Selenium is a chemical element that is an essential micronutrient for humans. It is obtained from the food we eat and is a trace nutrient that assists in a variety of body functions. Selenium is necessary for the removal of hydrogen peroxide from the body and it is also important in thyroid function. Selenium is toxic in high doses and a small amount ingested in food in normally enough to sustain the body. So which foods are high in selenium? Read on to find out.
Which foods are high in selenium?
There are a range of foods that are high in selenium. Generally plant based foods are more likely to have higher selenium levels as the mineral is gained from the soil. The amount of selenium in a food source depends on the levels of selenium in the soil where it was grown. Selenium can also be found in animal products, particularly in animals that eat a large amount of plant material. Below is a list of the top ten foods that provide the most dietary selenium:
Note: ?g means microgram and RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances
- Brazil Nuts- Brazil nuts contain the highest levels of natural selenium at 1917 ?g (2739% RDA) per 100 gram serving or 96?g (137% RDA) in a single kernel or nut. Some experts recommend caution against the overconsumption of Brazil nuts as high levels of selenium can be toxic.
- Shellfish- The blue pacific oyster contains the most selenium of any shellfish with 154?g (220% RDA) per 100 gram serving or 38.5?g (55% RDA) per oyster.
- Liver- Liver is often served as pate or in liverwurst sausage. Lamb liver provides the most selenium with 116?g per 100g serving or 166% of the RDA
- Fish- The fish that provides the most selenium is the orange roughy with 88?g (126% RDA) per 100 gram serving. Canned tuna has 68 ?g (97% RDA) of selenium in one small tin.
- Sunflower seeds- Sunflower seeds provide 79?g (113% RDA) of selenium per 100 gram serving.
- Bran- Rice, wheat or oat bran also provides selenium. The amount of selenium in the bran depends on the amount in the soil where the grain was grown. On average bran will provide 78?g (111% RDA) of selenium per 100 gram or 3?g (4% RDA) per tablespoon.
- Caviar- Caviar provides many nutrients and vitamins and also contains 65.5?g (94% RDA) of selenium per 100g.
- Bacon – bacon is an excellent source of selenium with 5?g (7% RDA) per slice and 65?g (93% RDA) per 100 grams.
- Lobster and crab- Lobster provides slightly more selenium than crab with 59.2?g (85% RDA) of selenium per 100grams. Crab provides 47.6?g (68% RDA) per 100 grams.
- Shrimp- Shrimps provide 39.6?g (57% RDA) of selenium per 100 gram serving or in four large shrimp there is 8.7?g (12% RDA) of selenium.