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Selenium is an essential trace mineral and antioxidant that can boost immunity and overall good health. Getting enough selenium can be tricky as the amount found in common food sources has diminished.
Why is selenium important?
Selenium is needed to form selenoproteins, which are themselves necessary for the creation of glutathione peroxidase, your body and brain's master antioxidant and detoxifier.
What are the symptoms of selenium deficiency?
•Low immunity: selenium is needed for your body's master antioxidant glutathione peroxidase. Without a good production of this substance, you are likely to have low defenses against colds and flu and other viral infections. Low immunity is a known sign of inadequate selenium and research has shown increasing selenium intake can improve immune function.
•Hair loss and fingernail discoloration.
•Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
Some benefits of increasing selenium
•Acts as an antioxidant
•Helps reduce asthma symptoms
•Helps defend against cancer
•Regulates thyroid function
How to increase your selenium?
In the U.S., the RDA for selenium is 55 mcg for adults. Seafood like shrimp, sardines, salmon, halibut and tuna are good sources of selenium. Cremini and shiitake mushrooms also are high sources of selenium.
Free range turkey and chicken, grass fed beef and pastured eggs all contain selenium. Barley, oats, brown rice, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, broccoli, asparagus and spinach are all good vegetable sources.
The best source of selenium is Brazil nuts. These nuts have around 50 mcg of selenium in each nut and some have been measured as high as 90 mcg.
Just two Brazil nuts a day will meet your selenium requirements. I like Brazil nut but find them too filling. So, I’ve started turning them into Brazil nut milk. Here’s the recipe.
Brazil nut milk
Makes 12 servings
•4 cups raw brazil nuts, soaked for 8 hrs
•6 cups filtered water
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon
•dash of freshly ground sea salt
•1-2 Tablespoons raw honey, depending on how sweet you prefer
1.In a high speed blender, combine 2 cups of the nuts with 3 cups of water. Strain into a nut bag, reserve the nut meal for other recipes. Repeat with the remaining 2 cups of nuts and 3 cups of water.
2.Return the nut milk to the blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until fully combined.
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