You must include selenium, a mineral commonly found in the soil of North America, in your diet for good health. Normal activities of your thyroid gland and immune system depend on selenium. Too much can cause side effects. However, overdoses are rare. Plant foods and meat from animals raised on selenium-rich land contain the best sources. The National Institute of Health recommends a daily value of 70 micrograms.
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Nuts and Seeds
Most nuts contain significant amounts of selenium. A 28.4gr. serving of Brazil nuts has the most of any food, providing over 700 per cent of the recommended daily value. In fact, Dietary Fiber Food cautions that eating too many Brazil nuts could lead to a toxic level of selenium. Mixed nuts, containing 137mcg, and sunflower seeds, at 36mcg, are safer sources and healthy snack foods as well.
Breads, Cereals and Grains
Grain that's grown in most parts of the United States provides abundant selenium. As an example, 1 cup of cooked elbow macaroni contains 30 per cent of your required daily value and one cup cooked instant oatmeal contains 15 per cent. This may not be true of grains from European countries, where the soil does not contain rich sources of this mineral. "The Nutrition Fact Sheet: Selenium," by Northwestern University, explains that the amount of selenium in the soil determines the amount in the plant, and varies greatly among different localities. Consequently, the amount of selenium may vary from one product to another.
Fish and Seafood
Three ounces of drained tuna contains 95 per cent of your daily requirement of selenium. Three ounces of cod provides 45 per cent. Other good sources include oysters, clams and sardines.
Meat and Dairy Products
Meats processed from animals raised on selenium-rich grains contain an abundance of this mineral. If the soil is rich in selenium, chicken, beef, milk, eggs and cheeses from those localities are good sources. Three ounces of cooked beef provides half of the required daily value of this mineral. A chicken breast can provide 30 per cent of your daily requirement and one egg provides 20 per cent. As with grain, the selenium richness of meat from Europe may vary.
Fruits and Vegetables
Most fruit contains very small amounts of selenium. Bananas provide 3 per cent of your daily requirement. As with grains, the amount of this mineral in vegetables directly relates to the amount in the soil where they are grown. Vegetables, however, do not supply much selenium; vegetarians may be at risk of deficiency.
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