Selenium is an essential mineral found in varying concentrations in soil. It's found in foods such as Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and garlic, but the amount of any given food depends on the selenium content of the soil in which it was grown.
Selenium is also found in water and so also occurs in varying quantities in seafood, but despite its relatively common appearance in foods, many people are lacking this important mineral. It's estimated that 0.5 to 1 billion people worldwide suffer from selenium deficiency while even more consume less selenium than is necessary to provide protection against cancer and severe infectious diseases.
Selenium has a wide array of health benefits, including its ability to protect against certain heart diseases, boost the strength of the immune system, maximize thyroid function, reduce inflammation, prevent cancer, reduce the signs of premature aging, protect against antibodies, boost hair health, and balance your hormones.
Here are 8 benefits of selenium:
1. For Reproductive System
Several studies have concluded that regular consumption of selenium can enhance fertility in both males and females. These studies have also confirmed that regular intake promotes sperm locomotion. It is considered as one of the essential minerals for your wellbeing and its deficiency can cause male infertility. Some studies even suggest that lack of selenium adversely affects fetal growth and female fertility.
2. A Powerful Antioxidant
Selenium works as a powerful antioxidant in the body. Antioxidants are substances that slow or prevent cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. Selenium protects against free radicals and oxidative stress. It’s an active immunomodulator and a more potent antioxidant than vitamins A, C, or E.
Selenium combines with other proteins to create selenoproteins such as glutathione peroxidases and thioredoxin reductases. These proteins act as antioxidants to support health at the cellular level.
3. May Reduce the Risk of Certain Cancers
In addition to decreasing oxidative stress in the body, selenium may help lower the risk of certain cancers. This has been attributed to selenium's ability to reduce DNA damage and oxidative stress, boost the immune system and destroy cancer cells.
It’s important to note that this effect was only associated with selenium obtained through foods, not supplements. However, some research suggests that supplementing with selenium may reduce side effects in people undergoing radiation therapy.
4. Boosts Immunity
Studies have shown that selenium is important in the stimulation of antibodies, which are elements of the immune system which that can seek out and destroy viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan foreign bodies that can result in diseases and infections. Selenium helps to stimulate these antibodies, particularly after you receive a vaccination for one of these diseases, making your body resilient and experienced in fighting them off so you remain healthy and protected throughout your life.
5. Encourages Metal Detoxification
Metals are among the most toxic of pollutants. Effective ways to detoxify the body of toxic metals are few and far between. The good news? Data suggests that supplementing with organic (carbon-bound) selenium supports mercury excretion.
6. Relieve Asthma Symptoms
Being a chronic disease, asthma gets troublesome if not dealt with adequately. According to a recent study, selenium is a potent mineral that helps reduce symptoms associated with asthma. Since this respiratory disorder is a common health problem, it will be even better if you include selenium in the diet of your children to avoid risks of asthma later in life.
Selenium-rich foods can help us live a longer and healthier life. This mineral is vital to well-being as it helps promote heart health, prevents asthma, and provides the body with other amazing benefits.
8. Treats Kashin-Beck Disease
There is a particular heart condition, called Kashin-Beck disease, which affects a wide swath of the population in countries that have low selenium content. This is perhaps the most serious and noticeable effect of a selenium deficiency, and it is characterized by the death of cartilage cells and a retardation of growth, often resulting in osteoarthritis at a young age.
Selenium is powerful mineral and treats various health problems. Incorporating it into your diet is a good way to benefit from its various health benefits and enhance the quality of your life. In this post, I shared with you 8 benefits of selenium.
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