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Benefits Of Selenium
Selenium is a non metallic element which is extremely essential for the proper functioning of the body. Identified in 1817 by Jons Berzelius, selenium is needed by the body for the proper utilization of oxygen.
Selenium is normally found in the soil, water and food. Small amounts of this trace element are needed to maintain good health.
The element selenium is used widely in the manufacturing industry. Selenium is also used to treat a variety of health conditions. In our body, traces of selenium are mostly concentrated around the liver, kidneys, muscle and the thyroids gland.
Selenium helps to strengthen the immune system of the body by fighting bacterial and viral infections. It also helps to destroy cancer cells.
The inorganic forms of this trace element are selenate and selenite. However the body requires a greater amount of selenate. Foods which are rich in selenium include oats, shrimp, salmon, tuna, snapper, halibut, brown rice, wheat germ, sardines, chicken breast, tofu, cashew nuts, spinach, garlic, eggs, cod, cottage cheese, brazil nuts, asparagus, mustard seeds and turkey breast.
An average person consumes about 70mcg – 100mcg of selenium per day in the United States. A healthy adult woman requires about 55mcg of selenium per day while the selenium requirement for an adult man stands at about 70mcg per day. The requirement for selenium increases with pregnancy.
The health benefits of eating selenium rich foods are many. The free radicals which damage our body cells are destroyed by the powerful antioxidants which are present in selenium. People who eat foods which are rich in selenium have lower incidence of getting different types of cancers.
Selenium is extremely important for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Deficiency of selenium can lead to hypothyroidism. For maintaining normal blood pressure levels, the body needs adequate amounts of selenium. It has also been noted that selenium can make the skin appear smooth and supple.
To prevent cataracts and other macular degenerative diseases, our body requires proper amounts of selenium. Research shows that many elderly people in the United States are suffering from blindness or poor vision because of selenium deficiency.
Selenium along with vitamin E can flush out the toxins from our system. Selenium can also provide protection against strokes, arthritis, AIDS and psoriasis.