Selenium is a vital trace mineral and powerful antioxidant that works to rid your body of free radicals. Unlike some vitamins and minerals which have a very specific purpose in your body, selenium is involved in a little bit of everything. Which means that getting enough of it can help your health in a myriad of ways!
Unfortunately, however, getting too much selenium can lead to toxicity and brings with it all kinds of side effects. So what should you do? One solution that some people do is try to get it from natural food sources, rather than from a pill. The benefit to this is that you are utilizing a natural source, rather than a synthetic one.
Why to Buy Organic
One thing that will affect the selenium levels of your food is the soil. Due to unsustainable farming practices, some areas have depleted the selenium levels from their soil. Also, areas with high aluminum and iron content in the soil tend have less selenium. Europe and China are known for being low in selenium. So with that in mind, one thing you can do to increase the selenium content of your food is to buy organically grown food from an area that is not known for being low in selenium. (New Zealand is another one.) This affects the selenium content in both plants and animals (since the animals eat the plants, duh).
And now…the top five food sources of selenium! Drumroll, please…
A 100-gram serving of sunflower seeds confers about 115% of you daily recommended amount. On top of that, sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, which works together with selenium to increase its antioxidant effect.
#4…Beef and Other Meat
Beef, poultry, and eggs can all contain selenium. Beef liver is an especially rich meat source of it and other important minerals.
Crimini, shiitake, and button mushrooms are one of your best bets for selenium. A benefit of eating mushrooms is that they are a low-calorie food.
Many fish are rich in selenium, including orange roughy, salmon, tuna, cod, anchovies, swordfish, caviar, halibut, shrimp, scallops…just about every fish ever, it would appear!
And Finally, #1…Brazil Nuts!
Brazil nuts are hands-down the best source of selenium out there. They’re so rich in it that most people can eat just two Brazil nuts a day—not handfuls, I mean two individual nuts—and increase their selenium levels. That’s what I call high in selenium.