While selenium may seem familiar to you, it seems to be underrated in today's world. While our body naturally produces selenium and we don't need much of it, it plays a huge role in important functions in the body such as your metabolism and thyroid function.
Here are the following science-based benefits of selenium:
Surely, you've heard of the word antioxidant before. They can be found in most fruits and vegetables and actually act to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are normal effects of processes like metabolism that occur in the body throughout the day.
While they do have a bad reputation, free radicals are actually important for health. They initiate and are responsible for important functions like protecting the body from disease.
Yet, things like smoking, drinking, and ongoing stress in your life can cause an excess of free radicals which can essentially lead to something called oxidative stress. This in turn causes damage to healthy cells and is linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer's, and cancer.
This is where Selenium comes in-- It works my neutralizing excess free radicals and helps protect cells from any damage that may be caused by oxidative stress and other potential factors.
Mental Decline Prevention
When thinking of aging, we often tend to automatically imagine wrinkles and crow's feet on our faces. Yet, age can also affect your cognitive and mental abilities on the long run. Alzheimer's disease is a tragic condition that essentially causes memory loss and can negatively impact behavior.
Oxidative stress actually has a correlation with both the onset and the progression of various neurological conditions including Parkinson's and even Multiple Sclerosis.
Some studies even showed that patients suffering from such neurological impairments had lower blood levels of selenium.
One of the best ways to make sure you have a good balance of selenium is by taking one brazil nut per day. Brazil nuts are known to be rich in selenium and have even improved verbal fluency and other mental functions for those with minor cognitive impairment.
The thyroid gland is an important part of the body and is responsible for the proper functioning of our weight and metabolism.
The thyroid tissue actually contains a higher amount of selenium than any other part of the body, so it's safe to assume that selenium is an important part of thyroid health.
Consequently, selenium deficiencies have been linked to thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
One research found that taking selenium supplements every day for about three months led to lower thyroid antibodies. It also led to progress in mood and overall well-being in patients suffering from Hashimoto's disease.
While more research needs to be done on selenium supplements and its correlation to these thyroid conditions, it is best to use a prevention mechanism and routinely incorporate selenium in your diet.
Ah, the immune system. Our magical and protective boundaries. The immune system keeps the body healthy by identifying and warding off potential threats such as viruses, bacteria and parasites.
As we know, selenium helps reduce oxidative stress which in turn actually reduces inflammation and boosts immunity. Studies have demonstrated that increased blood levels of selenium are correlated to enhanced immune responses!
Now, this does not mean take excess amounts of selenium for better immunity, since too much of anything is never good.
However, maintaining a good balance of selenium in whatever you eat is a great way to start. Start adding brazil nuts, brown rice, eggs, oats, spinach and sunflower seeds in your diet and snacking.
This will help ensure you have the right amount of selenium to free your body of harmful free radicals and to reduce any oxidative stress.
It is definitely important to note that aside from these benefits, overall wellbeing is highly dependent not only on taking the right foods, supplements and minerals but to have the right state of mind.
Stressing and worrying or having a toxic environment can lead to devastating results on the body. To make sure this doesn't happen, learn to practice meditation, breathing, and other stress-coping mechanisms to ensure overall wellbeing and a clean conscious!