11 Best Food Sources Of Selenium That Boost Your Immunity

April 03, 2020 7 min read

If you did not already know, the imbalance of trace elements has a direct effect on the performance of almost all organs and systems in the body. One of such trace elements is Selenium, which contributes to a robust reproductive and immune health


Selenium deficiency is still much of an issue in many parts of the world with the US not being an exception. But before we speak on the health implications of this deficiency, we will explore some of the benefits of selenium and why you should consider including it in your diet.

Benefits of selenium

Antioxidants are substances that protect cells from the effects of free radicals. (pdf) Free radicals are by-products of metabolism. However, smoking, alcohol, stress, can cause excess free radical formation. This leads to oxidative stress, which damages healthy cells in the body. Meditation, exercise and spending more time in the sauna can help, but one easy way to do this is by ensuring a consistent intake of selenium. 
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE PREVENTION Selenium inhibits the development of atherosclerosis (in combination with vitamin E). Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaque), leading to diminished blood flow.  An analysis of the tests indicated that a 50% increase in selenium levels in the blood is associated with a 24% decrease in the development of Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD). In other words, it will help keep your heart in check. 


Research has shown that selenium can help with preventing tumors. Its antitumor activity fights against the development of lung, beast and cervical cancer.


A deficiency of selenium provokes the development of colloid goiter. This is a noncancerous enlargement of thyroid tissue.  Selenium is actively involved in the metabolism of thyroid hormones.



It has an immunomodulatory effect on the cellular and humoral parts of the immune system (used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases).

The nutrient our body needs …

Selenium is an important micronutrient, but it is possible to miss it. Want to find out why selenium is considered a vital trace? 


A research paper published in the Vesti newspaper highlighted that the World Health Organization (WHO) considers selenium to be one of the most important trace elements for human health.  This is not much of a surprise, given the fact that it is required by the human body every day to support the functioning of the immune system, thyroid function and cell defense mechanisms, as well as promote healthy hair and nails. And these are just some of the important roles.

Lack of selenium in the soil of Latvia

Did you know that in the soil of Latvia and other Baltic countries there is a lower content of selenium than in many other parts of the world? This means that crops grown in this region, including crops used for livestock feed, contain little selenium. Therefore, the lack of this trace element is also present in the meat and milk of these animals.  Most people, even in the case of a varied diet, are unaware that they do not get enough selenium. As a result, they suffer from a lack of this nutrient which may make their immune system more vulnerable to illness and disease. A lack of selenium may be one of the reasons why you often catch a cold, and your nails break easily. These are some of the signs that indicate that selenium may be lacking to maintain basic body functions and your immune system may be compromised.


The human body contains about 25-30 different selenium-dependent enzymes (selenoproteins), the main functions of which require support for selenium. Scientists agree that for this purpose, the daily dose of selenium should be 100-125 mcg. Some people may need a little more selenium. It depends on your lifestyle and where you live.

Bioactive Selenium + Zinc – for peace of mind 

Eating fish, nuts, whole grains and meat offal is a good way to replenish your selenium reserves. In addition, you can take selenium as a dietary supplement to make sure that this essential micronutrient is consumed by your body daily. In this case, Bioactive Selenium + Zinc is a very good solution in order to maximize the health benefits gained from this trace element.  Our favorite immune support supplement contains organic selenium, and this formula provides optimal bioavailability.  The main reason why Bioactive Selenium + Zinc is a good preparation is that it contains the unique, patented Pharma Nord selenium yeast – SelenoPrecise.  Scientific documentation shows that almost 90% (88.7%) of selenium from these selenium yeasts is absorbed in the body.  In addition, the preparation contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc. Vitamins C and E together with trace elements selenium and zinc form the so-called “basic antioxidant complex”, which, as you know, helps to maintain good health. This is the ultra-combination of the vital nutrients your body and immune system crave.  Check out Virmunity here, an all-natural immune boosting supplement

11 Best Selenium Foods. 

1. Liver 

The liver contains a number of trace elements such as magnesium, sodium but you also get a dose of Selenium. A perfect choice for liver lovers.  We know not everyone loves liver so in that case, there are plenty more foods with selenium

2. Fish 

Fish is popularly known to contain omega-3 but it does not end there. Be it boiled, fried, or grilled you are not only enjoying the great taste but also increasing your selenium level. 

3. Brazil nuts

Vegetarians are not left out as Brazil nuts are available to cater for your selenium dietary needs. You should expect 544mcg of selenium from one ounce of brazil nuts. 

4. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower is known for having a number of health benefits but little did you know that you get 19mcg of selenium from a quarter cup of sunflower seeds. 

5. Beef

We all love steak (except vegetarians), but now you have a reason to take that love to another level as it can boost your immune/reproductive health. You should expect 33mcg of selenium for every bottom round steak you consume. 

6. Pork

There’s still the debate as to whether pork is lean meat or not? But let’s put that aside for a moment because every three (3) ounce of lean pork you eat you get 33 mcg of Selenium. 

7. Cottage Cheese

Here is another reason you should love cottage cheese: for every cup of cottage cheese you take, expect ~20 mcg of selenium. 

8. Brown Rice. 

Pigmented rice is known for a number of health benefits as they help lower cholesterol levels, prevent the formation of blood clots. In addition to that, a cup of brown rice should supply you with 19 mcg of selenium. 

9. Mushroom

Looking for a vegan-friendly fungi that supplies you with iron, vitamin D and selenium? Then you just found it! For every 100 gram of mushroom you consume, you get 12 mcg of selenium. 

10. Lentils

You can never get it wrong with grains, if you are tired of brown rice, you should try lentils as one cup of supplies ~16 mcg of selenium.

11. Cashews

Your favorite lunch snack just added 3 mcg of selenium for every ounce you consume. 

With that said…

How much Selenium you get depends on a number of factors; one of which we already touched is the content (Selenium) of soil.


In the Scandinavian countries, the content of selenium in the soil is insignificant. In some Scandinavian countries, the addition of selenium to fertilizers and livestock feed contributed to an increase in the content of selenium in meat, milk and grain products.


We recommend a daily intake of 50-60 mcg on average in one of the following products:

  • in 25 g of boiled kidneys,

  • in 25 g of Brazil nut,

  • in 70 g of stewed liver,

  • in 80 g of boiled cancer,

  • in 110 g of sunflower seeds.

If you enjoy variety, observing the recommended amounts of food listed in the food pyramid, can easily get enough selenium with everyday food.


  • 55 mcg/day for women;

  • 75 mcg/day for men;

  • physiologically permissible up to 500 mcg/day.

Selenium deficiency

The main function of selenium in the body is to participate in the work of antioxidant systems and hormonal metabolism of the thyroid gland. A serious deficiency of selenium can lead to the development of cardiomyopathy, and its excessive consumption with bioactive additives can cause symptoms of poisoning. Adequate consumption of selenium is associated with a preventative effect in terms of the development of possible cancerous tumors and cardiovascular diseases. Selenium is needed:

  • to strengthen the immune system;

  • for the normal formation of thyroid hormones;

  • as a component of the antioxidant enzyme acting in cells, thereby participating in the protection of cell functions against adverse factors, including premature aging.

Conversely, a very high selenium content (more than 100 mcg/dl) can cause the development of selenosis, the symptoms of which are garlic breath, the fragility of the nails and hair loss. 

The risk of consuming too much selenium

Selenium poisoning can occur in a region in the atmosphere of which there are a large number of selenium compounds as a result of local industrial enterprises or accidents. If you eat clean, unpolluted food, it is impossible to consume selenium in an amount that would be harmful to the body.


  • disturbed skin, hair, nails;

  • weakness, muscle pain;

  • have coronary heart disease;

  • there are diseases of the thyroid gland;

  • improper physical and mental development of children.


Although this is an important trace element, too much of everything can be harmful. Selenium is not an exception. To help you keep track of the consumption you should check out…


 as it has proven to give you a perfect dose of selenium and is loaded with vital all-natural ingredients that when combined, give you super immune support and optimal health. 

If you did not already know, the imbalance of trace elements has a direct effect on the performance of almost all organs and systems in the body. One of such trace elements is Selenium, which contributes to a robust reproductive and immune health
You have no idea what your body is missing out on.
Jason Allen
Jason Allen

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