The Importance Of Selenium

The Importance Of Selenium

By @simpleorganix

The devastating news about the Amazon Rain Forest burning has made me think a lot about the way the Earth has been treated in the last century.  Often, we forget that we are a direct reflection of nature and should be caring for our resources in the same manner we do our health. Selenium is an example of a vital trace mineral naturally found in the Earth that has suffered due to things like modern farming practices, the over usage of pesticides, toxic environmental chemicals, and more. 

Selenium is found in both soil and food. Unfortunately, modern diets full of conventional processed foods have completely stripped selenium from our system.  Because this vital nutrient cannot be produced in the body, it has to come via meals and supplements. 

Let’s talk about some of the important benefits of supplementing and eating selenium-rich foods. 

  • It helps increase antioxidants that neutralize excess free radicals and protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress.  It also can work synergistically with other antioxidants such as Vitamin E. 
  • It contains powerful antiviral properties that enhance other antimicrobial agents such as herbs.   
  • According to the Medical Medium, it has antibacterial agents that can fight off diseases such as strep, cystic acne, and bacterial damage done to tissue.
  • One of my favorite benefits of selenium is its ability to nourish all aspects of hair, skin, and nails, because who doesn’t love a good beauty enhancer? 
  • Studies show that the addition of selenium may be a crucial component to aid in preventing and helping reduce tumor growth in cancers such as colon, uterine, prostate, liver, lungs, and more.
  • It helps repair and protect DNA from mutation and damage. It also works with glutathione and enzymes that help antioxidants to keep DNA damage from progressing into possible disease.  
  • It supports all functions of the immune system, similar to the role it plays in soil. 
  • It may help slow the progression of diseases, such as HIV forming into AIDS. 
  • It reduces inflammation and increases blood flow consecutively, which may benefit heart health and diabetes. 
  • It can act as a catalyst for the production of active thyroid hormones. Studies show that there is a link between selenium deficiency and thyroid function. 
  • Another fantastic benefit selenium offers is its effects on fertility for both men and women.  It is known to help with sperm motility, number, behavior, and function. It also helps promotes healthy follicles in the ovaries and improves the quality of eggs released.  A study conducted in 1991 showed that a selenium deficiency displayed a rise in ovarian degeneration. 
While selenium can be safely supplemented daily, it can also be found in many foods. When consuming selenium-rich foods, it is important to understand the quality of soil and the growing conditions will affect the selenium concentration. As pesticides have stripped the soil of nutrients, concentration levels can range anywhere from 10% to 300%.  It is best to seek clean, organic, wild, and local sources to ensure the highest concentration. Seafood such as halibut, yellowfin tuna, sardines, and oysters are found to be high in selenium. 

Speaking of our beautiful Amazonian Region, it happens to produce the most selenium-rich food source on Earth, Brazilian nuts.  Nuts grown closest to the Amazonian region will always contain the highest concentration of this abundant mineral. Other plant foods such as sunflower seeds, chia seeds, legumes, and shiitake mushrooms can also be great sources. Land animals such as chicken, turkey, beef liver, and eggs are also rich sources of selenium. However, it is very easy to destroy selenium during the cooking process.  Craving any of the foods mentioned above is often your body's way of notifying you of a selenium deficiency. Other symptoms include hair loss, muscle weakness, infertility, and fatigue.   

When it comes to supplements, always look for a high-quality natural grade organic protein-bound selenium such as selenomethionine and selenocysteine.  These occurring natural seleniums are often derived from organic amino acids and mustard seeds.  

As scientists continue to connect the dots, they realize that many diseases such as infertility, diabetes, and heart disease became prominent when humanity became deficient of this important mineral source.  Living and eating organic will not only help the Earth replenish this beautiful mineral, but its another way to help restore our health. Always be sure to speak to a health care provider before adding any new supplement to your daily regimen, especially those who are pregnant and breastfeeding.