Our bodies need a number of minerals in order to remain healthy, and selenium is one of them.
You need trace amounts of this essential substance because it plays a role in hair growth. It also keeps your body healthy in general. But having too much or too little of it can cause some health problems.
In fact, if you’re suffering from hair loss, there’s a chance that it’s because you’re not getting enough selenium. Today we are going to discuss the benefits of this mineral, as well as the top 8 food items that serve as the best sources of it.
With these foods in your diet, you’ll be sure to grow beautiful and healthy hair.
What is Selenium?
Selenium is a mineral that helps boost the immune system. It keeps the body youthful and the mind sharp. In the medical industry, it is known as an important nutrient in the fight against cancer.
However, here is where it gets a bit complicated. Excessive selenium may also promote diabetes. This is because selenium has a correlation with increased blood sugar. Before taking a selenium supplement, or eating more selenium-rich foods for your hair loss, be sure to ask your doctor first.
Benefits of Selenium
If you can get a proper diet plan that involves selenium, then you can reap all of its benefits. It strengthens your resistance against disease by enhancing the quality of blood flow. It’s a great mineral that lowers inflammation and damage from free radicals.
- It can help slow the signs of aging
Selenium may be known for fighting cancer and defending you against heart disease, but it can also keep you young by slowing down the signs of aging. Aside from boosting your immunity, it helps ward off stress. The less stressed you are, the younger you look.
And even elderly people who take selenium can benefit from its anti-aging properties. It enhances their cognitive function and memory, keeping their mind young. It even goes a long way in protecting them from Alzheimer’s.
- It keeps your thyroid healthy
Did you know that there is a connection between thyroid metabolism and selenium deficiency? That is because selenium works as a catalyst during the production of active thyroid hormones. Selenium keeps the thyroid running smoothly, which in turn regulates many of the body’s functions.
In fact, hair loss is one of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. You may notice other physical symptoms associated with an unhealthy thyroid, such as sleep problems, sudden weight loss or gain, lethargy, and loss of appetite. You can prevent all of these by simply getting enough selenium in your system.
- It helps strengthen your immune system
This mineral helps destroy tumor cells while simultaneously producing antibodies. The mere presence of selenium makes you healthier in general. If you have enough of this mineral, your cells will be less likely to be damaged—they will also be capable of quickly replicating.
In contrast, those who are selenium deficient are more likely to suffer from viral infections. Their body might produce an abnormal immune response. Even harmless viruses can become a threat.
Top 8 Food Items that are Rich in Selenium
While hair loss is one of the indicators of selenium deficiency, it can still be difficult to tell if you are truly lacking in this mineral. But the best way to make sure everything is balanced is to watch what you eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
We’ve listed some of the best food sources of selenium for your reference. If you want to fight hair loss, dandruff, and unhealthy hair, incorporate some of these into your diet. Also make sure you are getting enough exercise. Beautiful hair comes from a healthy body, after all.
Remember that selenium can also be bought as a food supplement—just remember to ask your dietician before trying it yourself.
- Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are most often associated with selenium simply because of its high content. 1 oz of Brazil nuts (that’s about 6 to 8 nuts) contains 544 mcg of selenium. That’s over 100% DV.
You can also try other nuts that are rich in selenium such as cashews, mixed nuts, and black walnuts.
- Poultry: Chicken and Turkey
Chicken and turkey are both quite delicious. But the best thing about them is that they’re also nutritious. Make sure you properly cook them, and you’re going to get plenty of selenium. Roast chicken breast, for example, can provide 39% DV. The chicken thigh can serve up to 36% of your daily selenium needs.
On the other hand, just 3 oz of boneless turkey can give you 44% DV.
- Seafood: Tuna
Fish in general is a good source of selenium. But tuna tops all of them, with 155% DV in 100g of tuna. Other options include tilapia, with 66%, mackerel with 63%, and swordfish with 83% DV.
- Seafood: Oysters
Fish aren’t the only seafood options for people looking to get more selenium in their system.
Oysters can give you up to 220% DV. You can also try eating lobsters with 89% DV, shrimp with 60% DV, and squid with 63%.
- Whole-Wheat Bread
Whole-wheat bread contains about 58% of your daily selenium needs. You can also try a medium dinner roll, which has 25% DV.
Chicken and turkey are good sources of protein—and so is pork. But did you know that it is also rich in selenium? It can provide 74% DV per 100g.
- Beef and Lamb
And speaking of protein, beef and lamb are also good sources of the nutrient. They contain around 64% DV of selenium in 100g.
Eggs may not be as selenium-rich as the others, but at least there’s a good chance you already have them in your kitchen. A large one will contain around 21% DV.
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