Why is selenium important for your body? I dont think most of you would have ever come across a question like this. Most often than not, people just overlook the importants of trace elements such as selenium and magnesium to human body.
the main reason behind this was the fact that our major foods consisted of ample amounts of these elements.
However, with time we have totally changed food habits and are now facing a situation where you need to concentrate on taking food looking into the nutrients it has.
Selenium is a trace element that has a magical effect on our body. Though required in smaller amounts, it is an essential nutrient responsible for maintaining a healthy body.
The role of Selenium is very important in
- Proper development and functioning of the brain. This is especially true in the aspects of emotions and thought.
- Functioning of Thyroid.
- Proper functioning of the immune system.
- Limiting the damage of the cells.
- Lowering the risk of Cancer.
- Lowering the risk of heart disease.
- It is especially very important for the protection of liver. This mineral is mainly stored in the Liver and people with liver diseases were found to have lower levels of Selenium in the blood.
Recommended Daily Dose Of Selenium
Age Group Recommended Daily Amount
1-3 years 20 mcg
.4-8 years 30 mcg.
9-13 years 40 mcg.
Above 14 years 55 mcg.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding 60-70 mcg.
With this introduction, let us discuss the importance of Selenium in each of these aspects.
Brain Functioning and Development
Selenium is an important element for the proper functioning of the nervous system. When food containing Selenium are taken as part of everyday diet, it helps to improve the mood of the individual and helps them feel light. Many of the nutritional balancing programs have included Selenium as an essential nutrient for the body.
By now, many of us know that the Thyroid gland is dependent on Iodine to function properly. However, you would be shocked to know that Selenium is a crucial mineral that helps in protecting the thyroid gland from the free radicals.
Selenium also helps in controlling the thyroid gland. Including Selenium in our diet also means that it can lessen the effects of deficiency of iodine.
Functioning of Immune System
Immune System is a critical system in our human body. Its proper functioning is what protects our body from infections.
Selenium plays an important role in the creation of white blood cells which fight infections. When there is a Selenium deficiency in our body, the antibody response is obstructed and our body is susceptible to infections.
Selenium and Vitamin E are key elements in protecting the Cells in our body. They protect the cells from damage by turning some of the harmful chemicals into harmless ones.
Lowering Cancer Risk
There are many cases in which cancer has been reversed with the help of Selenium. Selenium helps in reducing toxic metals and other things that may lead to cancer. Thus, Selenium is being tested for use in both prevention and correction of cancer.
Lowering the Risk of Heart Disease
Though not proven yet, several studies have suggested that people with lower levels of Selenium in their blood are more at the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Detoxification of liver is done by a substance called Glutathione. Deficiency in Glutathione means that less toxins are removed from the body and detoxification of liver is decreased. This substance is produced in the liver for which iron and Selenium are very crucial. Hence, Selenium is important for detoxifying and protecting the liver and its functions.
A deficiency in Selenium means mood swings, depression and irritation. Physically, the hair and nail growth is impaired and there is more fatigue seen.
There are other symptoms like allergies that might occur to people with Selenium deficiency. It is always better to get Selenium through our everyday food. If the doctor suggests, it can be taken in the form of Supplements too. But take care not to take more than 400 mcg of Selenium per day as it gives rise to toxicity.
Top 10 Sources Of Selenium In Food
- Ground Nuts
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Tuna Fish
- Sardine Fish
- Chia Seeds
- Fax Seeds