Unlock 8 Hidden Thyroid Health Benefits of Selenium
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck that plays a crucial role in regulating hormones, metabolism, and energy levels. It produces hormones that control the body’s metabolism and heart rate, fertility, hair and nail growth, sex drive, and moods, as well as regulate body temperature, growth, and development.
One of the essential nutrients needed for proper thyroid function is selenium.
Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for proper thyroid function. It is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil and plants. While it can also be found in aminal products, you can think of this kind of selenium as second-hand quality, since animals do not magically produce it on their own. They get it from plants.
THE ROLE OF SELENIUM
Selenium works as an antioxidant in the body to protect cells and the thyroid gland from damage caused by free radicals while also playing a vital role in maintaining proper endocrine function – including helping to regulate hormones related to the thyroid gland such as T3 (triiodothyronine) & T4 (thyroxine), which regulate the body’s metabolism. It is needed for their production and conversion.
8 DANGERS OF SELENIUM DEFICIENCY
Selenium deficiency can cause a range of health problems, some of which include:
1. Keshan Disease
A heart disorder that primarily affects children and women of childbearing age in areas of China where soil selenium levels are low.
2. Kashin-Beck Disease
A type of osteoarthritis that affects children and adults in regions of China, Tibet, and Siberia where soil selenium levels are low.
3. Myxedematous Endemic Cretinism
A form of cretinism that results from a deficiency of both iodine and selenium during fetal development and early childhood.
4. Weak Immune System
Selenium deficiency can also lead to a weak immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
Selenium is important for sperm health, and a deficiency may lead to infertility in men. It is also imperative to thyroid health (the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating fertility hormones in women and men).
6. Thyroid Disorders
Selenium is needed for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, and a deficiency may lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) and an increased risk of autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease.
7. Mood Disorders
Selenium deficiency is associated with an increased risk of mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
8. Cognitive Decline
Low selenium levels have been linked to cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease.
8 SELENIUM HEALTH BENEFITS
Addressing a selenium deficiency leads to the reversal of what such a deficiency causes:
- Healthier cardiovascular system
- Healthier bones
- Reduction of the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease
- A healthier immune system – selenium plays a role in the production of white blood cells, which help to fight off infections and illnesses.
- Improved fertility in men and women.
- Healthier thyroid function: Studies now show that a sufficient amount of selenium can help reduce thyroid antibodies. (source) This has the potential to reduce thyroid disorder symptoms, and perhaps even reverse thyroid imbalances.
- Improved cognitive function
- Improved mood and mental well-being, and a reduction of anxiety.
HOW MUCH SELENIUM IS NEEDED FOR THYROID AND OVERALL HEALTH
The recommended daily intake of selenium for adults is 55 mcg/day. However, those who have thyroid conditions may require higher amounts. For example, individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may benefit from taking 200 mcg of selenium per day. Individual needs might vary and may depend on factors such as additional deficiencies, i.e. zinc or iodine.
11 BEST SOURCES OF HIGH-QUALITY SELENIUM
Here are the top 11 selenium-rich plant foods and the amount of selenium they provide per serving:
- Brazil nuts – 1 ounce (6-8 nuts) contains about 544 mcg of selenium (177-237% of the RDI)
- Sunflower seeds – 1 ounce (about 3.5 tablespoons) contains about 19 mcg of selenium (6% of the RDI)
- Crimini mushrooms – 4 ounces (about 113 grams) contain about 14 mcg of selenium (4% of the RDI)
- Avocados – one medium Hass avocado (about 201 grams) contains about 14.6 mcg of selenium, (4% of the RDI)
- Flaxseeds – 1 ounce (about 3 tablespoons) contains about 13 mcg of selenium (4% of the RDI)
- Oats – 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal contains about 13 mcg of selenium (4% of the RDI)
- Barley – 1/2 cup cooked barley contains about 14 mcg of selenium (4% of the RDI)
- Whole wheat bread – 1 slice contains about 7 mcg of selenium (2% of the RDI)
- Brown rice – 1/2 cup contains about 8 mcg of selenium (2% of the RDI)
- Garlic – 1 clove contains about 1.2 mcg of selenium (0.4% of the RDI)
- Spinach – 1 cup of cooked spinach contains about 1.9 mcg of selenium (0.6% of the RDI)
While selenium is an essential part of a thyroid-healing diet, it’s important to remember that the diet is only one of many pieces (we consider over 20 root causes in the 360 Impact Health Program) in the thyroid and hormone-healing puzzle.
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