Vitamins, proteins, potassium, and many other essential nutrients are often mentioned when we discuss essential nutrients. However, there are still tons of vitamins that don’t get enough attention. In fact, people always forget that the term essential nutrients refer to a variety of vitamins and minerals rather than just a few.
Certain “essential” nutrients are often taken for granted as we only need a minimum amount of them. One of these is selenium — ever heard of it?
In this blog, we will be talking about the benefits of selenium in our body and how it affects our everyday body functions.
What is Selenium?
The benefits of selenium in our body are much more unique compared to the common nutrient we hear about. But before we discuss its benefits, let us first talk about what selenium is.
Selenium is a trace mineral found in water, soil, and some plants. Although it is not needed in huge amounts, the body requires it to get energized and to function normally. Furthermore, this mineral regulates our metabolism and thyroid, which makes it even more important.
Here are some of the health benefits of selenium:
1. It helps to nourish your thyroid glands.
Selenium is an important component for the health and nourishment of your thyroid glands. It helps to regulate the secretion of thyroid hormones, and it stimulates the production of T3 hormone which is the most active form of thyroid hormone in the body.
Your thyroid glands perform a very important role in the body. It is important for the regulation of the metabolism of the body cells.
Proper regulation of the thyroid is very crucial to our health as it affects the speed of our metabolism. Too much or even too little can impact the way our body functions.
For instance, when too much thyroid glands are secreted you may risk having hyperthyroidism. This condition could cause your body cells to work faster than it normally should. Oftentimes, people with hyperthyroidism may experience a faster heart rate or frequent diarrhea.
On the other hand, fewer thyroid glands may lead to a condition called hypothyroidism. Essentially, this may lead to slower metabolism making you feel constipated and, in some cases, gain weight.
2. It helps to reduce the risk of joint inflammation.
Joint inflammation can happen to anyone, regardless of their age. Having this medical condition can hinder your everyday work due to constant pain or swelling.
Typically, joint inflammation happens when damaged tissue or our immune system produces chemicals that can cause swelling in the joint. To some, they experience inflammation due to arthritis, a chronic condition. Other times, it may be caused by external factors such as an injury.
One effective way to prevent joint inflammation is through selenium.
Selenium’s important function includes working to reduce oxidative stress around the joints. This will result in a reduced risk of inflammation. Selenium deficiency is one of the contributing causes of rheumatoid arthritis and the deterioration of joint tissues.
Other ways to prevent joint inflammation
Making a few changes in your lifestyle can take time. But as you slowly get used to it, you will start to realize that it brings wonders to health.
Aside from selenium, there are also several healthy habits that can help you lower the risk of experiencing inflammation. Among these includes:
- Regular exercise. Doing regular exercise is not just about losing weight. It also strengthens your immunity keeping you strong and healthy.
- Have a healthy diet. What you eat affects the functions of your body. With that in mind, you want to ensure that you eat foods that will provide the sufficient nutrients that you need.
- Don’t drink alcohol or smoke. If you want to feel the full benefits of your efforts to work out and maintain a balanced diet, skip your unhealthy habits.
3. It helps to prevent cancer.
In a recent report from Cancer.org, they revealed that there are over 1.9 million new cancer cases this year. They also expect around 609,360 deaths due to cancer.
According to a study, they found that selenium may play an active part in preventing cancer by supporting DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells. This can help to prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Moreover, selenium might also play a role in inducing cancer cells to self-destruct. This process is called apoptosis. The body uses it as a self-destruct mechanism to eliminate abnormal cells.
So if you want to have a long healthy life, don’t forget to take into account the amount of selenium you take. Make sure to receive an adequate amount to help you fight harmful diseases.
4. It helps to stimulate antibodies.
Viruses and bacteria are everywhere. It can affect you or anyone in the family without you noticing. Thus, it is important for you to consume foods that will provide you with the most benefits to your health.
Intake of selenium is among the most important mineral you will need to boost your immune system. An increase in selenium can significantly improve your immune function. It can regulate the cellular immune response of the body to fight viruses better.
Selenium may help to stimulate antibodies after a person gets vaccinated. Antibodies are your body’s defenses against infectious organisms.
These are some of the known health benefits of selenium. You can get selenium from natural food sources which include beef, broccoli, brown rice, fish, egg, ham, lobster, mushroom, oyster, and tuna.
6 Signs of Selenium Deficiency
A deficiency of this trace mineral is rare but some of its manifestations can happen to anyone. Too much selenium content, on the other hand, can cause nervousness, nausea, vomiting, depression, baldness, and a bad odor of the fingernails.
Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in many bodily processes, including thyroid function and metabolism. Unfortunately, selenium deficiency is not relatively common, especially in certain populations. Here are six signs that you may be deficient in selenium:
1. Fatigue and general feelings of weakness
2. Frequent infections
4. Muscle pain and cramps
5. Brittle nails and hair loss
Although you only need a portion of this amount, we suggest not ignoring it in your diet. A deficiency of this mineral, or any other nutrient, may lead to unwanted consequences which you may regret later on.
Best sources of Selenium
Selenium is an important trace mineral that is essential for human health. So if you feel like you have low selenium levels, don’t worry too much. There are tons of natural foods in the market readily available for you to consume.
It can be found in many foods, but some of the best sources include:
These tree nuts are popular for its nutty flavor and buttery texture. It is known as a great snack that can be eaten raw or as an additional ingredient to your favorite cuisine.
But aside from its fantastic taste, Brazil nuts are packed with essential nutrients and a rich source of selenium. It can help promote brain function and support thyroid function.
If you enjoy eating Brazil nuts, here are its other health benefits:
- It can lower the risk of developing heart diseases
- It can reduce inflammation
- It is rich in antioxidants
- It can help regulate blood pressure
On a strict diet? Try incorporating tuna to boost your protein intake.
Tuna is well-known as a tasty and flavorful dish. It is also recognized to contain numerous health benefits to strengthen our body.
This food is packed with omega-3, a healthy fat that can lower cholesterol levels and promote eye health. Tuna is also a source of vitamin B12 which helps in producing new red blood cells and making DNA.
Also, let’s not forget that tuna is also rich in selenium and iron. These nutrients enable our body to enhance our immunity to fight diseases.
Another popular seafood that everyone loves to eat is shrimp. And shrimp does not only have a good taste to offer, but it also contains several health benefits for our organs to properly function.
Unlike the common belief that shrimp is not good due to high cholesterol, it can only happen if you are not responsible enough when eating. But it is different when you eat enough amount to nourish your body.
The nutritional content of shrimp includes selenium, omega-3, choline and vitamin B12. These nutrients work hand-in-hand to promote a healthy heart, and better brain function and a great antioxidant.
Health benefits of Whole wheat bread
Whole wheat bread is packed with nutrients that can offer a range of health benefits.
For instance, whole wheat bread is a good source of fiber, which can promote digestive health and help prevent constipation. Additionally, whole wheat bread contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and selenium.
Whole wheat bread has been linked by a few studies to a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. So, if you’re looking for a nutritious and delicious way to improve your health, be sure to add some whole-wheat bread to your diet!
Selenium is also available in supplement form. But it is important to speak with a doctor before taking selenium supplements, as too much selenium can be harmful.
Is selenium good to take daily?
There is some debate as to whether selenium is good to take daily, as it is a trace element and most people get enough of it through their diet.
However, some experts believe that taking a selenium supplement can be beneficial, as it can help to protect against certain diseases and conditions. Selenium is thought to have antioxidant properties and help boost the immune system. It is also sometimes used as a treatment for thyroid problems.
If you are thinking of increasing your selenium intake, make sure to ask for professional advice. This will guarantee that you are free from possible risks of the high level of selenium.
Can taking selenium be harmful?
Yes, taking selenium can be harmful. Selenium is a mineral that is found in the soil. It can also be found in some foods, such as nuts and fish too. With that, selenium is important for the body to make sure it works properly.
However, too much selenium can be toxic. It can cause problems with the nervous system, skin, and other organs. So you have to be mindful of selenium toxicity.
Power up with Selenium
Selenium is an essential nutrient you will need to strengthen your body. Despite being needed in minimal amounts, it is still a nutrient you will need if you want your body organs to function properly.
This mineral also offers a wider range of health benefits such as nourishing the thyroid glands, preventing joint inflammation and cancer and, most importantly, boosting our immune system.