As we get older, it becomes increasingly important for us to eat a healthy diet. Certain nutrients that we can only get from food help us age in a way that prevents disease and keeps us functioning. If you struggle with a sluggish thyroid, poor immune health, and you can’t seem to lose that extra weight no matter what you do, there’s a chance that you have a selenium deficiency.
Selenium and Your Health
Selenium is a trace element that is necessary for several bodily functions. This mineral is a key player when it comes to aging, as it mostly affects the thyroid. The thyroid contains more selenium than all other organs in the body. Selenium helps us produce thyroid hormones and protects the organ against damaging oxidative stress. It’s been shown that selenium benefits those who are suffering with thyroid conditions. A review of studies showed that selenium supplementation for three months improved thyroid health, mood, and overall well-being in patients with Hashimoto’s disease. And since it gives your thyroid a boost, it could also increase your metabolism!
Selenium has also shown to be an effective treatment for a number of diseases. A powerful antioxidant, it neutralizes toxic free radicals in the body and reduces oxidative stress which can cause illness. Its antioxidant qualities help to protect healthy cells from damage and ward off diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Not only that, but because selenium is such a powerful antioxidant, it also protects the skin from age-related oxidative damage, warding off visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. All this in one nutrient!
How to Tell If You Have a Selenium Deficiency
The selenium in our food largely depends on the soil quality used to grow it. According to one review of studies, it’s estimated that 1 billion people around the world are deficient in selenium. According to the experts over at Healthline, there are a few signs of selenium deficiency you can look out for. They are:
- infertility in men and women
- impaired thyroid function
- muscle weakness
- brain fog
- hair loss
- weakened immune system (getting sick often, suffering with autoimmune conditions)
There are also a few other risk factors for deficiency. If you’re undergoing dialysis, have HIV, or have a digestive disorder like Crohn’s disease, your body’s ability to absorb selenium may be impaired. Talk to your doctor if you suspect that you may be selenium deficient.
How to Get More Selenium in Your Diet
Luckily, adding selenium to your diet is pretty easy. You can get 137 percent of the recommended daily value from eating just one brazil nut! Other foods that are high in selenium include halibut, oysters, yellowfin tuna, sardines, shiitake mushrooms, chicken, eggs, and sunflower seeds. Following the Mediterranean diet can also elevate your levels of selenium since it is plentiful in so many selenium-rich foods. And of course, you can always try a selenium supplement like this one from Life Extension (Buy on Amazon, $10.50). Get your doctor’s OK before trying any new supplement regiment.
Here’s to healthy aging!