Eating foods that are high in selenium can help to prevent conditions such as impaired immune system function, viral infections, and cancer. Foods high in selenium include: meat, chicken, fish, brazil nuts, and brown rice.
Selenium is an essential mineral in small amounts, but can be toxic in larger amounts.
Selenium works as an antioxidant by scavenging damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. It is also essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and for the production of prostaglandins (substances that affect blood pressure and inflammation in the body).
Causes for selenium depletion include: chronic exposure to environmental toxins such as chemotherapy drugs, radiation, and other toxic medicines. Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes also depletes selenium.
Taking high doses of selenium causes fatigue, irritability and neurological damage, arthritis, hair and fingernail loss, garlicky breath or body odor, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in selenium is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider before starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children’s reach.
Brazil nuts, from selenium-rich soil, 1 ounce ~6 kernels – (544 mcg)
Salmon 3 ounces – (40 mcg)
Halibut 3 ounces – (40 mcg)
Bread, whole wheat, 2 slices – (23 mcg)
Rice, brown, cooked, 1 cup – (19 mcg)
Beef, 3 ounces – (16 mcg)
Chicken, light meat, 3 ounces – (13 mcg)
Milk, skim, 1 cup – (5 mcg)
Walnuts, black, shelled, 1 ounce – (5 mcg)