Selenium is yet another powerful nutrient that helps to prevent free-radical damage in the body. Oxidative stress is the harm caused by free radicals and can lead to a great many types of degenerative diseases. Thankfully selenium can help prevent this, as well as offer your body a host of other benefits as well.

3 Quick Facts

  1. Selenium was thought to be a toxin when it was discovered, but research corrected this and helped to explain how selenium was actually an incredibly beneficial substance
  2. The name selenium comes from the Greek goddess of the moon, whose name was Selene
  3. The body cannot naturally produce selenium, so it requires it to be ingested from other sources

What is Selenium?

Research for Selenium health benefits, especially its ability to treat diseases started around the 1960’s. Selenium is thought to not only prevent free radical damage which can lead to various degenerative diseases but boost immunity as well. The amount of this compound that should be ingested is specific though, as it can be damaging to the body when too much is ingested.

For people who are reaching middle age, selenium is a supplement that should definitely be discussed with a doctor. Due to its ability to prevent cancer, degenerative disease, cognitive decline, and other age-related conditions.

What are the benefits?

Selenium and Aging

For those who want to prevent cognitive degeneration as they age a diet rich in selenium can help with this, as well as also preventing the onset of many degenerative diseases caused by damage from free radicals.

Selenium and Cancer

Selenium has powerful anti-cancer effects such as the ability to destroy cancer cells. Beyond just this, it also helps to prevent cancer from starting by preventing the free radical damage that often leads to the disease.

Selenium and Immunity

Selenium can help to boost your immune system and prevent infections in the body by stopping the reproduction of viruses and strengthening the liver.

Selenium and Thyroid Health

The natural processes that the thyroid performs can actually lead to harmful stress on the thyroid itself. Selenium protects it from the byproducts of these reactions and helps it to function healthily.


Selenium Recipie

What are the sources?

Selenium is already present in many different foods such as fish and poultry, it is very rare that a person would suffer from a deficiency of this compound. Those with certain conditions and health concerns may find it beneficial to supplement it though. Here’s a full list for those who want to ensure they’re getting enough in their regular diet:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Sardines
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Salmon
  • Turkey
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Brown Rice
  • Sunflower Seeds

Easy Recipes

Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, as well as a great and rare vegetarian way to increase your consumption. If you want to increase your levels deliciously check out this recipe for Brazil Nut Bars from Genius Kitchen.

  • cup natural smooth cashew butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups whole brazil nuts
  • 3⁄4 cup honey
  • 1⁄2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1⁄2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1⁄2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1⁄3 cup dried organic cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal


  1. Lightly coat 9″ x 13″ baking dish with grapeseed oil. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add Brazil nuts and pulse until nuts are ground into a fine powder. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cranberries, cinnamon, and cereal to the bowl.
  4. In a large saucepan on the stove, add the cashew butter and honey and heat until very hot and bubbling.
  5. Transfer this mixture to the mixing bowl and mix together using a wooden spoon.
    Immediately press mixture firmly into the baking dish (wear rubber gloves if needed).
  6. Let cool in refrigerator.
  7. Cut into 16 pieces and serve.
  8. Wrap each bar individually with wax paper and store in the freezer.

What is the recommended intake?

According to WebMD the recommended dose of Selenium varies based on age. Here is the recommended dose for different age groups.

Children 1-3:                                         20 micrograms/day
Children 4-8:                                         30 micrograms/day
Children 9-13:                                       40 micrograms/day
Adults and children 14 and up:             55 micrograms/day
Pregnant women:                                 60 micrograms/day
Breastfeeding women:                         70 micrograms/day


Concerns / Interactions

Selenium does have some interactions such as corticosteroids, antacids, niacin, cholesterol medication, birth control pills, and chemotherapy medication. Those at risk for skin cancer, diabetes, and prostate cancer should avoid taking selenium. Go to WebMD for more information! 



While the benefits of selenium were only recently discovered, that doesn’t mean it’s any less helpful for the body. With proper research and precaution, selenium can be a powerful anti-aging and anti-cancer solution.  

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