selenium foods sources


Selenium is an important trace mineral which means the human body needs it in small quantities. [1]

This nutrient has antioxidant properties and is involved in defence against oxidative stress. [2]

It exists in 2 forms, inorganic and organic and both can be good dietary sources. [1]

However, the amount of selenium in plant based-foods can vary widely depending on the selenium content of the soil in which it is grown.

Also, men usually tend to have higher selenium levels usually than women. [1]

  • Selenium components are quite efficiently absorbed by humans and the absorption rate is higher than 80%. [3]
  • The bioavailability of selenium might vary significantly for different food groups though and bioavailability from fortified foods and supplements is lower than naturally occurring dietary forms of selenium. [2,3]
  • Most of the selenium is stored in skeletal muscles, approximately 28% to 46%, followed by the muscles (30%), liver (30%), blood plasma (10%), and kidneys (15%). [1,3]
  • Blood and urine concentrations reflect selenium intake, however, longer-term intakes can be monitored by the hair and nail selenium content. [1]
  • Selenium is mainly excreted through urine. [2]
  • Breath can contain volatile metabolites when a large amount of selenium is being excreted. [2]

Body Functions

Recommended Daily Intake

how much selenium is recommended daily

Deficiency Symptoms

Selenium Food Sources

foods high in selenium vegan

Excessive Intake/ Toxicity Side Effects

Groups At Risk of Selenium Deficiency

Selenium Interaction With Other Nutrients

  • Iodine – Selenium deficiency could exacerbate iodine deficiency, potentially increasing the risk of cretinism in infants. [1]
  • Vitamin C & Vitamin ESelenium acts in synergy with the antioxidant vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E, by regenerating them from their oxidised forms and promoting maximal antioxidant protection. [6]

Nutrient Profiles For Food Groups

Fruits ( i )

Frruits – 0.25 mcg

Legumes ( i )

Flour – 13.70 mcg
Raw – 4.79 mcg
Canned – 2.35 mcg
Cooked – 2.50 mcg
Dry 0 mcg

Nuts & Seeds ( i )

Nuts – 34.18 mcg
Seeds – 29.04 mcg

Veggies ( i )

Veggies – 2.27 mcg

Cereal grains & Flour ( i )

Flour – 18.23 mcg
Raw grains – 19.66 mcg
Cooked – 6.55 mcg

Oils ( i )

Industrial oil (hydrogentated) – 0 mcg
Cooking oils – 0 mcg
Other edible oils – 0 mcg


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