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Top Benefits of Selenium

by Rebecca Goad on February 05, 2023

ingredients containing the trace mineral selenium, such as mushrooms, seafood, Brazil nuts and meat. 


Selenium isn't something you will see on ingredient lists and for that reason perhaps its something you're unfamiliar with? But, you should be! 

Selenium is an essential trace mineral, not an occasional vitamin. One you should have every day, just like vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc.

It does everything from boosting brain function and strengthening your immune system, to helping you to get pregnant. This is why we have included it in our Tonic Daily drink, but let's dive into top benefits and what foods are naturally high in it. 



7 Benefits of Selenium  


1. Stronger immune system 

Selenium is a trace mineral that reduces oxidative stress, which is caused by drinking alcohol, stress, and unhealthy diets. By fighting off free radicals, selenium decreases inflammation and keeps your cells healthy, resulting in a stronger immune system. 


Oxidative Stress

oxidative stress  

2. Reduces risk of disease 

Oxidative stress has been linked to a variety of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's. Selenium, along with other antioxidants like vitamin C and D, helps to keep free radicals in check and lowers your risk of these diseases. 


3. Healthier brain 🧠  

Selenium plays a role in the onset and progression of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and multiple sclerosis. A Mediterranean diet rich in selenium-rich foods like nuts and seafood has been shown to decrease the risk of Alzheimer's. 


4. Well-functioning thyroid  

Selenium is found in high concentrations in thyroid tissue, which controls the speed of your metabolism. When we talk about metabolism – it is not your metabolism for losing weight, but the metabolism of every single of your cells. You might have heard of older people having thyroid issues, but the thyroid is important for everyone independent of age. A deficiency in selenium can cause thyroid conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that can cause your thyroid to not make enough thyroid hormone. Getting enough selenium helps to protect your thyroid and keeping it functioning well. 


5. Lower risk of cancer 

A 2016 review of 69 studies found that high levels of selenium in the blood could be linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer. While research is not conclusive, selenium's reputation for reducing oxidative stress and DNA damage makes it a potential cancer-fighter. 


6. Enhanced fertility pregnancy 🤰  

Studies show that selenium may play a role in both male and female fertility, improving semen quality and lowering the risk of miscarriage. It may also play a role in the health of the fluid surrounding women's eggs. 


7. Better cardiovascular health 🩺 

Selenium helps to combat inflammation and oxidative stress, which are major risk factors for atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up in your arteries. Keeping selenium high ensures cardiovascular health and a healthy heart. 



How much Selenium do I need? 

Too much selenium can be toxic, but this simple chart from the National Institute of Health shows you how much you should take on a daily basis. 

*mcg is the same as ug, both mean microgram.




7 Foods high in Selenium 


  • Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium, with just a handful providing the recommended daily intake – 6-8 nuts have around 544ug, well over the RDI. While this is an excellent source of selenium, be advised that Brazil nuts should be consumed only a few times a week to avoid selenium toxicity.  


  • Fish such as yellowfin tuna (92ug per 85g or 3 ounces), halibut (92ug per 85g), sardines (45ug per 85g), mackerel (40ug per 85g), as well as shellfish like oysters, clams, and lobster, are all excellent sources of selenium 🦪 🐟 🦞   


  • Meats such as turkey, chicken, and beef also contain high levels of selenium. 


  • Eggs, particularly the yolks, are a good source of selenium 🍳  


  • Whole grains like brown rice, barley, and wheat germ are also high in selenium. 


  • Garlic is a good source of selenium 🧄  


  • Spinach is a good source of selenium. 🥬 


It is important to note that selenium content of produce can vary depending on the soil it's grown in. Just like good wine 🍷 



More on Socials this Week  


Keep an eye on our Instagram and TikTok for everything selenium. We’ll be looking at how to get it from your diet: yellow fin tuna, sardines, Brazil nuts and high selenium vegetables.



If you have questions, email Sunna on 


1 comment
by Derek Lean on February 07, 2023

Why in the table do you use ‘mcg’ but then underneath use ‘ug’? Now I know they’re the same, but for clarity, it would be best to be consistent for those who don’t.


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