Try This Nut If You Need More Selenium

Selenium is a mineral that doesn't get nearly enough attention considering the work it does within the body. Selenium is a powerful essential nutrient that is crucial for your health, which can only be acquired through food or supplements. While you only need a small amount, it's vital to ensure that you get enough (via Healthline).

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) reports that selenium is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free-radical damage and infection. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for a healthy adult is 55 micrograms (mcg), which can easily be obtained from seafood, organ meats, and Brazil nuts (via ODS).

According to chiropractor Dr. Eric Berg, you'll get all the selenium your body needs if you eat just one Brazil nut every day. WebMD reports that 1 nut contains 95mcg, nearly twice the daily recommendation. If you aren't a fan of Brazil nuts, you can get selenium from proteins like yellowfin tuna, halibut, and chicken breast, or from pasta, brown rice, or oatmeal (per WebMD).

Selenium supports thyroid function and the immune system

According to Verywell Health, the thyroid contains the highest amount of selenium in the body and is critical to the organs' optimal functions. A 2013 paper published in the Clinical Endocrinology journal suggests that in people with autoimmune conditions that affect the thyroid, such as Hashimoto's (hypothyroidism) and Graves' disease (hyperthyroidism), selenium acts as a support system. The research states that in those with Hashimoto's disease, selenium supplementation "decreases anti-thyroid antibody levels and improves the ultrasound structure of the thyroid gland." Selenium has also been shown to help those with Graves' disease achieve normal thyroid function. 

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology concludes that adequate selenium intake, either through diet or supplementation, is essential to preventing thyroid disease and for overall good health. WebMD reports that due to the potent antioxidant properties of selenium, it's essential for supporting immune function and for reducing the risk of chronic disease, specifically those of the heart and brain. 

It's important to note that too little and too much selenium has been linked to thyroid and other health problems. Verywell Health shares that high levels of selenium over time can cause toxicity. This can be triggered by eating too many Brazil nuts due to their high amount of selenium. Speak with your doctor to find out if you need more or less selenium in your diet.