We continue our journey through the minerals. There are a number of minerals and we have chosen to feature the most important ones in our blog series. Today we are covering Selenium. Selenium is a trace mineral which means it is found in small amounts within our bodies.
Selenium may be a trace mineral but that belies its importance. It is a major antioxidant and helps us fight many diseases and immune conditions.
Minerals are inorganic substances that are found in rocks and mineral ore. Obviously our bodies cannot produce inorganic substances so it is through diet and supplements that we acquire these important nutrients. Minerals are important partners to vitamins supporting all the vital functions of our bodies.
Minerals, like vitamins, are very often depleted from the body by processing, refining and cooking methods. Only a few nutrients are replaced in the soil which means many nutrients are missing from our food too.
Uses of Selenium
The EFSA accredit selenium as contributing to:
- The normal function of the thyroid
- Protecting cells from oxidative stress
- Maintenance of normal nails
- Maintenance of normal immune system
Best Food Sources of Selenium
Who needs Selenium?
- People with thyroid issues.
- Those with poor diets.
- Anyone suffering from a significant disease will have a compromised immune system and therefore need additional support from Selenium. Chronic diseases mean our immune system is not performing to its best ability.
- Sufferers of immune conditions such as allergies.
- People who experience premature ageing.
- Those who are experiencing regular infections.
- Men and women with reproductive problems.
Signs of Selenium Deficiency
- Regular infections – Selenium helps us decrease inflammation and improve our immunity.
- Thyroid issues – in my experience thyroid issues are often caused by long term disturbance of the body via stress or other oxidative actions such as poor diet, drinking and smoking.
- Poor hair, skin and nails – other vital organs will get nutrients before the skin so monitor your skin and nails, they can be an indication of the state of your internal health.
- Oxidative stress – if you smoke, drink alcohol or experience stress you are putting yourself at risk of having too many free radicals. An abundance of free radicals leads to oxidative stress which in turn can lead to chronic disease such as heart disease. Antioxidants including Selenium help our bodies to balance the level of free radicals and protect our cells from damage.
How can I get enough Selenium?
As we explain regularly nutrients are often missing from the soil and so it is hard for us to absorb from food. Selenium has long been identified as a vital nutrient missing from our soil. In reality, selenium is only found in one or two places within Europe.
A study in Norfolk identified the presence of selenium and its link to a healthier more long lived population. As with most minerals, modern farming techniques and food processing further compromise our ability to find selenium in our food.
The lack of selenium is such that it is included within multivitamin and mineral formulas as a standard. This demonstrates how many of us need this important mineral.
Selenium is a premier antioxidant and works in partnership with vitamins A, C and E plus another key mineral Zinc. Nutri Advanced provides a Antioxidant with this combination in it!
We have explained previously that the antioxidants all work on specific functions within our bodies so it is important to ensure you take a variety of antioxidants to maximise your protection for your body.
Just to remind you:
Vitamin A as Beta Carotene looks after our eyes and skin alongside Vitamin E.
Vitamin E is very supportive in reducing oxidative stress which is why it is so useful for the skin.
Zinc will be covered in more detail next week but it is a major mineral with hundreds of actions within the body. These include boosting the immune system, protecting against oxidative stress and maintenance of our cognitive function.
Types of Selenium
Selenium yeast is recognised as one of the most effective forms for the body to absorb. Solgar offer both yeast and yeast free options.
Selenium chelated to the amino acid methionine is another way the body can more easily absorb this vital nutrient.
Sadly, we will repeat this statement throughout this series of blogs. The nutrients in our modern diet do not compare to those of our ancestors. In previous times, our ancestors ate approximately 20 times more nutrients than we do today.
The ancestral diet was comprised berries, fruits and other vegetables. Today, we eat processed ready meals that lack the nutrient content our bodies need. In addition, the intensive farming of our land means that nutrients are vastly depleted from the soil. It is going to take a long time to recover this situation. The processing of our food removes even more nutrients.
This means we are exposed to a nutrient deficiency. We simply do not get the nutrients we need to thrive in this modern world. It is our aim for our customers that they do not just survive but achieve optimal health. In our opinion, it is extremely difficult to achieve this without the help of supplements.