If you've never heard of it before, selenium is a trace mineral that plays an essential role in the proper functioning of your body and state of your health. Maintaining a healthy amount of selenium in your body is important to avoid symptoms of deficiency, which can be problematic, albeit rare. Some of the best sources of selenium are foods like chicken, sunflower seeds, tuna, wheat, Brazil nuts and oysters, but it also comes in supplement form. If you are in good health and regularly eat a well-balanced diet, you are probably receiving sufficient amounts of this nutrient; however, if your diet is a bit off, you may want to try adding more sources of selenium to reap some of its many benefits. Let's took a look at some ways selenium can make a positive impact on your health.
1. It can provide antioxidant support.
Selenium has antioxidant properties, which make it a good defender against free radicals and cellular damage. Oxidation and stressors from the environment can contribute to damaging cells and even accelerate visible signs of aging on your skin, for example.
2. It can boost your immune system.
Although its presence in your body may seem small and insignificant, selenium can provide essential support for your immune system. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that selenium helps to increase your body's white blood cell count, therefore improving your immune defense and upping your chances of successfully fighting off illnesses and infections.
3. It can strengthen your hair and eyes.
The antioxidant effects that selenium supplies are necessary for improving your body's ability to absorb vitamin E, which can strengthen the health of your eyes and hair. Better absorption of vitamin E can contribute preventative efforts against macular degeneration and cataracts. Selenium can also help your body to use proteins more efficiently, leading to an improvement in the quality and strength of your hair.
4. It can help restore proper thyroid function.
According to Dr. Oz, selenium may be able to lower inflammation, which can contribute to an underactive thyroid. In general, selenium stimulates the thyroid, which makes it a good choice for kicking an underactive one into gear.
5. It can improve heart health.
Another reason for selenium's importance is because a deficiency can play a part in the development of heart failure. Selenium may be able to combat high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and other serious conditions.
While a healthy selenium intake can help enhance your health, having an excessive amount of this trace mineral can be toxic. Therefore, it's crucial to abide by the daily recommended allowance of 55 mcg for most adults. Talking to your doctor before you try increasing your selenium intake is strongly recommended. Your selenium levels may be low if you smoke, drink alcohol, take birth control pills or have illnesses such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, but to be certain, consult your licensed health care practitioner.
Thanks for reading, and come back next time for more health news!