefits of Selenium While selenium is only found in trace amounts in your body, it plays a big part in determining the condition of your health. Keep reading to find out some of the ways selenium can improve your overall wellness.
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