Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Natures Cancer Fighter

Selenium is a trace mineral which means the body only needs tiny amounts each day but a lack of it could be catastrophic. There's no official recommended daily amount but most experts agree that 70 micrograms is the minimum we require. Worryingly the average Brit today only gets around 30 micrograms and this has halved in the last 20 years with serious implications.

Selenium is one of the major protective antioxidants that helps prevent damage to individual body cells. It's vital for the prevention of heart disease and selenium deficiency is a major factor in the development of prostate cancer in men. Cancers of the lung and bowel are also thought to be associated with low intakes of selenium. Selenium is part of body's general defence mechanism but it's also involved in the function of natural enzymes which regulate so many of our bodily functions including blood clotting and the protection of DNA - the genetic blueprint of every cell.

The amount of selenium that ends up in the food you eat depends firstly on how much there was in the soil that foods were grown in or on which animals grazed, and secondly on the amount of processing the food has been subjected to. Traditionally in the UK most of our selenium was found in bread made from Canadian and North American wheat, areas with high levels of soil selenium which ended up in our bread. Now, thanks to the EU, our flour is made from European wheat with much lower selenium levels. What's more, our diets have become more and more reliant on processed and therefore deficient foods.

Virtually everyone in the UK needs to increase their intake of this vital mineral. Particularly smokers, any man with prostate problems, poor fertility or a history of prostate cancer in the family, anyone with a family history of heart disease or any form of cancer, people with very poor diets, vegans or vegetarians who don't pay attention to their nutrition. Selenium is also protective against many toxic chemicals as it combines with them and aids their removal from the body, so jobs that involve working with toxic chemicals and fumes means that you need a higher intake - e.g. hairdressing, dry cleaning, pesticides, film processing, and many industrial processes.

Organically produced food will have higher levels of selenium as they're grown in better soil and supplements are widely available in chemists and health stores. The mineral is best absorbed in the presence of vitamins A, C and E but do not exceed a daily dose of 200 micrograms. It's present in most multivitamin and mineral pills.

BEST SOURCES

Brazil nuts - these are the best and most convenient source and they also supply protein, fibre, vitamin E and vitamin B1. They're best eaten freshly shelled and not salted or covered in chocolate.
Selenium content: 1530 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 218% per nut
Selenium score: 10/10

Wholemeal bread
Selenium content: 35 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 18% from a slice
Selenium score: 2/10

Oily fish - herring, mackerel, kippers. Oily fish also provide the essential fatty acids, essential for brain development and they're protection against heart disease and other inflammatory illnesses.
Selenium content: around 40 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 140% per 150 g portion
Selenium score: 10/10


Tuna - canned in oil
Selenium content: 90 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 128% per 100 g portion
Selenium score: 10/10

Sunflower seeds
Selenium content: 49 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 11% per heaped tablespoon
Selenium score: 1/10

Cooked Mushrooms
Selenium content: 12 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 9% per 50 g portion
Selenium score: 1/10

Steak & Kidney pie
Selenium content: 90 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 193% per 150 g portion
Selenium score: 10/10

Shrimps - these are also an excellent source of protein and zinc
Selenium content: 46 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 66% per 100 g portion
Selenium score: 7/10

Mixed nuts & raisins - the perfect energy boost and nutritious snack to add to the kids or any body else's lunchbox or carry around in your handbag
Selenium content: 170 mcg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 121% per 50 g portion
Selenium score: 10/10

 

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