Selenium Deficiency? Top 10 Selenium Foods You Have to Try Before Supplements

Selenium Deficiency? Top 10 Selenium Foods You Have to Try Before Supplements

Selenium is as important as any minerals and other nutrients for our body to function well. From fighting off free radicals to helping increase immunity against various diseases and infections, selenium is something we cannot afford to ignore. When you have your selenium testing though, you might find that your selenium level is not adequate, increasing your chance for a full-blown selenium deficiency that can lead to major consequences. Among those with greater risk include patients undergoing dialysis, those infected with HIV, and even those with digestive disorders. An excess amount in the body, however, can also be dangerous. So before taking any selenium supplement, try to ascertain first your risk or simply do the necessary preventive measures.

Some of the major symptoms you should look out for when suspecting for a selenium deficiency include a weakened immune system, which would mean more infections with some as serious as cancer; muscle weakness and even skeletal muscle disorders; infertility in men and women; and mental fog and fatigue among others. This condition is rare, as we almost always get an appropriate amount of the mineral in one way or another, but it is still essential to have a selenium testing with your doctor and maybe have some selenium supplement. Being natural thought is likewise of an equal importance. Listed below are 10 ways to increase and maintain an optimal level of selenium in your body.

Selenium Deficiency? Top 10 Selenium Foods You Have to Try Before Supplements

Top 10 Selenium Foods to Try before Taking Selenium Supplement

Nuts and Seeds

Seeds and Nuts

Before you decide to take in selenium supplement, try these natural selenium foods first that should not be undermined despite being small in sizes. Think of this as preventive measures especially if there is still no official diagnosis from your doctor yet. Sunflower seeds, for instance, are small food group but are big donors of selenium as a cup of serving size (128 grams) can render 101 mg of selenium; that’s 145% DV or Percent Daily Value which means that amount of serving can give you 145% of your selenium daily need! Other seeds include sesame seeds with 14% DV, chia seeds with 22%, and Pumpkin seeds with 4%. Nuts, on the other hand, specifically Brazil nuts ranks number 1 for the richest selenium content. What with a whopping 2550 mg per cup! That’s a staggering 3640% DV. Another one to consider is dry-roasted cashews with 16 mg per cup or 23% DV.

Whole Grains


Grains have been a staple ever since the dawn of civilization; and for good reasons, since they are highly nutritious selenium foods. So before trying selenium supplement, try some oats, wheat, rice, rye, and millet, with some other forms of wheat like einkorn and emmer that are gaining popularity over the last few years. A hundred-gram of wheat bread provides 28.8 mg of selenium or 41% DV. The same serving size of cooked oatmeal which includes boiling and microwaving but without salt gives 5.4 mg or 8% DV, while cooked long-grain brown rice has 5.8 mg, still with 8% DV and the same serving size. A cup of whole grains rye or 169 grams, on the other hand, boasts a 23.5 mg (34% DV) of selenium. Even some pasta like spaghetti is effective selenium foods. A hundred-gram contains roughly 26.4 mg or 38% DV.

Dairy Products

Dairy Products

Now, let us make a simple comparison among the three selenium foods that are all dairy products. A cup of whole milk (244 grams) contains 9.03 mg of selenium which is 13% DV. Non-fat cottage cheese that is uncreamed, with the same serving size equivalent to 145 grams has 13.6 mg or 19% DV of selenium, while a container (170 grams) of plain low-fat yogurt has 5.6 mg of selenium or 8% DV. These are all great news, right? As we can still consume our favorite dairy products, albeit in moderation due to being often high in fat and calories content, for being must-have selenium foods. And with their versatility, you can just easily add them to any snacks you want like cereals for breakfast.

Lean Meat

Meat and Poultry

Steak with potatoes and mixed vegetables for dinner never goes out of style. Aside from its high protein content, meat and poultry, in general, are great and effective selenium foods too. A plate of boneless lean beef steak 100 grams in serving size will give you 36 mg of selenium, which is 51% DV. Lamb ribs on the same serving size, on the other side, will give approximately 22 mg or 31% DV. Other cuts include cooked rib eye steak with 48%DV, sirloin with 47%, and lean lamb shoulder with 46% all for a 3-ounce serving size. As for the pork, a hundred-gram cooked lean tenderloin presents 51.6 mg or 74% DV while 100 grams of roasted ham has 45.3 mg or 65%. Lastly, raw bacon offers 20 grams or 29% for the same serving. When it comes to poultry, a hundred-gram roasted chicken leg provides 25.7 mg or 37%DV while the same serving size of roasted turkey gives almost 30 mg of 43% DV.



The selenium content of this protein-rich and easily available food can fluctuate just minimally depending on how you cook them. Generally, 1 large egg that is raw, amounting to 50 grams, provides 15.35 mg of selenium; so that is 22% DV. These nutrition facts for eggs would hold true if you have it hard-boiled. Two eggs, for example, at 100 grams would give at least 30 mg or roughly 44% DV for selenium. This is aside from all other essential nutrients contained in eggs that can all be health benefits including vitamins, riboflavin, and other vital minerals like potassium, sodium, and zinc. These selenium foods can be used in any recipe so there shouldn’t be any worry at all, except maybe for calories.



Seafood as another set of selenium foods comes in varieties. 100 grams of cooked crustaceans shrimp boasts roughly 50 mg or 71% DV of selenium, while cooked crustaceans crab with the same serving offers 43 mg or 61% DV. The notoriously superfood pink salmon, on one hand, provides 31.4 mg of the mineral still for the same serving. That’s 45% DV. The most famous tuna that is known for its high protein and unsaturated fats content shows off a stunning 108 mg or 155% DV of selenium for the same 100 grams serving size. When it comes to other delicacies not really admired by everyone, cooked octopus offers 89.6 mg or 128% DV while raw squid gives almost 45 mg or 64%. The most outstanding selenium foods, however, in this group are oysters. With 154 mg of selenium content for a hundred grams, which is 220% DV, just a quarter of the serving size can already give you 38.5 mg! This is aside from all other essential minerals contained in oysters that are all beneficial.



When it comes to versatility, these selenium foods do not get behind the clash, as legumes can be added to virtually any recipes from salads to omelets and pasta. This class of vegetables includes peas, beans, and lentils that are not only good sources of selenium but of other micronutrients as well, like iron, potassium, and magnesium. They even contain low fat and have no cholesterol so there really shouldn’t be a worry. Take lentils for example. Lentils that are boiled without salt can provide you with 2.8 mg of selenium, which is 4% DV, for every 100 grams. Meanwhile, edamame—prepared immature soybeans in the pod—shows off 0.8 mg or 1% for the same serving size while raw lentil sprouts meanwhile offer 0.6 mg or 1% DV.



Of course, to have a discussion about consuming selenium foods before taking in selenium supplement basically entails including fruits. Perhaps everybody’s favorite ripe bananas, for instance, boast 1 mg of selenium or 1% DV per 100 grams of serving size, while a cup of sliced bananas or 150 grams provides 1.5 mg; you get the gist. That may not be much compared to other selenium foods on this list but it is still a good addition. Seedless raisins, on one side, give 0.6 mg or 1% DV of selenium per 100 grams while raw avocados, regardless of varieties, can give off 0.4 mg and again 1% DV for the same serving size. Fruits are versatile enough to be mixed into your oatmeal or even be made into a smoothie.

Fruits and Vegetables


The same with fruits, vegetables are also selenium foods that must be included in this discussion, despite being mediocre in a sense when put side by side to other selenium foods in this list. One of the vegetables containing the highest selenium content is broccoli. A hundred grams of raw broccoli brags 2.5 mg of selenium; that is 4% DV. Other vegetables like Brussels sprouts when consumed raw can give off 1.6 mg, which is 2% DV of selenium. Raw spinach lastly won’t leave without a fight, offering 1 mg or 1% DV of selenium, aside from giving off vitamins C and folic acid.

Mushrooms as a Source of Vitamin D


The last group of selenium foods is a type of fungi that perhaps won’t stir everybody’s appetite, as some aren’t really fond of mushrooms. If you are one of them, you might want to consider with the following nutrition facts: Crimini mushrooms, an edible basidiomycete mushroom that is native to the grasslands of North America and Europe, is among the top 10 selenium foods having the highest amount of the mineral. A cup of sliced crimini amounting to 72 grams will give you 18.7 mg or 27% DV, with a hundred gram giving off 26 mg or 37% DV. Other mushrooms worth noting are shiitake mushrooms with 5.7 mg or 8% DV per 100 grams and canned solids mushrooms that are drained with 4.1 mg or 6% DV for the same serving size.

Now that we all understand the importance of selenium and know what the symptoms are signaling a selenium deficiency, having a selenium testing with your doctor and taking selenium supplement would always be one of, if not the top priority. This condition though is often rare and is easily prevented by taking the necessary measures beforehand, such as incorporating selenium-rich foods in your dietary program. As we have discussed above, all of these selenium foods are easily available in the supermarket and even in your kitchen. That then would make getting the most out of this incredible mineral easier than ever.