Selenium is one of the trace elements that we need for good health. Selenium has a number of roles in our bodies – it helps to support our immune system, keeps hair and nails healthy and helps to keep our thyroid gland working properly. Selenium is also very important for fertility, especially for men.

Where can I find Selenium?

Fish is one of the best places to get selenium with mussels and lemon sole two really good sources.  Selenium is also found in nuts and seeds and in poultry.

Did you know?

The soil in Europe is naturally quite low in selenium compared to the soil in the US and other parts of the world.  This means that in the US, dairy and vegetables are good sources of selenium. This is not the case in Europe and it is one of the reasons that eating foods like fish and nuts are so important to help us get enough selenium.

Selenium – Benefits at a glance:

  • Helps keep hair healthy
  • Needed for healthy skin
  • Essential for fertility, especially for men
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Helps to keep the thyroid working normally
  • Works as an antioxidant to protect the body from oxidative stress

How much Selenium do I need everyday?

The RDA or Recommended Daily Amount for Selenium is 55mcg (micrograms) per day.

Selenium in food Need 55mcg per day
Brazil Nuts 254mcg
Cashew Nuts 34mcg
Sunflower Seeds 49mcg
Chicken 13mcg
Turkey 13mcg
Pork 18mcg
Lemon Sole 73mcg
Haddock 28mcg
Mackerel 36mcg
Mussels 43mcg
Crab 84mcg
Green & Brown Lentils 40mcg
Mushrooms 9mcg

What if I have too little Selenium?

Too little selenium causes Keshan Disease. This is extremely rare and caused by eating a diet that is extremely low in selenium. It is mainly seen in a particular region of China and is caused by having very, very low levels of selenium in soil. Keshan disease causes a type of cardiomyopathy, which is a weakness of muscle in the heart. Keshan disease is not seen in Ireland as we have enough selenium in soil to avoid being so very low in selenium.

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