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Nutrition 101

Benefits of Selenium

Benefits of Selenium

Registered Dietitian Jason Lau explains the role of selenium in the human body.

You may have heard of the nutrient and antioxidant selenium, but how much do you really know about this vital mineral? Here are 4 interesting facts you may not know about selenium:

  • Foods high in selenium include eggs, cereals, seafood and nuts. One of the most selenium-rich foods is the Brazil nut. The nutritional value of all plant-based sources depend heavily on the soil in which they were grown, but the selenium content of plants seems to be extra sensitive to soil concentrations.
  • Selenium indirectly helps us to metabolize at least three other nutrients:  vitamin C, glutathione and vitamin E. These nutrients are broken down by an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which cannot function without selenium.
  • Selenium, along with iodine, plays a very important role in maintaining proper function of the thyroid gland and regulating T3 production. T3 helps to regulate the body’s metabolic functions.
  • Selenium content is often drastically reduced when wheat is processed. In most wheat flour used in breads, baked goods and pastas, almost ¾ of the original selenium is lost. Choose whole wheat or wheat bran products whenever possible to boost your selenium intake.


Don’t forget to add some nuts to your whole wheat cereal for breakfast or grab some local seafood from the market for dinner to incorporate some more of this undervalued mineral and antioxidant into your diet!

Read more Nutrition 101 posts.

nutrition advice, nutrition facts, selenium, antioxidants, minerals

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