Small intakes of Selenium is needed as part of a healthy and beautifying diet, but too much of this nutrient from food or supplements can be toxic. You will notice Selenium come up a number of times if you google search “Beauty Foods.” These sources will list the foods that have Selenium, or may just mention the ones with the highest amounts, but if not from a reputable source, the caution of overdosing on Selenium which can be detrimental to your health is often missed. So if you have a bottle of supplemental Selenium sitting on your counter, and you were not directed by a doctor to take it due to a special condition or deficiency, throw it away! Selenium is part of what keeps us young and beautiful but supplements aren’t often needed and most balanced diets that provide adequate calories will likely give you the Selenium your body requires.
Selenium: What is it? Why is it important?
Selenium is a trace mineral (trace meaning your body only needs a little amount daily) that has antioxidant activity. It plays important roles in reproduction, DNA synthesis and helping the immune system and thyroid gland work properly. The thyroid is critical for metabolism, growth and development.
Selenium’s antioxidant strength may help keep your skin youthful and radiant by protecting against sun-damage, skin inflammation and discoloration caused by cell damage from free radicals. For more on free radicals and antioxidants click here. On the inside, Selenium can also help decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Brazil Nuts*
- Fish and other Seafood including Oysters and Shrimp
- Meat and Poultry
- Cottage Cheese
- Pinto Beans
- Enriched Pasta
- Brown Rice
* Brazil nuts are the richest source of Selenium. To avoid toxicity it is recommended to eat Brazil Nuts only occasiounally (not daily), or keeping servings to 1-2 nuts due to its rich concentration of the nutrient.
How To Include Selenium in Your Diet
If you are eating an adequate and nutritionally balanced diet, you are likely getting the selenium you need. Excess Selenium intake can be toxic to your body and that so a Daily Upper Limit is set – recommending you don’t go over that amount. As well, avoid supplemental Selenium unless directed by a physician.
Recommended Dietary Intake per day: 55 mcg for adults, 60 mcg in pregnancy, 70 mcg while breastfeeding
Upper Limit (to avoid Selenium toxicity) per day: 400 mcg
Brazil nuts contain about 68 mcg of Selenium per nut, that is over 100% of the amount recommended for daily adequate intake!
Do: Continue with your healthy balanced diet and you’ll definitely be getting the benefits from Selenium.
Don’t: Take Selenium Supplements, or eat excess Brazil Nuts (6 nuts will set you over the Upper Limit).