Selenium is a vital mineral that is required for the wholesome well-being of human health. Even though it is required by the body in small amounts, it plays a major role in the essential process of the body related to thyroid and metabolism. The human body relies on Selenium also for fighting infection and reproductive functions. This mineral is usually obtained through diet. However, the amount of Selenium in any food item depends upon the soil where the food is grown. Hence, to have overall good health, it becomes imperative to include Selenium-rich foods in the diet. This article will provide in-depth information about the benefits of Selenium, and how consuming Selenium can provide numerous benefits to the body.
Selenium: A Powerful Anti-Oxidant
Antioxidants are natural compounds found in many foods that play a crucial role in protecting your body from cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are normal by-products of metabolic processes that occur in your body daily.
Despite their important functions, free radicals can become harmful when their levels exceed the body’s natural capacity to control them. Factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, and stress can cause an excess of free radicals, leading to oxidative stress, which damages healthy cells.
Antioxidants, such as selenium, work to reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing excess free radicals and protecting cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. This helps to keep free radical numbers in check and prevents oxidative stress from causing harm to the body.
Reduces Risk of Certain Cancers
Selenium is found in some foods like seafood, nuts, and seeds. Eating foods that are rich in selenium is believed to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Selenium works as an antioxidant, which means it helps protect cells from damage caused by harmful molecules known as free radicals. These free radicals can damage DNA and other important parts of cells, leading to cancer. By neutralizing free radicals, selenium helps prevent this damage and reduces the risk of cancer.Studies have shown that people who consume more selenium are less likely to develop certain types of cancers, including prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer. So including selenium-rich foods in your diet can be a simple way to help protect your health.
Prevents Mental Decline
Consuming Selenium foods is also believed to help prevent mental decline. Alzheimer’s is a devastating mental condition that causes loss of memory and also affects behavior and thinking in a negative way. The number of Alzheimer’s patients is growing rapidly. Behind the onset and progression of the mental condition, oxidative stress is found to be the prime reason. Consuming Selenium-rich foods help to fight the oxidative stress in the body, and thus, it helps to prevent mental decline. In numerous research studies, it has been found that consuming Selenium-rich nuts significantly enhances verbal fluency as well as other mental functions.
Protects Against Heart Diseases
A diet rich in Selenium also keeps heart diseases at bay. This is another major benefit of Selenium for the human body. Low levels of Selenium in the body are often linked to an enhanced risk of developing heart diseases. Selenium tends to reduce inflammation in the body, which is a primary reason for developing heart diseases. People who consume Selenium-rich foods have decreased levels of the inflammatory marker CRP (C-Reactive Protein). Moreover, consuming Selenium-rich foods also tends to increase the glutathione peroxidase in the body, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Helps Maintain Thyroid Health
Another benefit of Selenium is that it is necessary for maintaining thyroid health. Selenium is required for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland in the body. The thyroid tissue comprises a high amount of Selenium in comparison to other parts of the body. Selenium also helps to protect the thyroid from oxidative damage and also helps in the effective production of thyroid hormones in the body. The healthy thyroid gland is essential for the body as it controls the growth and development of the body but also regulates the metabolism of the body. Selenium deficiency can cause thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Even people suffering from health condition can also prefer to consume Selenium-rich foods, which can provide them some relief from the symptoms of this thyroid condition and also helps to cure this thyroid condition.
Also Read: Connection Between Stress and Thyroid
Reduces Asthma Symptoms
Consuming Selenium rich foods also helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airway in the lungs. It causes symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness, etc. Asthma occurs due to inflammation in the body and also due to oxidative damage. As Selenium has the ability to reduce inflammation in the body and prevent oxidative damage, it helps to reduce asthma symptoms. In numerous research studies, it has been found that people who have a higher level of Selenium in the body have a lower risk of developing asthma.
Also Read: 10 Most Common Triggers of Asthma & How to Avoid Them
Boosts the Immune System
Another benefit of Selenium is that it boosts the immune system of the body. The immune system of the body keeps the body healthy by identifying as well as fighting potential threats such as parasites, viruses, and bacteria. Even people with health conditions such as influenza, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis can also get benefits by consuming Selenium-rich foods.
The above-mentioned benefits of Selenium rich foods show how important they are for the human body. Selenium provides the body with 360 degrees of protection. It efficiently protects the body from oxidative damage and prevents inflammation which thereby keeps other diseases at bay and thus ensures good health.